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Published: Sunday, July 22, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Colombo: Skipper Saurav Ganguly spared India's blushes with a strokeful unbeaten 74 against the Sri Lanka Board on the second day of the three-day tour match on Thursday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Ganguly struck eight fours and three sixes in his 112-ball knock as the Indians reached 281 for five in reply to the hosts' first-innings total of 326. The Indians were reduced to 203 for five despite a 135-run stand for the opening wicket between Shiv Sunder Das (72) and Sadagopan Ramesh (63).Ganguly, however, came to his team's rescue with a 78-run stand for the unbroken sixth wicket with wicket-keeper Sameer Dighe (25 not out). The Indians, awaiting the final decision on batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar, failed to solve their middle-order batting problems ahead of their first Test at Galle on August 14.Tendulkar undergoes a bone scan in Mumbai on Friday after suffering a hairline fracture on his right toe during the One-day series in Zimbabwe last month.Both Mohammad Kaif (6) and Dinesh Mongia (11), competing for a middle-order berth, flopped in the only practice match before the three-Test series.The Indians lost their way in the afternoon session, losing three wickets in a space of 18 runs.Fast bowler Dinusha Fernando provided the breakthrough when he deceived Ramesh with a slower one. Ramesh struck 11 fours in his 165-minute knock before being caught by Chamara Silva at mid-off.Das, who struck 12 boundaries in his 191-minute 72, was bowled by left-arm spinner Sajeeva Weerakoon while attempting a big shot. Fernando got his second wicket when he had Kaif caught by wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara at 153.The morning session, however, belonged to Ramesh and Das who denied the home team success with their solid batting. Das was the first to complete his half-century when he pulled a Weerakoon full-toss for his 10th four.