Sreesanth takes five wickets, Sri Lanka staring at follow on (Tea report)

Kanpur, Nov 26 ( Indian speedster Santhakumaran Sreesanth made a sensational return to international cricket with a five wicket burst, leaving Sri Lanka at the brink of following on in the second cricket Test at Green Park here Thursday.

At tea, Sri Lanka were tottering at 219 for eight, needing 224 runs to avoid following on. Muttiah Muralitharan (6) and Chanaka Welegedara (3) were at the crease.

After rocking the Sri Lankan top order with three wickets in the morning session, Sreesanth added two more to his tally in the second session.

Sreesanth (5-75) dismissed Prasanna Jayawardene (39) caught behind and then rattled the stumps of Rangana Herath (11) with a peach of a delivery.

Debutant left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who bowled a steady line, picked up the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene (47) caught by Sachin Tendulkar at mid on.

Sreesanth, whose surprise call-up to the Test squad was criticised as he had little to show in domestic matches, justified the decision of the selectors.

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

In a lethal nine over spell in the morning, Sreesanth dismissed Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera.

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 Angelo Mathews, who missed the line and the ball clipped the top of the stumps.