Pu­jara, Ra­hane cen­turies put In­dia in con­trol

New Straits Times - - Sport -

COLOMBO: Chetesh­war Pu­jara and Ajinkya Ra­hane hit cen­turies as In­dia took open­ing day hon­ours on 344-3 at stumps against Sri Lanka in the Sec­ond Test yes­ter­day.

Pu­jara (128) and Ra­hane (103) put on an un­beaten 211-run part­ner­ship for the fourth wicket to thwart Sri Lankan bowlers who struck two cru­cial blows in the af­ter­noon ses­sion in Colombo.

The in-form Pu­jara reg­is­tered his 13th Test cen­tury in his land­mark 50th game as Ra­hane fired his ninth Test hun­dred.

The vis­i­tors, who lead the three-match se­ries 1-0, wob­bled slightly when Lokesh Rahul went for 57 and skip­per Vi­rat Kohli fol­lowed for 13 soon af­ter lunch.

Rahul, who scored his eighth Test fifty on his re­turn from a vi­ral fever, was run out in a mixup with Pu­jara.

Vet­eran left-arm spin­ner spin­ner Ran­gana Herath sent Kohli trudg­ing back to the pav­il­ion with a tossed-up de­liv­ery that got the edge of the cap­tain’s bat and went to slip.

Pu­jara and Ra­hane ground out the runs to deny Di­nesh Chandi­mal’s side any more wick­ets dur­ing the day.

Pu­jara, who scored 153 in the first in­nings of the open­ing Test, hit 10 fours and a six at the Sin­halese Sports Club ground.

Ra­hane also tack­led the spin­ners with aplomb, us­ing his feet to great ef­fect dur­ing his 168-ball stay at the crease so far.

In the morn­ing ses­sion, off­spin­ner Dil­ruwan Per­era had Shikhar Dhawan trapped lbw for 35 af­ter the tourists elected to bat first.

Debu­tant left-arm spin­ner Malinda Push­paku­mara was still search­ing for his first Test scalp. The hosts need at least a draw to stay alive in the se­ries. AFP

AFP PIC

In­dia’s Chetesh­war Pu­jara cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury against Sri Lanka in the Sec­ond Test yes­ter­day.

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