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INDIA-SRI LANKA THIRD TEST-DAY 3

In my yesterdays’ post I had said that cricket is the game of uncertainty. Virendra Sehwag , the fastest player in Test Cricket today, missed his third triple century by 7 runs. One can make 293 but those 7 precious runs are sometimes very illusive. This is called unpredictability of cricket. Had he achieved it, he would have been the only batsman in Test history to establish the world record.

Although Virender Sehwag narrowly missed it, there was no respite for the Sri Lankans as the Indians rattled up their highest-ever total in Tests before declaring at 726 for nine at the end of the third day.

After Sehwag’s carnage on the second day, the runs came at a slower pace, but Dhoni 100* stole the thunder with some big hits to make his third Test century and put India firmly in the driver’s seat. He was ably supported by Ojha at the fag end of the Indian innings. Indians posted their highest ever Test total of 726 for nine declared, eclipsing the previous best of 705 for seven declared against Australia.

With two more days left in the Test, India still have their chances of pulling off a victory with the Brabourne track expected to deteriorate and assist the spinners, Harbhajan and Ojha.

All eyes were on Sehwag when play began this morning but the swashbuckling opener fell just seven runs short of his third triple century. Sehwag, who resumed batting at 284 played a flighted ball early off Murali and was caught and bowled by the off-spinner for 293, who juggled the ball twice, before holding on to it.

Sehwag was dejected after playing that injudicious shot, and it was a disappointment for the crowd at the Brabourne stadium, who were also dejected and the jam-packed stadium  went silent as they were expecting Sehwag to become the first batsman in the history of the game to score three triple centuries. Slowly, he took his long walk back to the dressing room.

Dhoni, playing a captains’ knock, cracked an unbeaten century as India tightened the noose around a hapless Sri Lanka by taking an imposing 333-run first innings lead and set the platform to push for victory in the third and final Test here on Friday. Other run getters for India were Rahul Dravid (74), VVS Laxman (62) and Sachin Tendulkar (53).

India needs desperately to win this match to get the number one position in the ICC Test rankings.

The Sri Lankans made 11 for no loss with the openers Dilshan (3) and Paranavitana (8) at stumps on the third day as they had to face only three overs which were sent down by Harbhajan and Pragyan Ojha.

 Dhoni should have used his pacers in the evening as the ball would have swung either way. It is still a long way yet for the Sri Lankans.

Do you agree?

 

 Ravi Matah