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The Magic of Murali     
England fought  back late on a sizzling day in Galle after Muttiah Muralitharan had undermined their first innings of the opening test in Sri Lanka taking seven wickets for forty six runs.                                                  

Michael Vaughan's men  claimed five of the opponents wickets to restrict their advantage to 195 runs when bad light, once again, stopped play.

England's spinners, Gareth Batty and Ashley Giles, responded to Murali's seven for 46 by taking two wickets of their own to restrict Sri Lanka to 99 for five.

"I thought we would close the game out by putting more runs on the board - now the pressure is on us a little bit", said Murali, "This match will definitely be a result. But the pressure is on because we have to do it again. I am very pleased but in the end a little bit disappointed too, because we ended up five down for 100. We should have only lost two or three wickets today".

Mark Butcher who had a stand of 75 with Graham Thorpe, said "It was very tough, one of the hardest days of Test cricket I can recall and the extra-long sessions made it even more difficult.  We didn't make quite as many as we would have hoped but, as things stand, we are still in the game."   

Test Match Itinerary

1st Test - 2-6 December, Galle
2nd Test - 10-14 December, Kandy
3rd Test - 18-22 December, Colombo

Written by Martin Hardy on behalf of ISM

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