Sri Lanka tighten grip against Eng | india | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka tighten grip against Eng

Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the second Test against England, dismissing the tourists for 294 then extending their overall lead to 127.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2003 19:46 IST

Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the second Test against England on Friday, dismissing the tourists for 294 then extending their overall lead to 127.

Sri Lanka were 39 for one in their second innings when bad light stopped play on the third day.

Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan shared eight wickets as England, who started the day on 163 for four in reply to Sri Lanka's 382, conceded an 88-run first innings deficit.

England's plight would have been worse as they slumped to 205 for seven before battling innings by Graham Thorpe (57) and Gareth Batty (38) frustrated Sri Lanka.

Left-arm paceman Vaas started an England collapse in the morning as three wickets fell for 28 runs, before mopping up England's tail with the new ball to finish with four for 77 from 24.2 overs.

Muralitharan took two more wickets to finish with four for 60 from 40 overs.

Thorpe provided the main resistance for the tourists, playing Muralitharan skilfully and working the ball into the gaps with characteristic industry, to top score with a four-hour innings lasting 198 balls.

The left-hander was well supported by Batty, with whom he added 51 runs in 174 balls for the eighth wicket, halting England's early morning slide.

When Thorpe was pinned in front of his stumps by Muralitharan's leg break, Batty continued the tourists' rearguard resistance with a 23-run partnership with Ashley Giles (16).

Sri Lanka finally took the new ball in the 111th over of the innings with instant success. Vaas found the edge of Giles's bat in his first over and Batty then skied a pull as he tried to score some quick runs.

Batty had batted for nearly three hours and faced 159 balls, hitting four fours.

England lost their first wicket of the fourth over when Paul Collingwood (28) edged an off-cutter to end a 58-run stand for the fifth wicket with Thorpe.

Flintoff, dropped on four by Dinusha Fernando, smote two fours and one enormous six before edging an attempted lofted drive against Muralitharan on to his stumps via his pad.

Chris Read was lbw for a duck soon after to leave England tottering on 207 for seven before the last three wickets scratched 87 useful runs.