x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

India in battle to save Test as Randiv strikes

Suraj Randiv snaps up three quick wickets to reduce India, chasing 257 for victory, to 53 for three at the close on the fourth day.

COLOMBO // India were struggling to save the final Test against Sri Lanka after off-spinner Suraj Randiv snapped up three quick wickets to reduce them to 53 for three at the close on the fourth day. India were chasing 257 for victory after Sri Lanka staged a remarkable rearguard action to recover from 125 for eight to 267 all out. India still require 204 runs to win on the final day and level the series.

Sachin Tendulkar was unbeaten on 11 and Ishant Sharma on two at the close. Randiv struck in his first over by making Virender Sehwag edge a catch to slip without scoring. Rahul Dravid played on a Randiv delivery and was bowled for seven and the same bowler had Murali Vijay caught at backward short leg for 27. Thilan Samaraweera and Ajantha Mendis staged a superb late Sri Lankan recovery with a record-breaking ninth-wicket stand of 118.

Samaraweera and Mendis batted throughout the afternoon session to frustrate the Indian bowlers. The partnership was broken when Samaraweera, attempting to pull Abhimanyu Mithun, gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 83. Mendis completed his maiden first-class fifty before being dismissed for 78 when he mistimed a drive off Amit Mishra to short extra cover. India had dominated the morning as Sri Lanka lost six wickets for 62 runs and limped to lunch on 143 for eight.

* Reuters