Thatscricket - News - Harbhajan shows the way with some lusty hitting

Published: Monday, August 6, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Kandy: At the end of the first innings of both teams, inside of two days, the second Test is wide open. Harbhajan Singh did India proud with the bat with his big hitting abilities. India, replying to Sri Lankas 274, was all out for 232 thanks largely to Harbhajans effort.Harbhajan Singh had been tried as a pinch hitter in One-day games. The lad from Punjab, however, put to shade his illustrious batting colleagues with some clean hitting to save Indias blushes on the second day of the second Test. Harbhajan scored 44 off 32 balls before he was bowled by Chaminda Vaas.Treating both the Sri Lankan pacers and fellow off spinner Muralitharan with disdain, Harbhajan rained boundaries during his stay at the crease. Harbhajan and Sameer Dighe added 52 runs off 52 ball in 35 minutes to take India past the 200 mark.With Indian batting woes continuing against some sustained bowling from the Sir Lankans, 200 runs looked a distinct possibility with India going to tea at 161 for six. Harbhajan and Dighe added 64 runs for the seventh wicket the most fruitful partnership for India. Chaminda Vaas bowled a superb over in which he had Dighe plumb in front and Zaheer Khan tied up in knots.Dilhara Fernando broke the middle order with two wickets soon after lunch. Sadagopan Ramesh and Mohammed Kaif, who had added 52 runs for the fourth wicket, were both out in successive overs as Fernando bowled with fire.Kaif was undone by a snorter that rose into his face. The ball ballooned on the off side of a limp defensive stroke for Marvan Atapattu to complete the catch. Ramesh paid the penalty for poor feet movement to be caught by Sangakkara behind the stumps to reduce India to 123 for five. Hemang Badani added to the pathetic show by the Indian batsmen by going for a rash pull stroke of Ruchira Perera. He only succeeded in safely holing out to Fernando at mid on.India was left struggling on for 90 three at lunch. Two strikes by Chaminda Vaas had India groping in familiar territory within the first hour of its batting. The Indians were reduced to 36 for two for well, well, well two lbw decisions.While Navjot Singh Sidhu was convinced that Das had got an inside edge on to his pads, umpire Tyronne Wijewardane had absolutely no hesitation. The ball also appeared to be a shade outside the leg stump. Vaas also got the crucial wicket of Dravid, who appeared to be more confident than Ramesh.Wijewardane, however, took his time in giving Dravid out. Though TV replays showed that Dravid may have been plumb, doubts persist on the height of the ball. Dravid standing on his toes was struck well above the knee roll. But, the umpires finger went up and Dravid had to go. Skipper Saurav Ganguly continued to court disaster with his continued poor form. After showing promise with a couple of his patent off drives, Ganguly fell into the trap. Ganguly (18) drove away from his body at Ruchira Perera and Hasan Tillekaratne made

Indias woes continue, 161 for 6 at tea
India's tour of Sri Lanka

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