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India vs Srilanka, Sewhag puts India in driver's seat against SL

Virender Sehwag's whirlwind unbeaten 284 powered India to a record 443 for one in the first innings, in reply to Sri Lanka's 393, at the end of second day's play in the third and the final cricket Test at the Brabourne Stadium here Thursday.

At stumps, giving Sehwag company was Rahul Dravid, who was batting on 87, as India scored record number of runs on a day and that too in less than three sessions and also took a 50-run lead. It was also the second time that India scored 400 or more in a day's play, surpassing the 417 for two on the first day of the second Test in Kanpur.

It was a class act by the Indian batsmen, especially Sehwag who completely dominated the day and scored at more than five-and-a-half runs per over after bowlers packed up the Sri Lankan tail within 30 minutes early in the day at the historic Brabourne.

Sri lankan bowlers had a torrid time and Sehwag didn't allow any of the them to settle down. He played a flawless innings and was severe on the spinners as Muttiah Muralitharan's woeful form in the series continued. The only opportunity Sehwag gave the Sri Lankans was when he was on 273 but Mahela Jayawardene failed to grab it at first slip.

Both the openers, Sehwag and Murali Vijay (87), set the tone of the innings by giving a promising start with their 221-run first wicket stand. The duo quickly raced on to score 93 by the lunch break and accelerated the scoring in the second session by adding another 138 runs. With Dravid, Sewhag added another 222 runs for the unbroken second-wicket stand to make matters worse for Sri Lankan.

Sehwag, who scored a breezy 167 in Kanpur, started cautiously but then went on a rampage hitting 40 fours and seven sixes in the second fastest double century. He simply toyed with the Sri Lankan attack and none escaped the fury of his blade.

Vijay, playing his second Test match, was the perfect foil for Sewhag and rotated the strike, but never lost out on opportunites to punish the loose deliveries.

Sehwag also got to his 6,000 Test runs and that too in style by hitting left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for a big six over the bowler's head. He also became the third fastest Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar to score 6,000 runs in Test cricket. Gavaskar achieved the mark in 117 innings, Tendulkar in 120 and Sehwag has taken 123 innings.

Vijay got his maiden half-century by hitting Muttiah Muralitharan for a huge six over long on. He was set for his maiden Test hundred when trapped leg before by Herath. Vijay hit ten fours and a six during his 121-ball innings.

Earlier, Sri Lanka could add just 27 runs to their overnight score of 366 for eight. Angelo Matthews was unfortunate to get run out one short of his maiden Test century and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha trapped Chanaka Welegedara leg before wicket to wrap up the Dri Lankan innings.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh picked up four for 112 while Ojha bagged three for 107.

India lead the series 1-0 and a win here will propel them to the top spot in Test rankings. The historic Brabourne Stadium is hosting the first Test match in 36 years.
( Source: Manoramaonline )