Upul Tharanga and Angelo Mathews dug in resolutely to keep Sri Lanka afloat on the second day of the first cricket Test against India who made a huge total of 600 in the first innings at the Galle International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
But when play resumes on Friday Mathews, unbeaten on 54 with eight fours and a six, will have a bigger battle on his hands with Sri Lanka on 154 for 5.
Tharanga’s presence at the crease was reassuring for Sri Lanka after India’s pace duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohamed Shami accounted for the dismissals of Dimuth Karunaratne (2), Dhanushka Gunathilaka (16) and Kusal Mendis (0). Sri Lanka also lost Niroshan Dickwella for 8.
Tharanga was selective in his shots as he kept the bowlers at bay hitting 10 fours  unlike Gunathilaka and Mendis who edged balls from paceman Mohamed Shami to be caught in the slip cordon.
Tharanga was dismissed in an unusual manner after stepping out to play a ball from spinner Ravichandran Ashwin that went into the hands of close-in fielder Mukund who returned the ball to wicket keeper Saha who in turn flicked off the bails with the batsman unable to ground his bat in an attempt to get back.
India’s total of 600 revolved around centuries made by Shikhar Dhawan (190) and Cheteshwar Pujara (153) while Sri Lankan paceman Nuwan Pradeep Fernando picked up his first five-wicket haul finishing with figures of 6 for 132 in his 24th Test.