Sreesanth rocks Sri Lankan top order with three wickets (Lunch report)

Kanpur, Nov 26 ( Indian paceman Santhakumaran Sreesanth marked his international comeback with three wickets to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 138 for five at lunch on the third day of the second cricket Test at Green Park here Thursday.

Harbhajan Singh also chipped in with the wicket of Anjelo Mathews to make it a highly successful session for India.

The hosts got four wickets in the session and pushed Sri Lanka on the backfoot. The visitors, in reply to India’s first innings total of 642, trail by 504 runs and still need 305 runs to save the follow on.

Mahela Jayawerdene (26), surviving two dropped chances, and Prasanna Jayawerdene (2) were at the crease.

Sreesanth (3-15), whose surprise selection in the Test squad was criticised as he had little to show in domestic matches, justified his inclusion. In a lethal nine over spell, Sreesanth rocked the Sri Lanka top order, dismissing Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera.

In fact, Sreesanth bowled an impressive first spell Wednesday evening and carried on in the morning when Sri Lanka resumed at 66 for one.

Sreesanth struck in the sixth over when Paranavitana edged one behind and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a low catch.

He almost got another wicket with the next ball but new man Mahela Jayawerdene was lucky as the edge flew between Dhoni and first slip Sachin Tendulkar.

Sreesanth, who had troubled Sangakkara with his swinging deliveries, finally got his wicket when the left hander went for an expansive shot but drove the ball back to the stumps. Samaraweera, too, inside-edged one to the stumps, the Sri Lankan not giving himself enough time to adjust to the slow track.

Mahela got another life when Dravid dropped a sharp chance off Harbhajan at slip. The off spinner dismissed Anjelo Mathews, who missed the line and the ball clipped the top of the stumps.