Laxman Ton Helps India Level Series




VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman

India started the last day of the Third Test on a shaky note. And what ensued was a battle in which finally the scales tilted in India’s favor as their batsmen kept a lid on their display of nerves. And a sublime ton by Laxman aided by Tendulkar’s fifty saved India from the humiliation of a series loss as they leveled the series 1-1.

India had earlier ended their fourth day campaign with 53 runs on the board and night watchman Ishant Sharma on the crease with Tendulkar. Functioning as the team’s lead spinner Lankan Suraj Randiv kept the bite and turn intact in his bowling, even with the new ball and scalped Ishant Sharma in the fourth over of the day’s play.

Randiv even kept Tendulkar in a sticky situation as he kept on attacking the ‘little genius’ from round the wicket with two fielders at close catching positions. And as runs dried up for the master blaster Randiv lured him with the slower ones.

To counter Randiv’s attacking approach Tendulkar made more use of the paddle sweep, and could also count himself lucky to a couple of dropped chances from the close in fielders, specially one by Tilakratne Dilshan at  Short Leg. With able support from Laxman at the other end the Tendulkar – Laxman duo went on to forge a 109 run stand for the fifth wicket. Tendulkar later nicked one to the Keeper off a Randiv delivery, but only after he had scored a steady 122 ball 54, his 56th half century in a career spanning 169 Tests.

In the ongoing Three Test Series Laxman’s performance with the bat has been quite understated but in this crucial juncture for the team Laxman was in the best of his form. Laxman’s calm and assured demeanor was clearly visible as he created singles with ease even in tight field settings and by rotating the strike with his partners ensured that there wouldn’t be any drought of runs felt. Along with Suresh Raina who did the swashbuckling scoring with a 45 ball 41 Laxman ensured that there would be no further hiccups in India’s run chase.

Suraj Randiv kept his good show with the ball going as he scalped all the five Indian wickets to have fallen in their second innings of play. He ended with a gem of a spell of 5 for 82 only to end up in the losing contingent as India won the Test by 5 wickets.

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