By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Opener Lokesh Rahul scored his second Test hundred but Sri Lanka fought back hard to capture six wickets as India ended day one of the second Test at the P Sara Oval on 319 for six wickets.
The contest at the towards the end of the day looked to be heading in favour of India until Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews struck in the final over of the day to get rid of the last of the recognized batters Rohit Sharma for 79 trapping him lbw.
Sharma under pressure to score runs after a double failure at Galle paced his innings out well hitting three sixes and five fours in his 132-ball innings and had formed 52-run liaison for the sixth wicket with Wriddhiman Saha (19) when he was dismissed.
Sri Lanka are now into the Indian tail and with the second new ball only eight overs old they will want to finish off the rest of the batting as quick as possible.
The final session was Sri Lanka’s most fruitful capturing three wickets. Apart from Sharma’s dismissal they also removed centurion Rahul as well as Stuart Binny.
Rahul who was fortunate to be dropped at 11 by Jehan Mubarak in the gully rode his luck to score 108 off 194 balls (13 fours, 1 six) before edging a catch to Dinesh Chandimal as he attempted to hook Dushmantha Chameera. It was off Chameera’s third ball of the innings that Rahul was given a reprieve and he had to wait a further 11 overs for his first success.
Binny didn’t last long before he fell to Rangana Herath for 10 attempting to loft him and being caught at deep mid off. It was Herath’s second wicket of the innings earlier having consumed Virat Kohli for a well compiled 78.
Dhammika Prasad gave Sri Lanka a great start after India had opted to bat first on winning the toss by removing Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane to have them tottering at 12-2 before Rahula and Kohli rescued them with a stand of 164.
Kumar Sangakkara who is making his final Test appearance was given a guard of honour prior to the start of the match by schoolboys with raised bats.
INDIA 1ST INNINGS
M Vijay lbw b Prasad 0
L Rahul c Chandimal b Chameera 108
A Rahane c Karunaratne b Prasad 4
V Kohli c Mathews b Herath 78
R Sharma lbw b Mathews 79
S Binny c Chameera b Herath 10
W Saha not out 19
Extras (b-8, lb-8, nb-3, w-2) 21
Total (6 wickets at close, 87.2 overs) 319
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Vijay), 2-12 (Rahane), 3-176 (Kohli), 4-231 (Rahul), 5-267 (Binny), 6-319 (R Sharma).
To bat: R Ashwin, A Mishra, I Sharma, U Yadav.
Bowling: Prasad 20-5-72-2 (w1), Mathews 10.2-4-17-1, Chameera 13-0-59-1 (w1, nb2), Herath 21-2-73-2, Kaushal 23-2-82-0 (nb1).
SRI LANKA: D. Karunaratne, K. Silva, K. Sangakkara, L. Thirimanne, A. Mathews, D. Chandimal, J. Mubarak, D. Prasad, R. Herath, T. Kaushal, D. Chameera.