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First Test: Sri Lanka hit back as India consolidate

IANS logoIANS 27-07-2017

At the break, Hardik Pandya was batting on four with Ravindra Jadeja unbeaten on eight at the other end.

The Sri Lankan bowlers, however, hit back after a rather lacklustre opening day with pacer Nuwan Pradeep returning figures of 5/25.

The day began in a promising fashion for the Indians with Cheteshwar Pujara crossing the 150-run mark before Ajinkya Rahane brought up his half-century in style, stepping out to hit a Rangana Herath delivery to the mid-on boundary.

But the tide was destined to turn soon. Pujara was the first to go when Pradeep produced an excellent delivery which moved slightly away after pitching at a perfect length on the off-stump.

Pujara was totally outfoxed as the ball took the outer edge on its way into the gloves of Lankan wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Rahane was the next to go. The Mumbai batsman mistimed an attempted drive off Lahiru Kumara only to see the ball take the outer edge and Dimuth Karunaratne pull of a superb diving effort at first slip.

The visitors plunged into further trouble when Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin also went back in successive overs.

Ashwin had started in nervous fashion, almost handing Pradeep a wicket when he edged the first ball he faced. But the ball dropped just short of the fielder at gully. Aswhin enjoyed another piece of luck immediately after when he hit out at the next ball and was lucky not to offer an easy top edge behind the stumps.

The Chennai lad settled down gradually and notched up a well made 47 off 60 balls before a poor piece of shot selection to a short pitched delivery by Pradeep denied him his half-century.

Brief scores:

India (first innings): 503/7 (Shikhar Dhawan 190, Cheteshwar Pujara 153; Nuwan Pradeep 5/25) vs Sri Lanka.

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