Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Sri Lanka declares, takes massive 1st innings lead

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo: Thilan Samaraweeras century on debut helped Sri Lanka declare its first innings on for six and take a massive first innings lead of 376 runs at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground on Friday. Samaraweera remained unbeaten on 103 and Thilakaratne was 136 not out. The unbroken seventh wicket partnership yielded runs 194 runs.Samaraweera had a memorable outing with the bat to become the third Sri Lankan to score a century on debut. Though hampered in his movement, later in his innings, the Lankan youngster grabbed the opportunity with both the hands and was the fourth centurion of the Lankan innings. Hasan Tilakaratne also made the best use of the chances that came his way to become the third Sri Lankan batsman - after Atapattu and Jayawardene - to reach the century mark. It will now only need a miracle for India to save the Test let alone win a series abroad. The Sri Lankans did what the Indian batsmen failed to do build partnerships for every wicket. While the Indian wickets fell in a heap, the Sri Lankans consolidated after every fall of wicket.By lunch itself, the Indians had worn a jagged expression as the only success came in the form of Mahela Jayawardenes wicket. 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.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. It turned out to be another day of hard grind for the Indian fielders. 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.

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