Galle - Sri Lanka had their backs against the wall despite a defiant
90 not out by Dilruwan Perera on the third day of the first Test against India
in Galle on Friday.
Perera rallied the lower order to take the hosts to 289-8 at
lunch, still 111 runs short of the follow-on target after India made 600 in
their first innings, their biggest total in Sri Lanka.
The 35-year-old right-hander showed both caution and
aggression during his 126-ball knock, hitting four sixes and 10 fours to rattle
the opposition bowlers.
Perera was particularly harsh on Ravichandran Ashwin,
hitting the ace spinner for a six and a four in the same over.
Former Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews (83) also impressed
before being caught off Ravindra Jadeja who troubled the batsmen often with his
Perera was adjudged leg before wicket off Jadeja but the
decision was reversed after TV replays showed the ball would have gone over the
Sri Lankan skipper Rangana Herath (nine) was not so lucky
Herath tried to go for a reverse-sweep but the ball brushed
his glove on its way to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip. Although he asked for a
review, the decision was upheld by the third umpire.
Debutant Hardik Pandya claimed his maiden Test wicket when
he shattered the stumps of Nuwan Pradeep to reduce the hosts to 280-8.
Sri Lanka are down to 10 men after all-rounder Asela
Gunaratne was ruled out of the match and the rest of the series with a broken