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Hussain, Thorpe record stand in Sri Lanka


KANDY, Sri Lanka, March 8 (AFP) - Skipper Nasser Hussain and lefthander Graham Thorpe put on an unbeaten 151 Thursday to put England on a firm footing in the second cricket Test at Kandy.

Hussain was unbeaten on 73 and Thorpe on 56 as England went to tea on the second day at 188 for the loss of two wickets in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings 297.

The England pair batted throughout the afternoon session as Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene and Russel Arnold had done on the first day.

They passed the previous highest stand of 139 for any wicket by an England pair against Sri Lanka made by Graham Gooch and Alec Stewart at Lord's in 1991.

Hussain and Thorpe batted confidently against the Sri Lankan spin attack spearheaded by Muttiah Muralitharan, who for once was wicketless after bowling 25 overs.

Hussain, the more dominant of the two on the day, used his nimble footwork to smash two of his three sixes off Muralitharan.

He was however lucky to be still be at the crease after surviving two bat-pad chances at 53 and 62 off the wily spin-king to Mahela Jayawardene at silly point.

Both appeals were turned down by Sri Lankan umpire Bulathsinghalage Cooray much to the disappointment of the fielding side. TV replays seemed to suggest the hosts had reason to feel aggrieved.

Hussain completed his half-century by hoisting Muralitharan over mid wicket for six in 152 minutes off 133 balls. Thorpe followed soon after in 116 minutes off 87 balls.

At tea, Hussain had batted for 220 minutes and hit six fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 73. His lefthanded partner had six boundaries in his 56 from 176 minutes at the crease.

England trail Sri Lanka by 109 runs with eight wickets standing.







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