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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

India lose openers on curtailed day

India 90 for 2 (Dravid 30*) v Sri Lanka
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Sri Lanka's first Test match in India in eight years finally got underway, after three-and-a-half damp, funereal days, but it was a largely pointless exercise with absolutely no chance of a result. Barring Virender Sehwag, who triggered a fiery start, India's batsmen spent most of their time negotiating the lack of bounce on the sluggish surface and ground their way to 90 for 2 at the end of the 32.3 overs that were possible today.

A familiar sight during the first three-and-a-half days were of groundstaff using a press-iron to remove the moisture on the pitch, but they probably ended up removing whatever bounce there was as well. Chaminda Vaas's very first ball hardly rose above knee height - it didn't take too long for Kumar Sangakkara to stand upto the stumps - and a number of deliveries brushed the toe of the bat, or squirted below the blade completely. Gautam Gambhir, who hadn't yet got off the mark, played the wrong line against a canny incutter from Vaas but he had no chance when the ball hardly rose above pad height and crashed into leg stump. Thankfully for the batsmen, not all the shooters were well directed and India lost just two wickets when bad light stopped play 5.3 overs before the scheduled close.

No pitch in the world, though, is likely to fluster Sehwag, and he began as if India were chasing 300 in a one-dayer. The first ball he faced - short and wide from Dilhara Fernando - was flayed to the square fence and the bowlers were made to pay for any errors in length. Sehwag carted Fernando's third over for 16, as two savage cuts were interspersed with a mighty pull, and suddenly the MA Chidambaram Stadium, draped in dampness for most of the last week, was the place to be. The celebrations, though, came to an abrupt end as Marvan Atapattu, at short cover, timed his jump and pulled off a fine reflex catch.

In Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, though, India had two of the best to handle the low bounce and they averted any further damage. Muttiah Muralitharan, coming on as early as the eighth over, posed some searching questions - turning it both ways and varying his flight beautifully - but both batsmen were content to bide their time and wait for the loose ones. Tendulkar will resume tomorrow with a record to target, Sourav Ganguly, picked ahead of Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, will have a few points to prove, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni might get a chance to blaze away on his Test debut. For the rest, though, it will be a good day's practice as they loosen their limbs and dust off the inertia. Some quick squatting skills, though, may be vital.

How they were out

Gautam Gambhir b Vaas 0 (13 for 1)
Played the wrong line and done in by the low bounce

Virender Sehwag c Atapattu b Vaas 36 (45 for 2)
Slashed in the air, brilliant reflex catch at short cover