Galle: Sri Lankan openers chasing a meager target of 95 runs guided the hosts to a convincing win with all wickets intact in the final day of the first Test match at Galle to lead the series 1-0 as Murali bids farewell to International Test cricket.
T Dilshan lead the Islanders in charge as he hit a quickfire 68 off just 47 balls. First innings centurion Paranavitana at the other end was complementing him well as he struck 23 runs off 42 deliveries to accompany Dilshan, ensuring that the host gave no chance for the Indian bowlers to pick up a wicket.
Just a little while earlier, Muttiah Muralitharan had created history as he became the first bowler in Test cricket to pick up 800 wickets in his final show as Indians were all out for 338 in their second innings at Galle.
As play resumed after lunch Laxman and Sharma who had made the hosts wait added another 22 runs to the Indian total before Laxman(67)was run out. With just one wicket remaining for India, Murali had just one last chance to reach the milestone. He got the final wicket of Pragyan Ohja to reach the magical land mark of 800 wickets in his career, in his final Test match.
India had a 94 run lead and the hosts required 95 runs to win.
Before Lunch interval Laxman and Ishant Sharma had offered some resistance to give India 48 runs lead with two wickets remaining as play had been stopped for lunch.
The Indians had lost half their batting side coming into the final day. As play resumed today morning, Malinga who has been lethal with his pace, struck early to remove Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the fifth ball of day.
Then Muralitharan looking to reach 800 wicket, just two short of the magical landmark came one step closer as he picked up the wicket of Harbhajan Singh as the Indian batting really seemed to be struggling, with overnight batsmen Laxman running out of partners at the other end.
India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test - Scorecard
Debutant Mithun who had been impressive with the ball played a good hand with the bat as he offered some resistance along with Laxman and the duo put on a partnership of 49 runs before Mithun(25) was dismissed off the bowling of Malinga who picked up five wickets in the innings.
The hosts at that moment of play really looked like they will walk past the Indian tail but Sharma had offered stiff resistance, as Laxman quietly reached his half century. The duo had managed to put together 46 runs unbeaten partnership.