If India went into lunch at 535 for four and 639 for seven at tea on the second day of the second Test at Green Park in Kanpur, it was because of a magnificent century by Rahul Dravid and a good support staff of batsmen.
The ninety-four run third wicket partnership between Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar was broken before lunch with the unfortunate run out of Dravid but not before he scored another magnificent century.
Dravid showed his “wall” side in Ahmedabad in the first Test and showed his assertive self here in Kanpur as he made 144, a resounding follow up to the centuries by the two openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, yesterday. What it also did was extend the runs on board for India from 417 overnight towards the 700 mark that Gambhir stated was what team India was looking at.
Tendulkar departed for forty runs but V.V.S. Laxman and Yuvraj Singh continued on the partnership they began before lunch, registering 102 runs as Laxman’s enigmatic innings ended on sixty-three runs to give Rangana Herath his first wicket of the innings.
Yuvraj Singh followed on sixty-seven runs, and suddenly India fell through in a heap. From 613 for five to 642 all out before and after tea, Herath ran through the bottom order, taking five wickets for 121, while Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis picked up two wickets apiece.
India fell short of the 700 mark but they would also be worried at how quickly the innings packed up once the gates were opened to a couple of wickets.
It still leaves Sri Lanka with an enormous total to follow up and it will be interesting how they approach the remaining part of the innings of the post tea session.
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Sangakkara Magnanimous For Tendulkar