Mathews is unbeaten at 31 © AFP
Mathews is unbeaten at 31 © AFP

Despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking early wickets, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne took Sri Lanka off to a good start, putting up 113 for 2 before tea. Sri Lanka bundled the hosts for 172 in the first session. Cheteshwar Pujara was the only Indian to have scored a half-century in the innings. Coming back from lunch, India regained control of the game with Bhuvneshwar’s back-to-back wickets. However, seasoned campaigners Mathews and Thirimanne put Sri Lanka on top as the team trails by 59 runs before tea.

To get the best of the conditions, Virat Kohli handed the ball to Bhuvneshwar to open bowling and introduced a headband-clad Umesh Yadav from the other end. It was only the fifth over of the innings when Bhuvneshwar’s in-swinger found its way to Dimuth Karunaratne’s front pad. The umpire raised his finger as the batsman had left the ball. It had pitched outside but umpires decision prevailed after the review and Karunaratne departed for 8.

A couple of overs later, Bhuvneshwar dismissed Sadeera Samarawickrama for 23. The young opener tried to play a short-of-a-length delivery on back foot, edging it to the safe hands of Wriddhiman Saha instead.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 3: Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera wrap up hosts before lunch
India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 3: Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera wrap up hosts before lunch

Thirimanne and Mathews took charge at a point when Sri Lanka were reduced to 34 for 2 and revived their condition, putting up an unbeaten 79-run partnership before tea. Thirimanne is only two runs away from his half-century, while the finesse in Mathews’ boundaries proves he is capable of scoring his fifty.

Bhuvneshwar was the only successful bowler for India in the session. With 113 runs and 2 wickets, the session went in favour of Sri Lanka who are now off to a decent start.

Brief scores

India 172 lead Sri Lanka 113 for 2 (Lahiru Thirimanne 48*, Angelo Mathews 31*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2 for 40) by 59 runs.