India force a draw after Gambhir and Tendulkar tons
Gautam Gambhir made 114 and Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 100 as
India batted out the final day to draw the first cricket Test against
Sri Lanka here on Friday.
India easily wiped out a huge first innings deficit of 334 runs as
they scored 412-4 in their second knock before the high-scoring Test was
called off with six overs remaining on the fifth day.
Tendulkar, 36, set a new benchmark of 30,000 international runs at
the start of his third decade in the game to frustrate Sri Lanka’s bid
to win their first Test on Indian soil.
Tendulkar, who smashed his 43rd Test century, put on 66 for the
fourth wicket with Gambhir and 137 for the unbroken fifth with Venkatsai
Laxman, who made 51 not out.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers struggled to cope with the batsman-friendly pitch
on which 1,598 runs were scored at the cost of just 21 wickets over the
five days. World bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan failed to
take a wicket in 38 overs which cost 124 runs and left-arm spinner
Rangana Herath went for 2-97 in 40 overs.
Tendulkar, the world’s leading Test and one-day scorer, completed
30,000 runs on the world stage when he turned Chanaka Welegedara to
square-leg for a single to reach 35 after lunch.
He ended the match with a Test career tally of 12,877 runs, building
on the 17,188 one-day and 10 Twenty20 runs he has scored since making
his debut on November 15, 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi.
Gambhir’s seventh Test century was the third in successive matches
this year after making 137 in Napier and 167 in Wellington on India’s
tour of New Zealand in March-April.
The Delhi opener kept vigil for six hours and 37 minutes when he
attempted to loft Herath soon after lunch and holed out to mid-off.
Nightwatchman Amit Mishra, who came in at the fall of Rahul Dravid’s
wicket on Thursday evening, batted for 45 minutes in the morning session
before falling to a brilliant catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan. Dilshan,
who had floored a sharp chance off Mishra in the slips earlier in the
day, dived to his right at leg-gully to pick up a low catch as the
batsman flicked seamer Angelo Mathews.
Mishra made 24 in a 40-run stand for the third wicket with Gambhir.
Tendulkar, who was dismissed for four in the first innings as India
slipped to 32-4 within the first hour of the Test, appeared determined
to play a big knock when he hit four boundaries in his first 17 runs.
He punched Mathews through the covers, took two boundaries in the
same region in one over from Muttiah Muralitharan, before smashing
Mathews to the point fence.
India made 426 in the first innings and Sri Lanka replied with a
mammoth 760-7 declared, the highest total ever scored on Indian soil.
The second Test starts in Kanpur on Tuesday, followed by the third at
the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai from December 2. AHMEDABAD, India,
1ST INNINGS: 426
INDIA 2ND INNINGS
G. Gambhir c Prasad b Herath 114
V. Sehwag c Mathews b Herath 51
R. Dravid lbw b Welegedara 38
A. Mishra c Dilshan b Mathews 24
S. Tendulkar not out 100
V. Laxman not out 51
Extras: (b12, lb9, nb11, w2) 34
Total (for 4 wkts, 129 overs) 412
Did not bat: Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma.
Fall of wickets: 1-81 (Sehwag), 2-169 (Dravid), 3-209 (Mishra), 4-275 (Gambhir).
Bowling: Welegedara 21-1-76-1 (nb2, w2), Prasad 13-0-56-0 (nb3), Herath 40-6-97-2, Muralitharan 38-6-124-0 (nb6),
Mathews 15-6-29-1, Dilshan 1-0-2-0, Paranavitana 1-0-7-0.