Harbhajan, Kumble help India take lead

Published: Saturday, August 2, 2008, 14:00 [IST]
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Galle: Harbhajan Singh bagged six wickets to help India gain a 37-run lead on the third day of the evenly poised second Test against Sri Lanka here on Saturday.

The off-spinner finished with 6-102 as the hosts were all out for 292 in their first innings on the stroke of lunch in reply to India's 329. He was superbly supported by leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who took 3-81.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the lone batsman to defy the Indian attack, top-scoring with a responsible 86 on a spin-friendly track. The hosts lost their last five wickets for 77 runs after resuming at 215-5.

The hosts lead 1-0 in the three-match series following their win by an innings and 239 runs in the opening Test in Colombo.

India started the day with a double-spin attack, but had to wait for more than an hour to taste success as the Sri Lankan captain and wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene (24) batted cautiously.

Day-2 Report: Bhajji strikes after Viru double

Harbhajan, who took four wickets on Friday, completed his 22nd haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings when he had the wicket-keeper caught by Venkatsai Laxman at short-leg.

Kumble got his first wicket of the series when he removed Chaminda Vaas, who was caught off a leading edge at short cover by Harbhajan after contributing just one run.

Sri Lankan skipper Jayawardene, averaging 99.21 before this match at the Galle International Stadium here, continued to thwart the Indian attack on a pitch offering turn and bounce to the spinners.

He looked set to complete his 24th Test hundred before being caught behind off Kumble. He was the eighth man out after hitting 10 fours in his 188-ball knock.

Harbhajan ended the innings when he had Muttiah Muralitharan caught by former captain Sourav Ganguly at deep mid-wicket.

The teams observed a two-minute silence before the match in memory of former India batsman Ashok Mankad, who died in Mumbai on Friday.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3):

India Ist innings 329 all out Vs Lanka Ist innings 292 (Mahela Jayawardene 86, Sangakkara 68, Warnapura 66, Prasana Jayawardene 24; Harbhajan 6/102, Kumble 3/81).


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