x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Sri Lanka batsmen put India to the sword

Sangakkara and Paranavitana score centuries on the opening day for the second time in as many Tests as the hosts close on 312 for two.

COLOMBO // Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana both scored centuries for the second time in as many Tests, leading Sri Lanka to 312 for two by stumpson the opening day of the second Test against India. Paranavitana was bowled by Ishant Sharma shortly after tea for 100, his second Test century. He hit 10 boundaries and a six in 221 balls. Sangakkara was unbeaten on 130 having faced 225 balls and hitting 15 boundaries.

The pair put on 174 for the second wicket on a placid Sinhalese Sports Club pitch after Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught by VVS Laxman at extra cover off the left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha having made a brisk 54. "We are hoping to post in excess of 550, which will put pressure on the Indians," Dilshan said. Ojha finished the opening day with figures of 1-59, while Sharma claimed 1-66. India batsman Suresh Raina, who is making his Test debut, defended his team's bowling display.

"We had a good bowling plan and did a good job. If you seen the approach we did really well," Raina said. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first, and Paranavitana and Dilshan put on 99 runs for the first wicket. Paranavitana scored 111 and Sangakkara 103 in the first Test at Galle last week, which Sri Lanka won to lead 1-0 in the three-match series. The hosts made four changes to their team.

Off-spinner Suraj Randiv replaced Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired from the longest form of cricket with a record haul of 800 Test wickets after the last match at Galle. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath replaces Ajantha Mendis, while seamer Lasith Malinga and Chanaka Welegedara were rested for Dammika Prasad and Dilhara Fernando. India opener Gautam Gambhir and batsman Yuvraj Singh were left out because of injury, making way for Murali Vijay and Raina.

* AP