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Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Sunday, 18 July 2010 12:51 UK

Sri Lanka batsmen dominate India in first Test in Galle

First Test, Galle (day one, close):
Sri Lanka 256-2
Match scorecard

Tharanga Paranavitana
Paranavitana celebrated his maiden Test century

Tharanga Paranavitana and skipper Kumar Sangakkara stole the limelight as Sri Lanka piled up 256-2 on day one of the first Test against India in Galle.

The pre-match focus had centred on spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who retires from Tests after this match.

But Paranavitana and Sangakkara put on 181 on their way to centuries.

Sangakkara completed his 22nd Test ton before falling for 103, but opener Paranavitana was there on 110 not out when rain ended play early.

Sangakkara was caught at midwicket off the bowling of Virender Sehwag, while debutant seamer Abhimanyu Mithun took the other wicket by dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan for 25.


Some 15,000 home fans gathered to pay homage to Muralitharan, who needs eight more scalps in his 133rd match to become the first bowler to reach 800 wickets in Tests.

Sri Lanka's sports minister Chandrasiri Ratnayake presented the 38-year-old with a silver plaque before the start of play, which was delayed because of a wet pitch following overnight rain.

But the crowd were forced to wait to see their hero in action after Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat.

Sri Lanka started well but lost Dilshan when he gloved a well-aimed bouncer behind to India skipper Mahendra Dhoni.

Paranavitana gave Gautam Gambhir a tough chance at silly point just before lunch, but he and Sangakkara were seldom troubled.

They reached their half-centuries off successive balls, before Sangakkara survived a scare as Dhoni spilled a straightforward chance when he was on 65.

The skipper made India pay as he reached his century from 136 balls, and Paranavitana followed suit by bringing up his maiden Test ton from 201 balls after tea.

Sangakkara then went as Sachin Tendulkar took the catch, but there was little time for India to test new batsman Jayawardene before bad light stopped play with Sri Lanka on course for a significant total in the first of three Test matches against the world's number one side.

India coach Gary Kirsten said the absence of leading pace bowler Zaheer Khan, who is injured, was the reason for his side's poor performance.

"As we know he plays a massive role," Kirsten said. "It just shows what experience does at Test match level. We obviously miss him."

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see also
Muralitharan targets 800 wickets
15 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Muralitharan to retire from Tests
06 Jul 10 |  Sri Lanka
Yuvraj named in India Test squad
26 Jun 10 |  India

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