Sri Lanka vs India 3rd Test day 1 as it happened: Rains play spoilsport after Sri Lanka reduce India to 50/2

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Sri Lanka vs India 3rd Test day 1 as it happened: Rains play spoilsport after Sri Lanka reduce India to 50/2
  • 16:17 (IST)

    It was a lively start to the day. Prasad removed Rahul with the 2nd ball of the day. Pradeep then removed Rahane to make it 14/2. Kohli got a lifeline as debutant wickekeeper Kusal Keeper dropped a regulation catch off Pradeep. Kohli and Pujara then got ogether to add 34 runs and start the rebuildng process before rains played spoilsport and no further play was possible. 

  • 16:11 (IST)

    Play will start 15 minutes early, at 9.45 am IST Tomorrow!

  • 16:05 (IST)

    Well sadly, that's it for the day. Play has been called off due to incessant rains. Just 15 overs bowled.

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Everyone's frustrated!

  • 15:58 (IST)

  • 15:57 (IST)

    OH DEAR!!!!

  • 15:55 (IST)

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  • 13:33 (IST)

    Birthday boy Umpire Rod Tucker says that it will take at least an hour to get the water off the covers. 

  • 13:30 (IST)

    The rain has stopped but there are puddles formed on the covers. Might take some time for the mopping work to go on..........

  • 13:29 (IST)

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  • 12:40 (IST)

    It's still drizzling in Colombo.....

  • 11:58 (IST)

  • 11:58 (IST)

    Early lunch taken on day 1. India 50/2. Pujara (19*) & Kohli (14*). 

  • 11:55 (IST)

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  • 11:33 (IST)

    Oh dear! It's started pouring in Colombo. The groundsmen have rushed onto the field with covers. 

  • 11:32 (IST)

    After 15 overs, India 50/2 (Pujara 19, Kohli 14)

    The 50 comes up for India. Not much turn for Herath in that over but he mixed it up well. He however drifts one down the leg side and Kohli trickles it to fine leg for a boundary. Pujara used his feet off the last ball and pushed it to mid off, he set off but Kohli sent him back in time. 

  • 11:28 (IST)

    Rangana Herath into the attack now.

  • 11:28 (IST)

    After 14 overs, India 44/2 (Pujara 18, Kohli 9)

    Great over from Prasad. Kohli suffers a lapse of concentration in the over. Pujara takes a single off the second ball. The third ball is a good length in corridor of uncertainty, Kohli leaves it. Prasad bowls an outswinger the next ball, Kohli looks to drive away from his body but gets an outside edge which drops short of the first slip fielder - second time it has dropped short of the slips. Prasad then beats Kohli with a lovely outswinger off the last ball. Just one run off the over. 

  • 11:23 (IST)

    Prasad back into the attack.

  • 11:22 (IST)

    After 13 overs, India 43/2 (Pujara 17, Kohli 9)

    Another good probing over from Mathews. He is building good pressure. He beats Pujara with a beautiful outswinger off the first ball. Pujara pushes at the the next one and gets a thick outside edge wide of gully for a couple. After a couple of defenses, Pujara guides one to gully, the fielder dives and makes half a stop. They get a single. 3 runs off the over. 

  • 11:20 (IST)

  • 11:15 (IST)

    After 12 overs, India 40/2 (Pujara 14, Kohli 9)

    A good over from Pradeep, mixed his lengths really well. Concentrated on bowling full and on good lengths. Pujara with just the single off the over. A good first over for Sri Lanka, they scalped the wickets of Rahul and Rahane. They could have had Kohli too but Kusal dropped a regulation catch. 

  • 11:13 (IST)

  • 11:11 (IST)

    After 11 overs, India 39/2 (Pujara 13, Kohli 9)

    A good tight over from Mathews. He didn't get much movement off the air or surface but he bowled stump to stump on good length areas. A maiden over. 

  • 11:08 (IST)

    Mathews continues....

  • 11:07 (IST)

    After 10 overs, India 39/2 (Pujara 13, Kohli 9)

    Pradeep missing his lengths in that over. He was too full and got punished. Kohli rams the first ball to mid off where Mathews misfields to give away a single. Pujara then thumps an overpitched delivery through mid off for a boundary. Pujara is solid in his defense for the rest of the over. Pradeep, however, is bowling iwth good aggression. 6 runs off the over. 

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Pradeep continues....

  • 11:01 (IST)

    After 9 overs, India 33/2 (Pujara 9, Kohli 8)

    A very good probing over from Mathews. He concentrated on the corridor of uncertainty line. Pujara nearly dragged one on off the first ball but then he was more watchful. A maiden over. 

  • 10:59 (IST)

  • 10:58 (IST)

    After 8 overs, India 33/2 (Pujara 9, Kohli 8)

    It's all happening at the SSC! Kohli at first flicks one through mid-wicket for a boundary. He then gets a BIG LET-OFF as he looks to drive but gets an inside edge but Kusal puts down a regulation chance. To add insult to injury, the ball hits the helmet and India get five penalty runs. Pradeep then beats Kohli with an absolute ripper. The ball snakes off the surface and Kusal has to leap to pouch it over his head. 

  • 10:55 (IST)

    After 7 overs, India 24/2 (Pujara 9, Kohli 4)

    Mathews doesn't start off well, he drifts the first one on the pads and Pujara flicks it through square leg for a boundary. He however bounces back well. Brings one back in sharply and beats Pujara's forward defense, a loud appeal for an LBW is turned down. Height was a factor. Pujara plays out the rest of the over with thight defense. Mathews got some good inward movement in that over. 

  • 10:49 (IST)

    Angelo Mathews brings himself on now.....

  • 10:49 (IST)

    After 6 overs, India 20/2 (Pujara 5, Kohli 4)

    Pujara is looking a bit tentative in the middle. He puahes at the first one half-heartedly and gets an outside edge which falls short of the third slip fielder. No feet movement. He then nudges one to mid on for a single. Pradeep then unleashes the bouncer off the fifth ball. Just one run off the over. India need to settle down.

  • 10:45 (IST)

  • 10:45 (IST)

    After 5 overs, India 19/2 (Pujara 4, Kohli 4)

    Kohli has started off positively. He's looked solid in defense and getting full stride out for defense. He drives the third delivery through cover-point for three. Pujara then takes a single to the leg side. Kohli follows up with two solid defenses. 4 runs off the over. Not much movement for Prasad in that over. 

  • 10:42 (IST)

  • 10:42 (IST)

    After 4 overs, India 15/2 (Pujara 3, Kohli 1)

    Another successful over for Sri Lanka. There was an LBW shout turned down against Pujara as one jagged back in sharply but height was the factor. Pujara then tapped one to cover for a single. Pradeep then got rewarded for bowling full as he trapped Rahane plumb in front. 2 runs and a wicket off the over. 

  • 10:39 (IST)

    OUT! Big wicket for Sri Lanka! Rahane departs. A Rahane lbw b Pradeep 8 (13b 2x4 0x6) 

    It's full on middle, Rahane, stays rooted to his crease and looks to drive but the ball nips back in a tad and Rahane misses it. The umpire lifts the finger straightaway on the appeal. What a start for Sri Lanka. 

    Virat Kohli strides out to the middle. 

  • 10:33 (IST)

    Pradeep continues.

  • 10:32 (IST)

    After 3 overs, India 12/1 (Pujara 2, Rahane 8)

    Rahane has started off very positively. He drives the first one, a full delivery, firmly straight back past Prasad for a boundary. Prasad oversteps off the next one. He then concentrates on bringing deliveries back into the batsmen but Rahane is solid in his defense.

India will seek to clinch their first series win on Sri Lankan soil in 22 years as they go into the third and final cricket Test against the hosts tomorrow in what promises to be a thrilling duel between the two young teams.

Virat Kohli managed to register his first Test victory as captain after India humbled the hosts by 278 runs in the series-levelling win at the P Sara Oval and the new leader stands at the cusp of claiming his maiden rubber as well.

Mohammad Azharuddin had last led an Indian team to a Test series win on Lankan turf, back in 1993, with a 1-0 margin.

Sri Lanka vs India 3rd Test day 1 as it happened: Rains play spoilsport after Sri Lanka reduce India to 50/2

Kohli's five-bowler strategy has paid rich dividends, albeit with different results. AFP

Kohli's five-bowler strategy has paid rich dividends, albeit with different results. From three spinners in Galle and dropping Harbhajan Singh for Stuart Binny in Colombo, they have managed to pick all 40 Lankan wickets on offer. It has been a horses-for-courses policy thus far, and it has worked well.

Riding on Ravichandran Ashwin's terrific form with the ball (17 wickets in 4 innings), the visitors have managed to dominate almost eight out of the nine days of cricket played so far in the two matches.

Ashwin, who bagged a five-wicket haul to help India skittle out Lanka for 134 to win the previous game, has combined well with Amit Mishra, who has picked 12 wickets in the series so far to spin Lankan woes.

The team management recognised that Ashwin and Mishra were proving quite a handful for the Lankan batsmen, and were ably supported by Ishant Sharma (and Umesh Yadav in the second Test) in the pace department.

As such they only needed reinforcements in the guise of a fifth bowler, and Binny was summoned for the second game. It is easy to assume that the Indian attack will bear the same look at the SSC as it did at the Oval.

There has been some re-arrangement of the batting line-up too. Through some chance, Ajinkya Rahane has moved to number three and Rohit Sharma, after a failed experiment in three Tests, is now slotted at number five. With the five-bowler theory in effect, there is no place for Cheteshwar Pujara in this line-up, not as a specialist middle-order batsman anyway.

Instead, due to injuries sustained by Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, Pujara is now slated to open the innings with Lokesh Rahul at the SSC. Unless some cruel fate transpires to rob him of this chance as well, this Test will perhaps define the Saurashtra batsman's standing in this squad.

Having Pujara as a makeshift opener also allows the 32-year-old Naman Ojha to finally make his Test debut, while Karun Nair is likely to warm the bench. On paper atleast, this combination looks like India's best bet to win a Test series away from home.

Sri Lanka on the other hand seem to be in disarray and it is not entirely due to Kumar Sangakkara's retirement after two matches in this series. In a way, it did put a hold on the hosts' plans for the series since they will now be fielding another batsman.

But then again, they have already been mixing up their batting order in the past two Tests, so it shouldn't matter this time around either.

Upul Tharanga is expected to replace the outgoing left-hander, and is likely to bat at No.3. Skipper Angelo Mathews has taken up the number four slot, leaving Lahiru Thirimanne at number five. The big worry here is that Tharanga is also a left-hander and their record against Ashwin in this series has been worrisome for Lanka.

Twelve of his 17 victims have been left-handers, with Sangakkara accounting for four dismissals and Thirimanne another three.

And then there is Mishra's leg-spin to contend with; 7 of his 12 wickets have come against lower-order batsmen. All in all it puts a lot of onus on the top-five batsmen to get runs, and that has not been an easy task thus far.

Perhaps it also puts the SSC grounds men in a quandary. In Galle, the pitch was tailor-made for Rangana Herath and he came good on day four.

The P Sara Oval pitch was a little more conservative, and while their batsmen didn't give a sniff to Herath this time, the Indian bowlers were persistent in their approach.

As such, it remains to be seen if the SSC wicket will resemble either of the pitches from the first two Tests, or will be flatter in nature, pointing towards a draw. Either way, India's dominance in this series will have a bearing on it. For, Lanka will not want to lose a second home series in succession, after losing 1-2 to Pakistan.

PTI

 

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Updated Date: Aug 28, 2015 16:47:25 IST

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