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 on Thursday.
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 mix-up 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, off-spinner 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.