India spin to emphatic series win
India 398 and 316 for 9 dec beat Sri Lanka 206 and
249 (Kumble 5-89) by 259 runs
Virender Sehwag decided to ask his spinners to open the bowling on the fifth morning of the Ahmedabad Test, and it paid off. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were the dominant figures of this Test match, scheming and plotting, spinning and bouncing, wicket-taking furiously. And they didn't take long to finish it off, allowing Sri Lanka to add only 14 runs to their overnight score before they were all out for 249, losing this Test by 259 runs.
Kumble struck in the second over of the day when Farveez Maharoof stretched out on the front foot and played for turn that wasn't there, as the ball hurried on through and rapped him on the pads (235 for 7). Jehan Mubarak fell in the next over, edging a ball from Harbhajan that pitched outside leg stump and spun across him (235 for 8).
Malinga Bandara showed some spirit, executing what can best be described as a two-hand forehand down the ground for four off a short ball from Harbhajan, but it was the last flicker of a dying flame. Muttiah Muralitharan missed a slog sweep and was bowled by Harbhajan for 3 (245 for 9). And shortly afterwards, Bandara edged a ball from Kumble to gully, where Sehwag took an excellent diving catch. Kumble, in the second innings of his 100th Test, had 5 for 89.
The summary of the match: Sri Lanka played hard, intense cricket, but were outplayed by a team that beat them on talent and matched them in intensity. Despite India's margin of victory, it had been a well-contested Test, and a fine advertisement for the game.
Farveez Maharoof lbw Kumble 2 (235 for 7)
Playing for the turn on the front foot, ball went straight on
Jehan Mubarak c Laxman b Harbhajan 18 (235 for 8)
Edged one that pitched outside leg and spun across him
Muttiah Muralitharan b Harbhajan 3 (245 for 9)
Tried to slog sweep, missed
Malinga Bandara c Sehwag by Kumble 11 (249)
Edged to gully