Sri Lanka make 128/1 at lunch


Colombo, July 26: Sri Lanka got off to an excellent start in the second cricket Test against India on Monday, racing to 128-1 by lunch on the opening day.

Openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 99 for the first wicket in 18 overs after Sri Lanka won the toss in good batting conditions at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Left-hander Paranavitana followed his century in the first Test in Galle with a fluent unbeaten 45. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara was the other batsman at the crease on 18.

Dilshan smashed 54 off 42 balls before he was caught at short extra-cover by Venkatsai Laxman off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to provide India the lone success in the morning session.

Dilshan hit Ishant Sharma for four consecutive boundaries and then took three in one over from the other seamer, Abhimanyu Mithun.

India, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, suffered twin blows when opener Gautam Gambhir and middle-order batsman Yuvraj were ruled out of the key match.

Gambhir failed to recover from a knee injury, while Yuvraj developed high fever overnight.

The duo were replaced by left-hand batsman Suresh Raina, making his Test debut after playing 98 one-day internationals, and opener Murali Vijay.

Sri Lanka changed the entire frontline bowling attack that won them the first Test by 10 wickets.

With Muttiah Muralitharan now retired and fast bowler Lasith Malinga injured, the hosts replaced them with spinner Ajantha Fernando and Dilhara Fernando.

Also out were left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and seamer Chanaka Welegedara. Their places went to debutant off-spinner Suraj Randiv and fast bowler Dammika Prasad.

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