Sri Lanka steady with Warnapura, Sangakkara

GALLE, August 1, 2008 (AFP) – Kumar Sangakkara and Malinda Warnapura hit impressive half-centuries to help Sri Lanka reach 126-1 in the first innings at tea in reply to India’s 329 in the second Test here on Friday. Warnapura was unbeaten on 60 and Sangakkara on 59 not out at the break to steady the innings after the third-ball dismissal of Michael Vandort on the second day.

The tourists were bowled out on the stroke of lunch after resuming at 214-4, with aggressive opener Virender Sehwag (201 not out) becoming only the second Indian after Sunil Gavaskar to carry his bat through the innings.

Sehwag also became the 10th Indian to complete 5,000 Test runs during his fifth score of 200 and more, including two triple-centuries.

The Indian batsmen, especially Sehwag, were involved in a fascinating duel with Sri Lanka’s unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis (6-117), who grabbed a maiden haul of five or more wickets in an innings in only his second Test.

The tourists struck in the opening over when left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan had Vandort (four) caught by Rahul Dravid at third slip before running into the left-handed pair of Sangakkara and Warnapura.

Warnapura, who scored a century in the opening Test,