Mahela, Warnapura thwart India with centuries

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 17:31 [IST]
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Colombo: Mahela Jayawardene and Malinda Warnapura cracked centuries as Sri Lanka reached a healthy 305-3 in their first innings at tea on the second day of the opening Test against India here on Thursday.

Left-handed opener Warnapura scored 115 and skipper Jayawardene 105 not out to put their team on course for a big total. They defied India's attack for more than a session with responsible knocks, adding 155 for the third wicket.

Jayawardene hit one six and eight fours in his 23rd Test hundred and Warnapura smacked 14 boundaries in his second century in five matches to frustrate India on an easy-paced pitch.

The Sri Lankan captain also put on 93 for the unfinished fourth wicket with Thilan Samaraweera, who was unbeaten on 51 at the break.

India's seamers and spinners failed to really test Jayawardene and Warnapura, who were quick to capitalise on errors in line and length during their big knocks.

The visitors took just one wicket in two sessions after the hosts resumed at 85-2.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh struck in the afternoon when he had Warnapura caught by former captain Rahul Dravid in the slips, but not before the batsman had consolidated his team's position.

India had only themselves to blame in the morning as they failed to make the most of the lone chance that came their way, with wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik dropping Jayawardene on 55 off Anil Kumble.

Leg-spinner Kumble was again the unfortunate bowler when the wicket-keeper missed another catch to let off the Sri Lankan captain, this time on 93.

Jayawardene, 16 overnight, reached his hundred just before the tea-break when he turned Kumble to mid-on for a single.

Warnapura, nephew of Sri Lanka's first Test captain Bandula Warnapura, completed his hundred with an aggressive shot when he cut paceman Ishant Sharma for his 13th four.

The opener, 50 overnight, survived a leg-before appeal off Harbhajan when on 86 after India captain Kumble asked umpire Mark Benson of England to review the initial not-out decision under a new experimental rule.

Benson consulted TV umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and was proved right.

The rule, on trial in the current three-Test series, allows players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions.

A batsman or fielding captain can request a review of any decision by referring it to the third official monitoring television replays.

Each team is allowed three unsuccessful review requests per innings but if one is successful they will get an additional appeal.


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