Pu­jara and Vi­jay score bril­liant cen­turies as the hosts take a first in­nings lead of 107 runs , with eight wick­ets re­main­ing.

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story -

Chetesh­war Pu­jara (121 not out) and opener Mu­rali Vi­jay (128) pow­ered In­dia to 312/2 and take a 107-run first-in­nings lead against Sri Lanka on the sec­ond day of their sec­ond Test here on Satur­day.

Pu­jara watched ev­ery ball closely and played a pa­tient knock to bring up his 14th Test ton, while Vi­jay marked his re­turn in the Test cricket with his 10th cen­tury. They shared a 209-run stand for the sec­ond wicket which took In­dia past Sri Lanka's first in­nings score of 205.

After the fall of Vi­jay, skip­per Vi­rat Kohli (54 not out) was ruth­less from the on­set as he and Pu­jara forged an un­beaten 96-run third- wicket stand when um­pires called it a day.

For Sri Lanka, spin­ner Ran­gana Herath (1/45) was the only suc­cess­ful wicket-taker of the day at the Vi­darbha Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium.

Re­sum­ing the day at 11/1, the overnight pair of Vi­jay and Pu­jara started cau­tiously, med­dling the odd ball for quiet sin­gles in the first hour of play be­fore Vi­jay got into the act to bring up his 16th Test half cen­tury.

Vi­jay had his share of luck on his in­di­vid­ual score of 45 in the first ses­sion of play when he mis­cued a Dil­ruwan Per­era de­liv­ery to mid­off which skip­per Di­nesh Chandi­mal, run­ning back failed to grab.

There­after, there was no look­ing back for the Tamil Nadu right-han­der as he nailed pacer Da­sun Shanaka's half-vol­ley for a bril­liant bound­ary to long-on to bring up his half cen­tury in style.

Both the In­dian bats­men took min­i­mal risk, scor­ing on loose de­liv­er­ies and ro­tat­ing strike to main­tain a healthy run-rate as In­dia reached 97/1 at lunch.

Vi­jay and Pu­jara dom­i­nated the sec­ond ses­sion, dis­al­low­ing the Sri Lanka bowlers take wick­ets.

The Saurash­tra bats­man stood tall on the stumps send­ing the loose de­liv­er­ies to the fence. Tamil Nadu right-han­der Vi­jay looked to be the ag­gres­sor out of the two, oc­ca­sion­ally step­ping out of the crease to sent the ball to the fence.

Few overs into the fi­nal ses­sion, Vi­jay looked to change gears and even­tu­ally fell prey to Herath's de­liv­ery hand­ing an easy catch into the arms of Dil­ruwan Per­era at short fine leg.

Later, Kohli joined hands with Pu­jara and the for­mer stamped his author­ity, scor­ing at a faster pace and im­pos­ing added threat on the Sri Lanka bowlers.

Mean­while, right-han­der Pu­jara, who was bat­ting in his 90s when Kohli came, was at ease as the lat­ter was keep­ing the pres­sure on the bowlers. Pu­jara com­pleted his cen­tury when he played medium pacer Da­sun Shanaka past gully for a dou­ble in the sec­ond ball of the 87th over.

Af­ter­wards, Kohli and Pu­jara com­fort­able sailed through till the end of the day to put In­dia in a po­si­tion of strength, reach­ing 312/2.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 205 vs In­dia 312/2 (Pu­jara 121 not out, Kohli 54 not out; Herath 1/45).

Chetesh­war Pu­jara.

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