Mendis blows away strong India batting
Yuvraj Singh marked his return to form with a sparkling century but a batting disaster left India on their knees at close on an eventful second day of their warm-up game against Sri Lanka Board President's XI on Wednesday.
Replying to the home team's mammoth first innings total of 514 for nine declared, the Indians were bundled out for 291 at the *** end of the day with mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis scalping six wickets at the Colts Cricket Club.
India were still trailing by 223 runs when stumps were drawn for the day and the home team has the option to enforce a follow-on when the third and final day begins tomorrow.
Mendis gave away just 67 runs in his 17.2 overs and denied India a chance to redeem their pride after having failed terribly while bowling.
Gambhir (89) missed out on his hundred but Yuvraj Singh scored a measured 118 as the duo shared a 143-run stand for the fifth wicket to save India from a precarious 80 for four.
But once the partnership was broken by Mendis, India just about managed to reach near the 300-run mark.
It was paceman Chanaka Welegedara who struck the early blows by accounting for dangerous Virender Sehwag (18) and dependable Rahul Dravid (11).
Mendis then began weaving his spin magic and his first victim became Sachin Tendulkar (4), who fell leg before.
Stylish Laxman arrived at the crease but his stay was cut short as Mendis had him caught by Prassana Jayawardene behind the wicket, leaving India tottering at 80 for four.
Gambhir, who had been holding one end brilliantly, found an able ally in Yuvraj and the two left-handers rescued India with their terrific partnership.
Mendis was at it again as he separated the pair by scalping Gambhir.
Young off-break bowler Sachithra Sananayake then struck two telling blows when he dismissed India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ended Yuvraj's entertaining innings.
The left-hander, who came back to team after being dropped for poor form, hit six sixes and 11 fours in his 154 ball knock.
Mendis then quicky wrapped up the innings by sending back Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha.
Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed their innings at 432 for five and added 82 runs to their total before declaring.
Overnight batsmen Dinesh Chanadimal, who was on five yesterday, remained unconquered on 47.
Pragyan Ojha added two more wickets to take his tally to for 153.
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