Colombo - Lokesh Rahul hit a century as India overcame early shocks to post
319/6 on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo
Rahul scored 108, his second Test century in four
Tests, and shared a third-wicket stand of 164 with skipper Virat Kohli
(78) after the tourists had slumped to 12/2 by the fifth over of the
Both batsmen fell on either side of the tea break, but
Rohit Sharma boosted the total with a typically aggressive 79 that
contained three sixes and five boundaries.
Sharma was leg-before
to Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews off what became the last ball of
the day, leaving Wriddhiman Saha unbeaten on 19.
Rahul, who hit a century against Australia in Sydney in only his second
Test earlier this year, made amends for scores of seven and five in the
first Test with delightful strokeplay.
Dropped at gully by Jehan
Mubarak off Dushmantha Chameera when he was on 11, Rahul hit 13
boundaries and a six before a loose shot cost him his wicket after tea.
top-edged a hook off Chameera and the ball ballooned in the air before
landing safely in the hands of wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.
6 000 home fans at the P. Sara Oval applauded warmly when Sri Lanka's
batting great Kumar Sangakkara was welcomed on to the field in his last
Test with a guard of honour by young children holding raised bats.
seeking a series-levelling win after losing the first Test in Galle by
63 runs, were in for a rude shock after Kohli won the toss and elected
to bat on a moisture-laden pitch.
Opener Murali Vijay, who
replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan in one of the three changes made by
India, was trapped leg-before by Dhammika Prasad off the fourth ball of
the innings, before he had scored.
Prasad struck again in his
third over when Ajinkya Rahane drove at a wide ball and edged an easy
catch to Dimuth Karunaratne at third slip.
But Rahul and Kohli
settled in to deny Sri Lanka another wicket till late in the afternoon
session when the captain departed against the run of play.
who appeared set for a big score after hitting eight boundaries and a
six, was caught low at first slip by his Sri Lankan counterpart Mathews
as he went to cut Rangana Herath.
All-rounder Stuart Binny
scratched around for 40 deliveries to make an unconvincing 10 when he
attempted to loft Herath out of the ground and gave Chameera an easy
catch at mid-off.
Sharma, who made nine and four at Galle, hit
timely form as he pounded Prasad for a six and four in the first over
with the second new ball that was taken as soon as it was due after 80
Sharma and Saha put on 52 for the sixth wicket, but
Sharma's late dismissal enabled Sri Lanka to share the opening day's
Besides bringing in Vijay, India also included Binny and
fast bowler Umesh Yadav in place of off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and
paceman Varun Aaron.
Sri Lanka dropped the injured Nuwan Pradeep to play young fast bowler Chameera.