The visitors trail by just seven runs in their first innings as bad light stopped play early on the third day of the match. Sadeera Samarawickrama and Dimuth Karunaratne gave the visitors the perfect start in the match as they came out all guns blazing and started to hit boundaries from the word go. Samarawickrama hit Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the the first ball of the innings for a four, while Karunaratne slammed a four off Mohammed Shami's first ball of the innings.
The duo put on 29 runs for the first wicket before Bhuvneshwar got into the act and removed Karunaratne for 8. Bhuvneshwar came from around the wicket and the ball hit the front pad of the southpaw, who didn't offer a shot. He was given out by the on-field umpire but Karunaratne challenged it. However, the third umpire also ruled in favour of India, after reviewing the replays.
Then in his next over, Bhuvneshwar scalped the other opener Samarawickrama for 23. The right-arm pacer produced an edge off the bat of Samarawickrama and wicket-keeper Saha completed an easy catch to provide India with the second breakthrough of the innings.
But from there on, Lahiru Thirimmane and Angelo Mathews took the attack to the Indian bowlers and they started to dominate proceedings. India had a chance to break this partnership but Shikhar Dhawan dropped Thirimanne when he was batting on 27 off the bowling of Umesh Yadav.
The Indian bowlers were unlucky as well in the second session as few edges off the bat flew through the vacant slip region. At tea, Sri Lanka reached 113/2, with both Thirimmane and Mathews in full control of the innings.
Post tea, Thirimanne was the first to reach his fifty and this was his fifth half-century in the longest format of the game. After completing his fifty, Umesh got the better of the Thirimanne, who was dismissed for 51 as skipper Virat Kohli took a brilliant diving catch at second slip.
Mathews then hit a boundary to cross the fifty-run mark but his innings was also cut short by Umesh, as the right-hander hit the half-volley straight into the hands of KL Rahul, who was fielding in the covers.
Following the dismissal of the two set batsmen, skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella took to the crease and took the visitors' score close to the Indian total. The duo put on a 27-run stand before bad light ended play on the third day.
Earlier, India started from their overnight score of 74/5 and Cheteshwar Pujara hit a boundary to reach his 16th fifty in Test cricket. However, soon after completing his fifty, the right-hander lost his concentration as he let a Lahiru Gamage delivery creep in between his bat and pad, which crashed into the stumps when he batting on 52.
Ravindra Jadeja then joined Wriddhiman Saha in the middle and the duo started to rebuild the Indian innings. Jadeja played the role of the aggressor and hit few boundaries to shift the pressure on the visiting team.
However, the 48-run stand between Jadeja and Saha was finally ended by Dilruwan Perera as he trapped Jadeja LBW for 22. The on-field umpire had given not-out but the Lankans opted for the DRS and replays showed that the ball was indeed hitting the leg-stump and the decision was overturned.
Two balls later in the same over, Perera got rid of Saha as well who edged the delivery straight into the hands of Mathews, who was fielding at first slip. Saha opted to use the DRS but replays showed that the ball had hit his bat first and then his elbow.
Bhuvneshwar played a valuable innings of 13 before becoming Suranga Lakmal's fourth scalp of the innings. Tail-ender Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav added important 26 runs to India's tally. Shami was the last wicket to fall as he was dismissed by Gamage in trying to clear the mid-wicket boundary. The hosts finally bundled out for 172 in their first innings.
Angelo MathewsBhuvneshwar KumarCheteshwar Pujaraind vs sl 2017India vs Sri Lanka 2017Lahiru ThirimanneUmesh Yadav
First Published: November 18, 2017, 4:32 PM IST