England batsmen taste Murali tweakers
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England batsmen taste Murali tweakers

Muttiah Muralitharan gave England a glimpse of his sharp tweakers Wednesday to breaching its top order on the second day of their opening Test.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2003 18:52 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

Sri Lanka's prolific off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan gave England a glimpse of his sharp tweakers Wednesday to breaching its top order on the second day of their opening Test. Muralitharan reduced England to 97 for two in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 371.

Brought on after the pace bowlers failed to make an impression, Muralitharan (2 for 15) dismissed the opening pair of Marcus Trescothick (23) and skipper Michael Vaughan (24) in the space of 11 runs.

Sri Lanka has won six of the eight Tests played in this southern coastal town - including the last five - and has been beaten only once.

Kumar Sangakkara emerged as Sri Lanka's top scorer with a 210-minute knock of 71, but it was Muralitharan's cameo 38 that took Sri Lanka past the 300-run mark.

Left-handed Trescothick survived a glance against pacer Chaminda Vaas when wicketkeeper Sangakkara did not dive for the catch, but he was unlucky to be ruled caught behind off Muralitharan later when the ball appeared to miss his defensive bat.

Australian umpire Daryl Harper responded positively to Sangakkara's appeal, but television replays showed he did not snick the ball.
Vaughan was bowled through his legs by a sharp turner that dislodged his off stump.

Muralitharan came close do dismissing Mark Butcher (15 not out), but Sangakkara failed to snap a gloved catch in the closing stages. Keeping Butcher company at the draw of stumps was Graham Thorpe on 20.

Earlier, last batsman Muralitharan dominated a 10th-wicket stand of 40 with Vaas (22 not out), who added 40 for the eighth wicket with Dharmasena (27), as Sri Lanka's tailenders batted through an entire session.

The tailenders frustrated England after pace bowler Andrew Flintoff's two wickets from three deliveries ripped through the middle order.

Muralitharan hit left-arm spinner Ashley Giles (four for 69) for a six over long-on and struck four boundaries from 37 deliveries, while Vaas' patient knock contained three fours.

After having Muralitharan caught behind by Chris Read, Giles finished as the top wicket-taker for England, while Flintoff's double strike gave him three for 42.

Flintoff forced an edge from overnight batsman Thilan Samaraweera (45) to wicketkeeper Read before trapping Upul Chandana (21) lbw. Sangakkara stretched his fifth-wicket partnership with overnight partner Samaraweera to 70 before falling to fast bowler Richard Johnson, who made the breakthrough with his first delivery of the day.

Johnson trapped Sangakkara leg before with an inswinger six balls after Vaughan took the new ball.

Lifting Giles for an early six over long-on, Sangakkara went on to complete his 13th half-century in 31 Tests, but Johnson stopped him from adding to his four hundreds.

First Published: Dec 03, 2003 14:27 IST