Test cricket's greatest wicket-taker trapped its greatest runmaker lbw as Sri Lanka took control of the first Test against India.
Murali takes Tendulkar wicket in swansong
GALLE, SRI LANKA // Muttiah Muralitharan, Test cricket's greatest wicket-taker, trapped its greatest runmaker, Sachin Tendulkar, lbw yesterday as Sri Lanka took control of the first Test against India. India were 380 runs behind with seven wickets left at stumps on day three after some inspired tail-end batting from the hosts allowed then to declare their first innings at 520-8. Steady wicket-taking after tea then reduced India to 140-3.
Virender Sehwag, the Indian opener, remained unbeaten on 85 when bad light stopped play but his two vaunted teammates, Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, had already departed. Muralitharan, playing his final Test, made Tendulkar his 793rd - and possibly last - victim as he trapped the little maestro lbw for eight as he misjudged a sweep shot. The spinner finished the day with 1-31 off seven overs. India could hardly have made a worse start as Gautam Gambhir was dismissed off the second ball of the innings, trapped lbw for two by the Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga. Things were looking up for the tourists when Sehwag and Dravid combined for a 66-run partnership until Dravid misjudged a second run and was run out for 18. By stumps, Sehwag had faced 98 balls, hit 14 boundaries and a six, and looked set for his 20th Test century. VVS Laxman was with him on 18 not out. Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath said his team were hoping for quick wickets on day four to consolidate their position. "If we can get him [Sehwag] early we are in the game," he said. Earlier in the post-lunch session, Sri Lanka tailenders Herath and Malinga heaped misery on a depleted India bowling line-up by scoring their maiden half-centuries and sharing 115 for the eighth wicket. Tharanga Paranavitana top scored with 111 and captain Kumar Sangakkara made 103 to set up the big total. India looked to have regained some venom in their attack when paceman Ishant Sharma took three wickets in the morning session as Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 105 runs to go to lunch on 361-6. But Herath and Malinga played like seasoned batsmen as they flayed the bowlers with some delightful shots. Herath was unbeaten at 80 when the innings closed, having faced 93 balls, hitting 10 boundaries and a six. Malinga was out for 64 off 75 balls after hitting nine boundaries and two sixes. Muralitharan walked in to bat to a guard of honour by the India fielders and umpires as firecrackers were set off. The great spin bowler, in probably his last Test innings, finished not out on five. Almost four sessions have been lost because of rain, reducing the likelihood of a result in the series opener. * AP
Stumps on the third day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and India at Galle International Stadium. Sri Lanka 1st Innings (overnight 256-2) Tharanga Paranavitana c Dhoni b Sharma 111 Tillakaratne Dilshan c Dhoni b Mithun 25 Kumar Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Sehwag 103 Mahela Jayawardene lbw b Sharma 48 Thilan Samaraweera lbw b Mithun 0 Angelo Mathews c Laxman b Sharma 41 Prasanna Jayawardene lbw b Mithun 27 Rangana Herath not out 80 Lasith Malinga c Harbhajan b Mithun 64 Muttiah Muralitharan not out 5 Extras: (1b, 10lb, 5nb) 16 TOTAL: (for 8 wickets declared) 520 Overs: 124. Fall of wickets: 1-55, 2-236, 3-259, 4-260, 5-322, 6-344, 7-393, 8-508. Did not bat: Chanaka Welegedara. Bowling: Ishant Sharma 28-5-145-3 (5nb), Abhimanyu Mithun 28-3-105-4 , Harbhajan Singh 30-4-98-0, Pragyan Ojha 28-1-115-0, Virender Sehwag 10-0-46-1. India 1st Innings Gautam Gambhir lbw b Malinga 2 Virender Sehwag not out 85 Rahul Dravid run out 18 Sachin Tendulkar lbw b Muralitharan 8 V.V.S. Laxman not out 18 Extras: (1lb, 7nb, 1w) 9 TOTAL: (for 3 wickets) 140 Overs: 29.4 Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-68, 3-101. Still to bat: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun Bowling: Lasith Malinga 9-0-40-1 (4nb), Chanaka Welegedara 4-0-34-0 (3nb), Rangana Herath 6.4-1-25-0, Anjelo Mathews 3-0-9-0 (1w), Muttiah Muralitharan 7-1-31-1. Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Daryl Harper, Australia and Rod Tucker, Australia TV umpire: Tyron Wijewardena, Sri Lanka Match referee: Andy Pycroft, Zimbabwe