5 Dec 2009

Dhoni backs up Sehwag double with century of his own

12:24 pm on 5 December 2009

The Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a spectacular hundred after Virender Sehwag had fallen seven runs short of a third Test triple century on the third day of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni struck 100 not out in India's record 726 for nine declared in reply to Sri Lanka's 393 as they bid for a victory that would secure their spot at the top of the test rankings.

Sri Lanka were 11 for no wicket in their second innings at the close of play.

Sehwag, who resumed on 284, was caught and bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan for 293 before Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Vangipurappu Laxman (62) helped India record their highest test innings total.

Muralitharan, playing in his final overseas test, finished with 4-195 while his spin partner Rangana Herath took three for 240 in difficult conditions on a day when Sri Lanka were let down by poor catching.

Starting the day on 443-1 in reply to Sri Lanka's first-innings 393, India lost Sehwag in the fourth over, much to the disappointment of an expectant and packed Brabourne Stadium.

Left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegedara struck in his first over of the day when he had overnight batsman Rahul Dravid caught behind for 74 to briefly raise Sri Lankan hopes of a revival.