Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Ganguly, Dravid lead India to series-levelling victory
Published: Saturday, August 25, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Tenacious India hangs on gamely at lunch
India's tour of Sri Lanka
Kandy: Skipper Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, Indias most experienced batsmen, led from the front as India scored a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test on Saturday. India reached 264 for three with Ganguly remaining unbeaten on 98.Ganguly put his best foot forward when India needed it the most. Coming in at the fall of Sadagopan Rameshs wicket, Ganguly in the company of Mohammed Kaif guided India to a highly morale boosting and series-levelling victory.With the match finishing in four days, the Indians have ample time to think of their next course of action as they prepare for the final Test at Colombo from August 29.A 91-run third wicket partnership between Rahul Dravid (75) and Saurav Ganguly helped India inch closer to victory target of 264 runs. Dravid and Muthiah Muralitharan were engaged in an absorbing battle with the Lankan off spinner finally getting the better of the Indian batsman.Dravid, in fact, punished even the slightest error off Muralis bowling. Dravid had survived a close and confident leg before appeal. But, the stylish middle order batsman repeatedly punched the Lankan to the boundary. Dravid finally fell to Murali to a fine catch taken by Russel Arnold. India hung on tenaciously to reach 152 for two and make a match of it at lunch.Sadagopan Ramesh momentarily dropped his guard and paid the penalty for it. After nearly an hour of fruitless hope, Sanath Jayasuriya turned to his principal stock bowler Dilhara Fernando and the right arm medium pacer obliged immediately.Ramesh waved his bat without moving his feet at a ball pitched outside the off stump and moving further away. Sanath Jayasuriya took a good catch in the first slip and India lost its only wicket in the firs session of play.