Cheteshwar Pujara started the morning with a swept boundary to reach his 16th Test half-century – one of his most memorable knocks. But one lapse in an otherwise determined knock proved fatal, as he was cleaned up for 52 by Lahiru Gamage. He allowed an indipper to sneak through the gap between his bat and pad as the ball crashed on the off-stump.
He was the sixth wicket to fall and judging by how other batsmen had fared so far, it seemed the Indian innings will be wrapped up soon but for the pair of Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja who stitched a 48-run partnership for the seventh wicket, taking the score past the 100-run mark.
While Saha looked fidgety on Day 2, the easing conditions allowed him some breather today as he drove and cut with ease. The pitch, without the overhead conditions, was not as venomous as it was before. The Lankan seamers – Suranga Lakmal and Ganage offered width and Jadeja pounced on them with two fours square of the wicket.
Dinesh Chandimal tried his luck with spin bowling, placing offspinner Dilruwan Perera from one end but he was thrashed for a four by Saha to third man and then a six over long-on by Jadeja.
Perera then had the last laugh as he removed the pair within the space of four deliveries – Jadeja pinged in front of middle stump for 22 while Saha top-edging one on 29.
Lakmal then had Bhuvneshwar out caught behind for 13 before the last pair of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, , frustrated the visitors further with some lusty hits. Shami enjoyed his time in the sun with three fours before being caught at deep midwicket for a 22-ball 24 meaning the Indian innings ended in the first session after the addition of 98 runs and five wickets on the third day. Lakmal finished with figures of 4/26 while Perera, Gamage and Dasun Shanka picked up two wickets each.
Brief Scores: India 172 (Cheteshwar Pujara 52, Wriddhiman Saha 29) vs Sri Lanka (Suranga Lakmal 4/26, Dilruwan Perera 2/19)
Source : timesofindia