|Thursday, 4 December 2003|
Lanka 'A' lose second 'Test' by an innings
Murali Kartik's omission from the national team might hurt them in Australia, but it proved to be a blessing for the India A side, as he starred in a convincing victory in the second unofficial cricket Test against their Sri Lankan counterparts at Pune on Tuesday.
Trailing by 216, after India A had declared at their overnight total of 556-7, Sri Lanka A were bundled out for a mere 124 in their second innings, giving the Indians victory by an innings and 92 runs. Kartik ripped through the Sri Lankan middle order to finish with exceptional figures of 4 for 27 from 23 overs.
Kartik got into the act after Amit Bhandari had done the early damage, dismissing Prasanna Jayawardene and Jehan Mubarak cheaply.
Lanka de Silva (20) and Ian Daniel briefly threatened a revival with a 35-run stand, but Kartik broke through when he had de Silva bowled round his legs.
Daniel was then controversially given out caught at silly point off Kartik, after which the Indians never loosened their hold.
SS Das kept up the pressure with plenty of close-in fielders, and appeals for catches and lbws went up with monotonous regularity. It all proved too much for the Sri Lanka A batsmen, who crumbled in less than 56 overs. After Bhandari and Kartik had run through the top and middle order, Munaf Patel wrapped up the tail, as the Indians completed the win 20 minutes before tea on the final day.
Sri Lanka 'A' were without their captain Naveed Nawaz who was forced to return home to attend to an urgent family matter.
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