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Published: Friday, June 15, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Galle: India made a slow start in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, reaching 16-0 in 20 overs by lunch on the opening day. Openers Shiv Sunder Das and Sadagopan Ramesh, however, achieved the tourists' aim of not to lose early wickets after Sri Lanka won the toss and fielded first on a grassy wicket at the Galle international stadium.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Das, hit on the helmet by a rising ball from Dilhara Fernando, went to lunch on six. Left-handed Ramesh, who was lucky to survive an appeal for a catch at the wicket off Ruchira Perera, was unbeaten on nine.Television replays showed the ball took a thin edge, but umpire Asoka De Silva turned down a half-hearted appeal from the bowler and wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.The Sri Lankan seamers kept the runs in check, but failed to exploit conditions tailor-made for them by making wayward deliveries. Play was held up by drizzle after just 22 balls had been bowled and resumed 35 minutes later as the sun broke through for the first time in the morning. The Indians, who scored a solitary run before the interruption, managed just six runs in the first 13 overs.Sri Lanka had added a fourth seamer, Suresh Perera, in the line-up to make use of the helpful conditions. Perera came in for wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana, leaving Sangakkara to don the gloves.India, without the injured Sachin Tendulkar, went in with six specialist batsmen in the first of three back-to-back Tests.