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Published: Monday, July 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Kandy: Left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas celebrated his 50th Test by wrecking India's fragile batting to give Sri Lanka control of the second Test here on Thursday. Vaas finished with four for 65 as the Indians, replying to Sri Lanka's 274, were shot out for 232 an hour after tea on the second day at the Asgiriya Stadium here.[an error occurred while processing this directive]The Sri Lankans ended the day at 52-1 in their second knock, extending their lead to 94 with nine wickets in hand on a wicket that will deteriorate over the next three days. Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya was bowled by Zaheer Khan for six, but Marvan Atapattu (30) and Kumar Sangakkara (13) put on 32 for the unbroken second wicket."Our first innings total was not adequate, but Vaas ensured it was enough to put the Indians under pressure," Jayasuriya said. "Batting will not be easy from now on, I don't think 300 will be easy to chase, so we must bat well to get there."Vaas, who hit 42 in Sri Lanka's first innings, made the Indians hop with bounce and movement to lift his wickets tally to 149. The Indians, thrashed by 10 wickets in the first Test in Galle, put up another uninspiring batting display in the absence of their injured superstar Sachin Tendulkar.Opener Sadagopan Ramesh top-scored with 47 before tail-ender Harbhajan Singh cracked 44 off 32 balls towards the end to take India past 200 for the first time in the series.India was tottering at 154-6 just before tea when Harbhajan and wicket-keeper Sameer Dighe offered unexpected resistance by adding 64 for the seventh wicket. Harbhajan contributed 42 of those runs, smashing fast bowler Dilhara Fernando for four consecutive boundaries in the first over after tea.Dighe chipped in with a defiant 28, but the failure of the top order batsmen compounded India's misery.Sri Lanka lasted just three deliveries when they resumed Thursday morning at 274-9, Vaas being bowled by Harvinder Singh at his overnight score of 42.Returning to the field soon after, Vaas rocked the tourists early by winning leg-before decisions against opener Shiv Das and vice-captain Rahul Dravid.Both Das and Dravid were unlucky to be given out by local umpire Tyronne Wijewardena standing in his first Test.Television replays showed Das getting an edge before the ball thudded into the pads. The ball to Dravid (15) hit him high on the front pad and may have gone over the stumps.Wijewardena also failed to detect a no ball by Fernando which claimed Mohammad Kaif's wicket later in the day.To add to India's woes, skipper Saurav Ganguly failed to get a big knock for the 13th successive innings when he was dismissed for 18. Ganguly hit two fluent boundaries before he lunged at a wide ball from Ruchira Perera and offered a catch to Hashan Tillekeratne in the gully region.Ramesh and Kaif put on 52 for the fourth wicket on either side of lunch, when Fernando removed both in the space of six balls to reduce India to 123-5. Kaif, who made 17, fended at a short ball and was caught low at gully by Marvan Atapattu. Ramesh hit a fluent 47 when he edged Fernando's outswinger to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, opening up the lower order to the Sri Lankan bowlers.Hemang Badani, who batted for 75 minutes to score 16, did his team's chances no good when he pulled Ruchira Perera tamely to a delighted Fernando at mid-on just before tea.Harbhajan's sparkling batting in the last session lit up an otherwise dreary day for the Indians, who face a tough battle over the next three days to square the series.