Sangakkara subdues India
Kumar Sangakkara's 107 not out helped Sri Lanka move ahead at the end of day two in the third and final Test against India.
Last Updated: 10/08/08 1:42pm
Third Test Match
Colombo - Day Two
India 249 (G Gambhir 72, B A W Mendis 5-56) v Sri Lanka 251-6 (K C Sangakkara 107 no)
Kumar Sangakkara's unbeaten century helped Sri Lanka claim the slenderest of leads in the third and final Test against India in Colombo.
The left-hander reached the close on 107 not out - his 17th Test ton - to help the hosts reach 251-6, giving them a two-run advantage in the series decider.
Chaminda Vaas provided the best supporting act, the nightwatchman making 47 before becoming the first of two victims for Harbhajan Singh in the space of four runs.
Although Thilan Samaraweera made 35 and Tillakaratne Dilshan contributed 23, India's bowlers worked hard to keep the scoring rate in check to leave the game beautifully balanced.
Normally a fluent free scorer, Sangakkara dug in to make sure his team did not surrender a first-innings advantage in reply to the tourists' total of 249.
He faced 226 balls and hit just 11 fours, dropping anchor to repel the threat of India's spin duo - Harbhajan and captain Anil Kumble.
However, it was seamer Zaheer Khan who claimed the first wicket of the day, trapping opener Michael Vandort leg before for 14, his highest score of the series so far.
Vaas proved a much more stubborn obstacle, riding his luck at times to share a third-wicket stand of 95 with Sangakkara that frustrated the visiting bowlers.
India had a chance to remove the lower order batsman but Sachin Tendulkar was unable to cling onto a tough chance at backward short leg. To make matters worse 'The Little Master' suffered an elbow injury in the process.
Tendulkar's departure from the field followed on from VVS Laxman turning his ankle prior to play starting.
And before the close, Ishant Sharma became the third player to be hurt, having fallen in his follow-through.
Eventually the breakthrough came when Harbhajan tempted Vaas to drive straight to Virender Sehwag at cover and in his following over he picked up the prized scalp of Mahela Jayawardene, for just two.
It could have been even better for India had umpire Billy Doctrove not turned down a close lbw appeal against Samaraweera when he had just five to his name.
He added a further 30 runs before Zaheer had him caught behind.
Dilshan was not so fortunate with a television replay, his innings coming to an end just when he unsuccessfully challenged an lbw decision won by Kumble.
Sangakkara had no such scares throughout the day and when bad light forced the players from the field, Sri Lanka were indebted to their number three for putting their noses in front.