Dhawan remained unbeaten at lunch    AFP
Dhawan remained unbeaten at lunch AFP

India lost two quick wickets as they extended their lead to 214 runs in the third Test against Sri Lanka at Delhi. On Tuesday, Dinesh Chandimal and Lakshan Sandakan stuck around for more than 30 minutes in the first session, taking Sri Lanka to 373 at the end of the innings. Coming out to bat, centurion of the last innings Murali Vijay departed quickly for 9; Ajinkya Rahane, for 10, soon following him in the pavilion. India are 51 for 2, with Shikhar Dhawan (15*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (17*) at the crease.

With just one wicket in hand, Chandimal and Sandakan started the day. Bowlers kept attacking Sandakan as Chandimal looked set and cautious. Sandakan expected bouncers while Indian bowlers hurled only a few. However, the batsman managed to survive. Meanwhile, Chandimal posted his fourth 150-plus score in Tests. He also went past his personal best of 162 (which also came against India) but was removed soon after by Ishant Sharma. Chandimal got ample room but could not connect well, giving a comfortable catch to Shikhar Dhawan at third man and departed for 164. Sandakan remained unbeaten for a 20-ball duck.

Batting again, India initially focused on quick runs. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan attempted risky shots early. Lakmal got hit for consecutive boundaries in the first over but got rid of Vijay soon. He bowled a good-length delivery on off-stump that deviated enough to confuse Vijay to play a drive. The ball took the outside edge to land in Niroshan Dickwella s gloves.

India were restricted to 10 for 1, and Virat Kohli sent Ajinkya Rahane up at No. 3 in place of Cheteshwar Pujara. Rahane, who had a torrid time in the series so far, was off to a shaky start as he was given out off a Lakmal delivery. India reviewed Nigel Llong’s decision to find that the ball would have missed the stumps; Rahane survived.

Sri Lanka cricketers had taken field with masks. Lakmal, again, started feeling uneasy. He threw up on the field and had to be taken off. However, he recovered and joined soon after.

Rahane, who had hit a couple of boundaries, faced another tricky delivery by Dilruwan Perera, and this time Sri Lanka reviewed umpire’s turned-down decision. This time, too, Rahane was saved. But soon, Perera got him to play a poor shot to long on. Sandakan took a catch to dismiss Rahane.

Pujara came in to bat at No. 4 and batted with the birthday boy Dhawan for the rest of the session, as India put up 51 for 2.

Brief scores:

India 536 for 7 decl. and 51 for 2 (Shikhar Dhawan 15*, Cheteshwar Pujara 17*; Suranga Lakmal 1 for 19, Dilruwan Perea 1 for 27) lead Sri Lanka 373 (Dilruwan Perera 42, Angelo Mathews 111, Dinesh Chandimal 164; Ishant Sharma 3 for 98, Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 90) by 214 runs.