Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Muralis quick wickets put break on India
Published: Monday, August 6, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
India off to steady start, 91 for no loss
India's tour of Sri Lanka
Colombo: Ace off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan and South African umpire David Orchard pulled India out of any possible complacency in a dramatic turn around in the post lunch session of the first day of the final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground on Wednesday. India had reached 155 for four from the comfort of 91 for no loss at lunch.Chaminda Vaas reached the milestone of 150 Test wickets when he had Mohammed Kaif caught behind by wicket-keeper Kumara Sangakkara. The last recognised batting pair of Rahul Dravid (21) and Hemang Badani (6) was at the crease.The Sri Lankan wily fox outwitted Shiv Sundar Das with a deceptive line and turn as India lost its first wicket soon after lunch for 97. Das, who showed that he was ready to use his feet, danced down the wicket without judging the line. Das completely missed the ball as he went through his stroke to be bowled.Ramesh once again fell playing away from his body. Ramesh tried to drive Muralitharan from the crease and succeeded in edging straight to Mahela Jayawardene. India was reduced to 115 for two. Skipper Saurav Ganguly joined Rahul Dravid at the crease.But, Ganguly seems to be destined to be the victim of shocking decisions from the umpires. Ganguly strode down the wicket two paces and took Murali on the pads. The Sri Lankans went up in a chorus of appeal. Umpire David Orchard quickly raised his finger much to the consternation of the Indian skipper.It is horrendous, shocking, shrieked TV commentator and former India opener Navjot Sidhu. But, the damage had been done and India was reduced to 119 for three. Repeated TV replays showed that Ganguly was struck low on his pads, but well outside the off stump.Earlier, the Indian openers justified Gangulys decision of batting first. Riding on the sedate and steady efforts of the openers India reached a healthy 91 for no loss at lunch. Das reached his sixth half century and played some fine shots during his stay at the wicket. Showing very positive signs, the Indian openers did not get unduly bogged down and played the bowling on its merit.