Sri Lanka make late comeback after Dhawan, Rahul fire

Sri Lanka make late comeback after Dhawan, Rahul fire

Sri Lanka make late comeback after Dhawan, Rahul fire

India won the first two Tests emphatically and Dhawan did not appear concerned by their wobble with the bat on Saturday.

For the hosts, Pushpakumara (3/40) and Sandakan (2/84) were the pick of the bowlers. Rahul's record half-century and Dhawan's sixth Test ton ensured India hold the advantage after Sri Lanka staged a brilliant fight back.

Resuming the final session at 235/3, left-arm spinner Pushpakumara scalped the wicket of Rahane before Sandakan sent Kohli back into the hut just when the skipper was looking good with three fours.

Malinda Pushpakumara took three wickets and Lakshan Sandakan two, leaving India on 329-6 at the close, with Wriddhiman Saha on 13 and Hardik Pandya on one to return to the crease today when the action restarts.

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Openers KL Rahul (67) and Shikhar Dhawan (64) scored at a brisk rate, untroubled by the Sri Lankans bowlers. The openers put up a good platform with a 188-run opening stand, but the middle order didn't capitalize on it. Skipper Kohli contributed 42 runs.

Angelo Mathews had no time to react when Rahul edged a cut past him at slip off Sandakan, but he missed out on a century after dancing down the track to strike Pushpakumara to Karunaratne at mid-on.

Fernando was finally rewarded for pitching the ball in right areas in his 18th over when Ashwin, batting on 31, nicked one to Dickwella behind the stumps. Never mind where India ended up at stumps on day one, but the fact that Sri Lankan team management scrubbed grass clear off the pitch indicated a defensive outlook.

Dhawan then was picked up quite stunningly by the captain Dinesh Chandimal, who dived full length to his left at square-leg to snaffle a sweep. It is a wicket where it is not spinning but it doesn't have bounce, so it's not easy to score runs out there. The bowlers need more rest in places like Sri Lanka where it gets hot and humid. Cheteshwar Pujara led from the front in last two Test matches alongside Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund who are determined in the opening job.

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On chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who is tipped to replace the Saurashtra player, Kohli said: "A guy like Kuldeep Yadav is willing to bowl in any situation".

Chameera meanwhile, last played a Test in South Africa a year ago, but featured in four of the five ODIs against Zimbabwe - the series that Sri Lanka lost 2-3.

Kohli and Rahane were then tasked with stabilizing the innings, which they did, ensuring no more wickets were lost as the team headed into Tea.

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