Kolkata: Cheteshwar Pujara came to India's rescue after Sri Lankan seamer Dasun Shanaka's twin strike had left the hosts gasping at 74 for five on a second consecutive rain-curtailed day of the opening Test in Kolkata on Friday.
After Suranga Lakmal's (3/5) exploits on the first day of the series opener, it was Shanaka's turn to steal the limelight on Friday as he removed Ajinkya Rahane (4) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) to return with impressive figures of 2 for 23.
Pujara was the lone Indian batsmen to produce some fight against the Sri Lankan bowling attack on a green top in overcast conditions.
Pujara displayed impeccable defensive technique again, and struck only the errant deliveries to score during his unbeaten 47-run knock.
Shanaka took both the wickets in the morning but Pujara anchored India's first innings on testing overcast conditions at the Eden Gardens.
Coming on to bat at the score of eight, Pujara faced 102 deliveries and struck nine fours in his knock, three runs away from what could be a memorable half-century as the India No 3 built his innings with supreme resolve.
He patiently waited for loose balls as the visitors got maximum purchase from the Eden's green top, brilliantly aided by the overcast conditions.
Shanaka struck in his third over when he tempted Rahane for a drive and got a thin edge to the wicket-keeper. Next he evicted Ashwin after setting him up brilliantly as Pujara struggled to get a partnership going.
Reduced to 17/3 at stumps on Day 1 after Lakmal's sensational display of bowling, Indians were tested in the off-stump corridor by the Shanaka's probing length and bounce.
Indians preferred to take Lakmal with extreme caution as the Lankan new-ball bowler finally ended his overnight spell from the High Court End for 11-9-5-3.
On 24, Pujara was hit on his right thumb by a rising short-pitched delivery from Lahiru Gamage as he flung his gloves in pain in the 25th over.
In the next over, Pujara lost Ashwin as Shanaka set him up with a bouncer and followed it with a good length delivery that was cut straight to point by the Indian off-spinner.
But Pujara remained unperturbed and looked for loose deliveries and scored mainly through boundaries before the first session was halted by rain.
Lunch was taken 10 minutes ahead of schedule while it started pouring in the middle.
The heavens continued to pour, which meant no play was possible after lunch forcing the umpires to call off day's proceedings prematurely again.
After just 11.5 overs were bowled on Thursday, the Sri Lankan bowlers managed to get through 21 overs on the following day.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Perera was the captain of the Sri Lankan team in England but since the central contract dispute between players and cricket board, Dasun Shanaka has been appointed captain at his expense.
India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI Cricket Match Highlights Ind vs SL Live Score Updates: Dhawan appears to have collected a blinder in the slips at the start of Chahar’s final over, but the ball’s deflected off Mendis’ thigh, Dharmasena spotting it early and shaking his head. Was an excellent delivery from the young leggie nevertheless. Mandis collects a single off the second ball, and Karunaratne — who had smashed an unbeaten 44 in the previous game — is stumped thanks to some swift glove work by Samson two balls later. New batsman Dananjaya though, swats the ball through extra cover for a boundary — which is also a no-ball — and collects a single in the free hit. Asalanka then collects a single with a sweep, as Sri Lanka win by three wickets to collect some vital World Cup Super League points. India, win the three-match ODI series 2-1!
Post the match, a video of Arthur and Shanaka arguing on the field went viral on social media. In the video, the Sri Lanka head coach appeared to be furious at his players after they lost to India on Tuesday, 20 July.