Dubious Vaughan dismissal halts England's charge

Published: Sunday, December 2, 2007, 13:47 [IST]
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Kandy: England captain Michael Vaughan was given out in controversial fashion Sunday to spark Sri Lanka's fightback in the first cricket Test here.

England, who bowled Sri Lanka out for a modest 188 on the first day, carried their overnight score of 49-1 to 145-3 by lunch on the overcast second day.

Kevin Pietersen was unbeaten on 18 at the break and Paul Collingwood was on one with England 44 runs away from taking the first innings lead.

Vaughan, looking solid on 37, was given out caught at silly-point off Muttiah Muralitharan by Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar even as television replays showed the ball may have bounced off the pad to the fielder.

A shocked Vaughan stood aghast at his crease as Dar raised his finger, before trudging back slowly to the pavilion amid loud jeers from some 3,000 England supporters at the Asgiriya stadium.

Off-spinner Muralitharan later picked up Ian Bell for 83 to move to 706 Test wickets, and needs just three more to surpass retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne's world record tally of 708.

Vaughan's unfortunate dismissal ended a 107-run partnership for the second wicket with Bell after opener Alastair Cook had been removed third ball in Saturday's final session.

There was, however, no doubt about Bell's wicket as Chamara Silva lunged to his left at short mid-on to catch an uppish flick by the batsman.

Muralitharan restricted England's batsmen, conceding just 18 runs in 14 overs for his double success.

Till the quick wickets fell, England had scored at a brisk pace on a wicket of uneven bounce, making 48 runs in 15 overs in the first hour.

Bell opened proceedings by driving the first ball of the day from seamer Dilhara Fernando for four and later flicked the same bowler for another boundary to bring up his 15th Test half-century.

Muralitharan, who came on in the day's eighth over, was welcomed by a lofted boundary by Bell to wide mid-on.

Vaughan brought up the century stand -- and the 100 of the innings -- with a majestic pull off Chaminda Vaas that raced to the square-leg fence.

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