Galle - Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed six wickets as India bowled
out Sri Lanka for 183 but then stumbled briefly in reply in a rousing
start to the first Test on Wednesday.
Twelve wickets fell on the
opening day and India were themselves reduced to 28/2 before they
recovered to post 128 without further loss by stumps at the Galle
Opener Shikhar Dhawan was unbeaten on 53
and skipper Virat Kohli was on 45 during a third-wicket stand of 100,
leaving India just 56 runs away from the lead.
trapped Lokesh Rahul leg-before for seven and Rohit Sharma fell in
similar fashion to Angelo Mathews for nine, but Dhawan and Kohli stepped
in to deny Sri Lanka further success.
Ashwin, playing a Test
match on Sri Lankan soil for the first time, finished with six for 46 as
the home team were bowled out in 49.4 overs after they won the toss and
elected to bat.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, one of the three
spinners in the Indian team on an unusually dry pitch, took two wickets
off successive balls to hasten the end.
Mathews top-scored with 64
and Dinesh Chandimal led a charmed life to make 59, the pair sharing a
valuable 79-run partnership for the sixth wicket after their team had
collapsed to 60-5 before lunch.
Chandimal - lucky to survive a
dropped catch by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha off Ishant Sharma in the
second over after lunch when he was on five - hit nine boundaries.
Mathews brought up his half-century with a six over long-on against veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh. He also hit six fours.
struck the first blow in the morning session dominated by India when he
forced Dimuth Karunaratne to fend a short ball to Ajinkya Rahane at
In the next over, Kaushal Silva top-edged fast bowler
Varun Aaron and Dhawan made amends for a dropped catch earlier in the
innings by holding the skier at first slip.
playing the first of his last two Tests before retiring from
international cricket, walked in at 15/2 to the bursting of firecrackers
and warm applause from some 1,500 home fans.
But the left-hander,
the leading run-scorer in Tests among those still playing, faced just
12 deliveries before falling in the first over after the drinks break
Sangakkara punched the third ball from Ashwin straight to silly-point fielder Rahul, who gleefully held on to the sharp chance.
Thirimanne (13) appeared in fine touch while striking two boundaries
before he became Ashwin's second victim, caught in the slips by Rahane
to leave Sri Lanka tottering on 54/4.
Ashwin gained another wicket
before lunch when he deceived Jehan Mubarak (0) in the air and the
batsman gave Rahul an easy catch at forward short-leg.
Chandimal fought back after lunch but Ashwin ended the threatening
stand by having the Sri Lankan captain caught superbly by a diving Rohit
at forward short-leg for 64.
Ashwin then trapped Dhammika Prasad leg-before for zero in his next over to claim his 11th five-wicket haul in 26 Tests.
removed Chandimal and Tharindu Kaushal off successive deliveries, but
last man Nuwan Pradeep denied the bowler a hat-trick.