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Published: Monday, July 23, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Marvan hits ton, Mahela nears one
India's tour of Sri Lanka
Colombo: The jagged expressions on the faces of the Indian players said it all. At lunch on the third day of the third Test, the Sri Lankans had more or less snatched away a series victory. The Sri Lankans went into lunch at a commanding 430 for six at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.[an error occurred while processing this directive]It turned out to be another day of hard grind for the Indian fielders. Mahela Jayawardene duly completed his century and continued to torment the Indians further. With Hasan Thilakaratne chipping usefully from the other end, the Indians were forced to seek divine intervention for a break through and it came through umpire David Orchards.Jayawardene continued to thrive on the insipid Indian bowling to build a useful partnership for the sixth wicket. Confidence personified, Jayawardene handled both the Indian spinners and medium pacers with aplomb. He played some superb drives off the front foot. When Jayawardene left for an individual score of 139, The Sri Lankans had taken a near 200-run lead at 416. Jayawardene was struck on the pads full stretch forward, but umpire Orchards had no hesitation in upholding the lbw appeal. Thilakaratne continued undaunted to reach his half century. The Indians at this point of time require a miracle to get back into the match. A miracle that they divined against the Australians back home in India. But playing away from home, the Indians have to really apply themselves to salvage at least some pride.It appears that the dream of an overseas victory, achieved at this venue eight years ago, is turning out to be a mirage for India and Ganguly.