Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Pandya smashes century as India make 487v Sri Lanka

Pandya smashes century as India make 487v Sri Lanka

A brief resistance from skipper Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella accounted for a 63- run stand for the fifth wicket, before Kuldeep fooled Dickwella to come down to the track to loopy delivery only to be stumped by Saha.

Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul shared a brilliant 150-run opening stand before Sri Lanka fought back as India reached 329-6 at stumps on the opening day of the third and the final Test at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday. But Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli or Ajinkya Rahane did not manage big scores like they are expected to.

Pandya, running out of partners in an extended first session on the second day of the ongoing third and final Test at Pallekele, fired on all cylinders as he bolstered India's first innings with crucial late runs, which in all probability will hurt Sri Lanka. Nothing to do with the second century or anything. The Delhi southpaw's innings was laced with 17 boundaries. Paceman Lahiru was very expensive in his six overs, leaking 41 runs while Vishwa Fernando (0/24) also could not keep the Indian batsmen in check.

India elected to bat first after Kohli called correctly at the toss as they eye a series clean sweep after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in Colombo last week.

Sandakan, Kumara, and Fernando replaced Herath, Pradeep, and Dhanjaya de Silva.

Lahiru Kumara could not hold on to a mishit from Rahul when he was on 28, spilling the chance off Dimuth Karunaratne.

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Their left-arm orthodox spinner (Malinda Pushpakumara) is also good and he took wickets today.

It meant Pandya, who began the day's play on 1, became the second Indian batsman in the series to score a century in a session, after Shikhar Dhawan on the first day of the first Test in Galle. India then lost two quick wickets, with Dhawan falling to Pushpakumara as well, hitting one to square leg, into the diving hands of Chandimal.

And that was probably why Rahul, who had batted beautifully until that point, when on 85 made a decision to take on Malinda Pushpakumara. Pujara departed too, looking shaky and unable to read the slower bowlers in the 33 balls he faced.

Dhawan was going great guns at the other end, finding the gaps at regular intervals.

Speaking after play on a day where his 119 was the top score Dhawan said: "I was saying jokingly that if you bat like a king, you should also get out like a king, you should not be dismissed like a soldier". India's only concern coming into the Test was Kohli's atrocious form in Test cricket, something that seems to have been exacerbated by his captaincy.

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