Colombo, Aug 21: Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha shepherded the lower order batsmen with an unbeaten half century as India batted at a slow pace to reach to 386 for 8 at lunch on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka here today.
Shortly after the lunch-break, India were bowled out for 393.
Saha, unbeaten on 56 (114 balls; 6×4), batted sensibly without taking much risk to avoid a below-par total in the Indian first innings even as the pitch at the P Sara Oval eased out for batting.
Ishant Sharma (2 batting) was giving him company at the lunch break as India added 67 runs from 24.4 overs in the second morning of this Test. Resuming the day at 319/6, the visitors did not get off to a great start.
Saha was lucky not to be bowled off the seventh ball of the morning while on his previous day’s score of 19. Dhammika Prasad (2/84) was the unlucky bowler as the ball kissed the off-stump but did not dislodge the bail.
Six balls later, Sri Lanka did get their first wicket of the morning, with Ravichandra Ashwin (2) hitting Angelo Mathews (2/24) straight to short extra cover fielder.
Saha survived another close call in the 91st over, Prasad again being the unlucky bowler, as his loose shot did not quite carry enough to the keeper.
TV replays appeared to suggest that the umpire’s decision to give Saha a benefit of doubt to be correct.
Saha had not added a single run to his overnight score then.
He finally got going on the 14th ball he faced whilst Amit Mishra (24, 50 balls, 3×4) joined him at the other end.
Mishra too was lucky to survive, without opening his account off 10 deliveries, when in the 94th over, umpire Bruce Oxenford failed to detect a faint edge to the keeper with Mathews the one to miss out on a wicket this time.
With these ‘lives’ given, it was no surprise that the batsmen decided to settle down and curb their shots, and run scoring was slow as a result.