Sangakkara, Paranavitana deflate Indians

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana slammed centuries to take their score to 312/2 on Day 1 of the second Test against India.

Updated: July 26, 2010 11:49 IST
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Captain Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana struck their second successive centuries as Sri Lanka took firm control of the second Test against India by laying the foundation for a massive first innings total here on Monday.

Sangakkara (130 not out) notched up his 23rd Test century while Paranavitana (100) scored his second ton as the Lankan batsmen piled up the agony on a listless India by reaching a commanding 312 for two at close on the opening day.

The Indians, who desperately need to win the match to level the three-match series and retain their number one position, put up a rather pathetic bowling display to allow the hosts to get off to a flying start.

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Mahela Jayawardene (13) was giving Sangakkara company at stumps as the hosts dominated on a very good batting track at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.

Electing to bat, the two Lankan openers Tillakaratne Dilshan (54) and Paranavitana provided a rollicking start to the innings, capitalising on some wayward and insipid bowling by the Indians.

The depleted Indian bowling attack, badly missing the services of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, just did not ball in the right areas to pose much problems for the hosts who scored at a brisk pace right through the day.

If the inexperienced pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Abhimanyu Mithun failed to make much of an impact, the two spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha also lacked penetration to compound the problems for the visitors.

The Indians were pushed on the backfoot almost immediately after play began on Monday morning with Dilshan and Paranavitana unleashing a flurry of strokes.

The opening pair put on a brisk 99 runs for the first wicket before Ojha provided the breakthrough by evicting the hard-hitting Dilshan with VVS Laxman latching on to a brilliant catch at short extra cover.

Dilshan struck ten boundaries during his 42-ball knock which allowed the home team to take the initiative from the word go.

Paranavitana and Sangakkara then served a painful reminder of the opening day's play at Galle as they tormented the Indians with a fine exhibition of batting.

The duo were in no discomfort at all as they scored at a quick pace, forcing Dhoni to opt for a completely defensive field.

Both Paranavitana and Sangakkara completed their centuries in the same over off Virender Sehwag, getting a standing ovation from the sparse home crowd.

The pair stitched 174 runs for the second wicket before Paranavitana fell to Ishant Sharma immediately after completing his century much to the relief of the Indians.

Earlier, continuing from where he left in the second innings at Galle, Dilshan scored at will hammering several boundaries on a batting-friendly track.

The right-hander was particularly severe on Ishant Sharma whom he hit with impunity.

Though accelerating in pace, Sharma hardly troubled Dilshan and the Lankan leaned forward to a 138 kmph delivery from the lanky bowler, thumping it between the mid-off and extra cover.

The very next delivery was dispatched to the mid-wicket, another short in length bowl in the same over was punched to the extra cover.

On the Monday morning, Paranavitana was fortunate when an edge off Mithun fell short of the Indian captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Paranavitana then clobbered Pragyan Ojha for two consecutive boundaries after the drinks break.

Sangakkara got his half-century after he whipped Ishant Sharma through the midwicket boundary.

Paranavitana then completed his fifty when he pressed back to punch a Sehwag turner to the sweeper cover. The two left handers put the hosts on course for a huge first innings lead.

The wicket, despite offering slight turn to the spinners, never seemed to trouble the two batsmen much.

Sri Lanka raced to 200 in a mere 285 balls and Paranavitana and Sangakkara also got to their 100 runs partnership in 174 balls and 108 minutes.

Earlier, Gautam Gambhir was ruled out due to a niggle in his knee while Yuvraj Singh made way to Suresh Raina owing to fever.

There was overhaul of the Sri Lankan bowling attack with Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, Suraj Randiv and Dhamika Prasad making it to the final eleven.

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