KANPUR // India crushed Sri Lanka by an innings and 144 runs in the second Test to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match series. The margin of victory was India's greatest over Sri Lanka, surpassing the previous best of an innings and 119 runs in Lucknow in 1994. It was also the hosts' 100th Test triumph. Forced to follow on after a first-innings collapse, Sri Lanka were all out for 269 in their second innings before tea on the fourth day at the Green Park ground.
Sri Lanka were 206 for eight at lunch and although the visitors rattled up 149 runs in the morning and staved off defeat well into the afternoon, they were not even close to making India bat again after the hosts piled up 642 in their first innings. Middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera was the only Sri Lankan batsmen to score a half-century in the match, remaining unbeaten on 78 when the final wicket fell.
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh led the bowling after Sri Lanka resumed on their overnight 57 for four, finishing with figures of 3-98. Samaraweera added 73 runs for the ninth wicket with Ajantha Mendia (27) before the hosts wrapped up proceedings in the next over. Fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's six-wicket heroics on the third day had helped dismiss Sri Lanka for a dismal 229 in the first innings and hand India a winning 413-run lead.
Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan put India firmly on the front foot early when he removed all-rounder Angelo Mathews (15) in the second over. Prasanna Jayawardene added 61 runs for the sixth wicket with Samaraweera in a show of resistance until Harbhajan bowled him for 29. The spinner also trapped Rangana Herath lbw for 13 before Muttiah Muralitharan, who blasted a quickfire 29 runs, fell to left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha next to make it 191-8.
The third and final Test will start in Mumbai on December 2. * Reuters