(REUTERS) – Sri Lanka preserved their 1-0 lead in the three-match series against India when the second Test ended in a high-scoring draw yesterday. India amassed the highest total made by a visiting team when they were all out for 707 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings of 642-4 declared.
Sri Lanka were 129 for three in their second innings, a lead of 64 runs when the match was called off with 15 overs remaining.
India captured the wickets of Tillakaratne Dilshan for 14 and Tharanga Paranavitana for 34 after the openers had put on a stand of 50 and rounded off a good afternoon session when Virender Sehwag trapped Mahela Jayawardene for five.
Dilshan was caught at midwicket as he attempted a pull off Abhimanyu Mithun and miscued the shot and Paranavitana edged a catch to second slip off Harbhajan Singh.
However Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera deprived India of any further success despite the bowlers getting some belated turn.
India batted for a further 100 minutes on the fifth morning before Sri Lanka finally dismissed the last man after the tourists had amassed 707 runs, the highest total ever made by a visiting team.
Both captains criticised the placid pitch at the Singhalese Sports Club.
“On this kind of a wicket, 99.9 per cent of the time you will not get a result,” said India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“For me a sporting pitch doesn’t mean the one that seams around but it has to have bounce. In the sub-continent it is really difficult to make a wicket like that. The subcontinent is known for the turning track.
“Apart from the first day, the wicket starts turning and the spinners get help and the fast bowlers get a bit of reverse swing going. But this was a placid track, nothing in it for anyone.”
Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara, who won the man-of-the-match award for his double century said, “The crowds like to see an even contest between bat and ball. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case before this Test match.
“The wicket at the SSC has been always flat. There was some bite on the wicket in the last session but it was a foregone conclusion by then.”
India’s tenth-wicket pair proved just how docile the pitch was when they batted without discomfort, adding 39 runs off 164 balls before Dilhara Fernando finally ended their resistance when he had Ishant Sharma caught at gully by Sangakkara for 27.
Pragjyan Ojha was left unbeaten on 18 as India forged a 65-run lead over the hosts, who scored 642-4 declared in their first innings.
Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0 after their 10-wicket win at Galle last week. The third and final Test begins in Colombo on August 3.
SRI LANKA first innings 642-4 decl. (T. Paranavitana 100, K. Sangakkara 219, M. Jayawardene 174)
INDIA first innings (669-9 overnight)
M. Vijay lbw b Mendis 58
V. Sehwag stp. P. Jayawardene b Randiv 99
R. Dravid lbw b Randiv 3
S. Tendulkar c P. Jayawardene b Dilshan 203
V.V.S. Laxman lbw b Mendis 29
S. Raina c Sangakkara b Mendis 120
M.S. Dhoni c & b Dilshan 76
H. Singh c Sangakkara b Dilshan 0
A. Mithun b Mendis 41
I. Sharma c Sangakkara b Fernando 27
P. Ojha not out 18
Extras: (b-9, lb-7, nb-13, w-4) 33
Total: (all out, 225.2 overs) 707
Fall of wickets: 1-165, 2-169 3-173 4-241 5-497 6-592, 7-592 8-643 9-668.
Bowling: Prasad 22-2-101-0 (nb-5), Fernando 31.2-1-116-1 (nb-5, w-3), Mathews 9-1-24-0 (w-1), Randiv 73-16-222-2, Mendis 63-10-172-4 (nb-3), Dilshan 27-6-56-3.
SRI LANKA second innings
T. Paranavitana c Laxman b Singh 34
T. Dilshan c Sharma b Mithun 14
K. Sangakkara not out 42
M. Jayawardene lbw b Sehwag 5
T. Samaraweera not out 10
Extras: (b-8, lb-8, nb-8) 24
Total: (three wickets, 45 overs) 129
Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-73, 3-97.
Bowling: Mithun 6-1-17-1, Sharma 4-0-31-0 (nb-6), Sehwag 9-1-17-1 (nb-1), Singh 13-0-35-1, Ojha 13-6-13-0 (nb-1).