Ravichandran Ashwin © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin took a wicket in the first over of the innings © Getty Images (File Photo)

Ravichandran Ashwin opened bowling for India with a handful of overs to go before stumps and struck off the fifth ball of the innings, getting Dimuth Karunaratne bowled for a duck on Day Two of the first Test at Galle. Dhammika Prasad came in as night-watchman to join Kaushal Silva, but the latter could only survive six deliveries before getting completely done in by an Amit Mishra googly. It was the sixth time both Sri Lankan opening batsmen were dismissed without scoring. Kumar Sangakkara came in at No. 4 with immense pressure to deal with. Ashwin kept posing questions and Mishra managed to extract appreciable turn from the start. With both opening batsmen back in the hut without a run off the bat and the ball turning square, there was absolutely no doubt who went to stumps the happier side. Live Scorecard: India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Galle, Day 2

Earlier, Tharindu Kaushal took five wickets as Sri Lanka bowled India out for 375 with a lead of 192. Shikhar Dhawan was India’s top-scorer with 134, while Virat Kohli scored 103 as the duo added 227 for the third wicket. Wriddhiman Saha — who scored his maiden Test half-century — was the only other batsman who got a substantial score, as India once again suffered a collapse to go from 255 for 2 to 302 for 6 before Saha found some support in Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, and Ishant Sharma. Harbhajan and Mishra threw their wickets away, but while Ishant did not score too many runs he played sensibly to frustrate the Sri Lankan bowlers. Live Updates: India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Galle, Day 2

Kaushal managed to dismiss Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, and Amit Mishra, but was hit all over the park. Nuwan Pradeep took three wickets as well, while Angelo Mathews and Dhammika Prasad took one each. However, Saha ensured that the clump of wickets India lost did not damage them too much with a resolute innings that saw him make 60 off 120 balls. He took his chances on occasion, while Ishant offered a dead bat at anything remotely close to his stumps. On the whole, it was a day on which India continued to dominate, as Kaushal went for over four runs per over despite taking the most wickets. Rangana Herath was perhaps the best bowler on display, though he did not have the wickets to show for his efforts, while Pradeep managed to take wickets without ever looking particularly threatening.

Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were finally separated after two and a half sessions together after adding an excellent 227 for the third wicket. Sri Lanka managed to take four wickets in the second session to come back into the game. Tharindu Kaushal started the slide when he had Kohli LBW for 103 and Ajinkya Rahane LBW for a duck within two runs of each other, while Nuwan Pradeep had Shikhar Dhawan bowled off the inside edge for 134 and Ravichandran Ashwin clean bowled for 7. India went to tea at 304 for 6, 121 runs ahead of Sri Lanka. 

Dhawan and Kohli resumed the session in solid fashion, with Kohli getting to his landmark soon after the break. In between, Dhawan was struck on the back of his helmet when he took his eyes off a short ball from Pradeep. Dhawan shrugged off the blow almost instantly and though he called for the physio, after a customary look Dhawan was cleared of any injury. To his credit, Dhawan did not let the blow affect his concentration and continued to bat well even after it. He saw Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane get out within two runs of each other, but got out himself after Sri Lanka took the new ball.

Earlier, Dhawan and Kohli continued their charge by extending their partnership to 199, taking India to 227 for 2 against Sri Lanka in the first session. India enjoyed a productive, wicketless session which saw 99 runs scored. Dhawan celebrated ‘International Left Hander’s Day’ by scoring his fourth Test hundred, after having gone past 1,000 runs in the longest format earlier on Day One. Kohli went to lunch just short of his 10th century, as India piled on Sri Lanka’s misery. The hosts were further hampered by the fact that their captain Angelo Mathews did not take field at all in the morning session, and were led instead by Lahiru Thirimanne. Mathews’ absence cut down on one bowling option as well. Dhammika Prasad bowled with a lot of heart but Nuwan Pradeep was largely ineffective. At lunch, Dhawan was unbeaten on 110 and Kohli was on 86. VIDEO: Shikhar Dhawan suffers blow on the helmet during India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Galle

Both Dhawan and Kohli played well, but each batsman gave the odd half-chance. The closest was when Dhawan set off for a single only to be sent back by Kohli. The fielder threw to the wrong end and Dhawan survived. Kohli edged a couple that fell short or wide of the fielders, but by and large both men looked in command. The Sri Lankan spinners failed to cause any real problems. Rangana Herath bowled a decent line and length but failed to look penetrative, while Tharindu Kaushal bowled on both sides of the wicket and was taken for plenty. READ: Shikhar Dhawan becomes 3rd Indian opener to score Test centuries in consecutive innings overseas

Earlier, Dhawan and Kohli ensured that India ended Day One well and truly in control at 128 for 2 against Sri Lanka. Dhawan was unbeaten on 53 while Kohli was 45 not out as India trail by a mere 55 with eight wickets still in hand. Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the day for India with figures of 6 for 46 as the visitors bowled out their hosts for just 183. Angelo Mathews (64) and Dinesh Chandimal (59) offered the only resistance for Sri Lanka. READ: Ravichandran Ashwin continues renaissance with six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in 1st Test at Galle

After India bowled Sri Lanka out for 183 at tea, KL Rahul and Dhawan made their way out to open together for the first time. It should be noted that Rahul has had a distinct lack of stability in his short career so far; he made his debut batting at No. 6, then batted at No. 3 in the second innings of the same match before opening with Murali Vijay in his next Test. He is now opening with Dhawan. He came out looking positive but was out for just 7. Dhammika Prasad managed to sneak one past his defence and trap him LBW. Rohit Sharma, promoted to No. 3, was unable to get going and was out LBW for 9. That united Kohli and Dhawan, who added an unbeaten 100 at stumps. READ: Angelo Mathews continues to fight the lone battle for Sri Lanka

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 183 (Angelo Mathews 64, Dinesh Chandimal 59; Ravichandran Ashwin 6 for 46, Amit Mishra 2 for 21) and 5 for 2 (Dhammika Prasad 3*; Ravichandran Ashwin 1 for 0, Amit Mishra 1 for 1) trail India 375 (Shikhar Dhawan 134, Virat Kohli 103; Tharindu Kaushal 5 for 134, Nuwan Pradeep 3 for 98) by 187 runs.

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(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)