Suranga Lakmal picked up 4-for © AFP
Suranga Lakmal picked up 4-for © AFP

India were bundled for 172 before lunch on Day Three of the first Test against Sri Lanka. On Saturday, at the Eden Gardens  Stadium, Kolkata, India lost the rest of their batsmen adding only 98 runs in the first session. Cheteshwar Pujara, who held fort for India after the collapse, departed soon after scoring his half-century while a brief partnership was built between Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja, but it was ceased by Dilruwan Perera.

Lahiru Gamage provided Sri Lanka their first breakthrough of the day and that too with the most crucial wicket — that of Pujara’s. Gamage’s delivery moved in just a little bit to get through the gap between Pujara’s bat and pad. After Pujara’s  solid defense was dismantled, Jadeja and local boy Saha stitched a brief partnership for the hosts. However, Dilruwan’s off-spinners ripped apart their defence.

Earlier, Niroshan Dickwella had missed a stumping opportunity off Dilruwan, as Saha stepped out of his crease. This time, Perera produced a feather edge off Saha’s bat. Saha, in a desperate attempt to protect his wicket, reviewed it only to get a confirmation from the third umpire to depart.

Day 2 called off due to rain; India 74/5 against Sri Lanka in 1st Test
Day 2 called off due to rain; India 74/5 against Sri Lanka in 1st Test

In the same over off the fifth ball, Dilruwan got Jadeja lbw. There was confusion whether it hit the bat first. The umpire gave his verdict as not out. Sri Lanka promptly reviewed only to see the decision overturn, as the delivery had hit Jadeja on his pad first and would have gone on to hit the off stump.

Lakmal was the most successful of the Sri Lanka bowlers, taking 4 for 26. Though Gamage, Dasun Shanaka and Dilruwan picked up a couple of wickets each, Dilruwan’s wickets escalated India’s downfall.

There was another instance on Saturday when skipper Dinesh Chandimal almost pulled off a fake fielding. According to the new rules, a fielder is not allowed to deceive and if done, the opposition is to be rewarded with 5 runs. In addition, the batsmen at the crease get to decide who wants to take strike. However, the umpire in this case left Chandimal with just a warning.

172 is India’s second-lowest total against Sri Lanka at home. India scored 50 runs before losing their first five wickets and evidently, the middle and lower order contributed more, with 122 runs.

India were reduced to 74 for 5 at stumps of Day Two. After a rain-delayed start on Day One, India had managed 17 but lost the top three on the opening day. India continued to struggle on Day Two, as Shanaka picked up wickets on Day Two. Pujara kept things going for India on Day Two carrying his bat all through the day. Earlier, Lakmal had picked up all the three wickets on Day One.

Brief scores

India 172 (Cheteshwar Pujara 52, Wriddhiman Saha 29, Ravindra Jadeja 22; Suranga Lakmal 4 for 26, Lahiru Gamage 2 for 59, Dasun Shanaka 2 for 36, Dilruwan Perera 2 for 19) against Sri Lanka