Sri Lanka wins the first cricket test against India by an innings and 239 runs
Sat July 26, 2008 08:50 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) India slumped to its heaviest innings defeat in 34 years Saturday as Sri Lanka - 's Muttiah Muralitharan and his new spin partner Ajantha Mendis shared 19 wickets to claim a crushing win in the first test. The win was also Sri Lanka - 's third biggest ever innings win, with the other two coming against minnow Zimbabwe.
``There is a very good feeling with everybody and there were a contributions from a lot of people,'' Sri Lanka - captain Mahela Jayawardene said after the match.
India began Saturday at 158-6 in its first innings, facing a difficult task merely to avoid the follow-on, and its famed batting line-up could find no answer to Sri Lanka - 's spin pair, losing 14 wickets in just over two sessions.
``When you see that batting lineup you would expect them to give a fight. That's (India collapse) was a surprising factor,'' Jayawardene said.
Muralitharan (5-84 and 6-26) recorded the 21st 10-wicket haul of his career, and Sri Lanka - appears to have unearthed a short-term spin partner and longer-term potential replacement in Mendis (4-72 and 4-60) who impressed on debut.
``I only expected to do well on my debut but didn't expect to have so many wickets,'' Mendis told about his memorable entry into tests.
Sri Lanka - 's giant total included a national record-equaling four centuries in an innings, as Jayawardene (136), Malinda Warnapura (115), Thilan Samaraweera (127) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (125 not out) all prospered on a benign pitch.
By contrast, the shortcomings of India's high-profile batsmen were stark.
``We had a good opportunity in the beginning...nothing went right for us in the match,'' India captain Anil Kumble said.
``We just capitulated.
``It's just a matter of coming together and coming back. We have come back in the past.''
V.V.S Laxman (56) and No. 11 Ishant Sharma held out for 108 balls for the last wicket of the first innings, but that effort came in marked contrast to their teammates, and Sri Lanka - duly enforced the follow on.
Virender Sehwag (13) was first to go in the second innings after misreading and leaving a Muralitharan delivery that went straight on to hit his back leg. Field umpire Mark Benson ruled him not out, but host captain Mahela Jayawardene successfully challenged the decision under trial laws used for the first time in this test, and he was given out by the third umpire after a video review.
Laxman (21) was trapped lbw after lunch, soon followed by Sachin Tendulkar (12), who made little headway in his quest to overtake Brian Lara as test cricket's highest run scorer. He top-edged a sweep and was caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan running from leg slip.
Initially given not out, he was another batsman to suffer the consequences of the trial laws, as he was given out after a challenge.
The remaining seven wickets tumbled for a mere 56 runs.Discuss this story
Published: Sat Jul 26 10:53:45 EDT 2008