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Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal figured in a century stand to deny India an early victory on the third day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.

GALLE: Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne staged a fightback with a century partnership to stall India’s march towards victory on the third day of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.

The pair who came together with the total on a sorry 95-5 nearly batted out the session with a spirited stand of 125 off 150 balls.

Ravichandran Ashwin who has been a thorn in the Lankan batting produced the breakthrough that India badly needed when he had Thirimanne edging a catch to Ajinkya Rahane to slip with his score on 44.

Chandimal who was the aggressor in the partnership reached his half-century off 48 balls and at the break was two shy of what would be his fourth Test hundred.

His innings of 98 scored at a run a ball comprised 11 fours and two sixes. He counter-attacked the Indian bowling very well taking them on boldly and playing some judicious shots and sometimes living dangerously as he tried to reverse sweep Ashwin when he was in the nineties.

Jehan Mubarak who joined him at the fall of Thirimanne’s wicket was unbeaten on 23.

Scores: Sri Lanka 183 and 263-6 at tea (Kumar Sangakkara 40, Angelo Mathews 39, Dinesh Chandimal 98 n.o., L Thirimanne 44, J Mubarak 23 n.o., R Ashwin 3/87, A Mishra 2/54)

India 375.