India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test, Highlights: Cheteshwar Pujara Hundred Drives India After Top-Order Failure
India reached 292/8 after rain forced early stumps on Day 2 of the final Test against Sri Lanka at the SSC, Colombo. Cheteshwar Pujara's comeback hundred helped the tourists fight back despite a top-order failure. Catch highlights here:
Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 135 and Amit Mishra's composed 59 helped India reach 292/8 against Sri Lanka before rain forced early stumps on Day 2 of the third Test at the SSC in Colombo. Catch highlights here: (Scorecard | Day 1 Report | Photos)
5.14 hrs IST: Stumps. That's an early end to day two's play after another rain interruption. India will resume day 3 on 292/8 with Pujara looking to add to his overnight score of 135 not out.
16:50 hrs IST: RAIN! And off they go again as the super-efficient ground staff rush in with the covers. India are 292/8 with Pujara unbeaten on 135. Giving him company on Ishant (2 not out)
16:32 hrs IST: WICKET! Mishra (59) falls to Herath in a bid to accelerate the scoring rate - this was a wonderful knock by the tail-end batsman. He added valuable runs and at a steady clip as India reached 284/8 vs Sri Lanka.
1626 hrs IST: This has been a wonderful fightback by India, led by Pujara and Mishra's century-stand for the 8th wicket. They are now headed towards a respectable first innings total after their top-order failed against Sri Lanka's seamers. India 282/7
1612 hrs IST: FIFTY! Amit Mishra brings up his third Test half-century off 71 balls, laced with seven fours. Mishra has played a magnificent knock to help revive Indian innings.
1608 hrs IST: DROPPED! Cheteshwar Pujara dropped on 117 by Nuwan Pradeep off Angelo Mathews at deep fine leg. Short ball on middle and leg, Pujara pulls this one towards fine leg. Pradeep gets his hand to it but fails to cling on. The ball crosses the fence. Mathews is not impressed with the fielder's effort.
1532 hrs IST: FIFTY PARTNERSHIP! Cheteshwar Pujara (104*) and Amit Mishra (34*) have added 53 runs for the eighth wicket.
1515 hrs IST: Rangana Herath starts proceedings post tea. Second new ball is available in two overs.
1455 hrs IST: TEA! That's the end of second session. 101 runs and 3 wickets in the session. India will be disappointed with their lower order batting, especially with the shot selection of Naman Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin to get out. However, the current stand has frustrated the Lankans and Mishra with his interesting batting kept the crowd entertaining. But the star of the show was - Cheteshwar Pujara! Least bothered about what's happening at the other end, the batsman from Baroda kept his composure and stroked and elegant century.
1451 hrs IST: CENTURY! Cheteshwar Pujara slams his seventh hundred off 214 balls, studded with nine fours. What an innings it has been by the comeback-man.
1407 hrs IST: WICKET! Ravichandran Ashwin falls for five. Another batsman gets out poking at a delivery which ideally should have been ignored. Prasad lands it on a length outside off, shaping away a tad, Ashwin with his minuscule front foot movement has a tame push inside the line and nicks it behind. Perera takes it safely and Prasad once again strikes straightaway in a fresh spell.
1348 hrs IST: WICKET! Naman Ojha's debut innings ends on 21. Pretty immature and irresponsible shot. Floated outside off, Ojha gets down and looks to slog sweep but does not hit it cleanly. Upul Tharanga at long on takes a dolly. Can't say that shot was on. There was a long on in place and one need not have taken that man on. Tharindu Kaushal breaks the 54-run stand.
1324 hrs IST: Naman Ojha has looked promising in his debut innings. He is playing with a lot of positive approach and run scoring has been good. Ojha and Pujara have shared 34 runs for the sixth wicket so far.
1243 hrs IST: Stuart Binny out for a duck. Gone first ball! Prasad is on a roll. No looseners. Comes running in hard, delivers a length ball outside off, gets it to nip back in and Stuart Binny hangs back to defend. Misses the incoming one and is hit on the pads. Prasad appeals and umpire Nigel Llong seldom takes long to give his decisions. Up goes his right forefinger in a flash.
1203 hrs IST: LUNCH! A wicket in the last over before lunch, swings the pendulum in the hosts' favour. Initially in the first hour, Prasad and Pradeep bowled well and Kohli struggled to score against them. He was beaten outside his off stump many a time and eventually the Lankan skipper got him caught behind. The comeback man, Cheteshwar Pujara was slow early on but then he picked up his scoring rate and scored three boundaries of Tharindu Kaushal's first over. Rohit Sharma was looking good until the last over before lunch. A good session for Sri Lanka, in short. We will be back in a while for the post-lunch session.
1200 hrs IST: WICKET! Rohit Sharma departs for 26. Finally, Prasad gets a wicket. Bowling the same line has paid off. It's bowled on a length and around off, Rohit pokes at it and induces an edge. The ball flies towards first slip where Tharanga pouches a regulation catch. That will also be lunch on Day 2.
1146 hrs IST: FIFTY! Cheteshwar Pujara scores his seventh half-century off 127 balls. A good knock from the opener. He struggled initially in his innings but managed not to throw away the opportunity has has got.
1138 hrs IST: Tharindu Kaushal comes into the attack for the first time in the match and hammered away for 12 runs -- hat-trick of fours -- by Cheteshwar Pujara.
1110 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma is looking confident in his approach and is not shy of punishing the odd balls. So far he has hit a couple of fours and a six in his innings.
1102 hrs IST: DRINKS BREAK! India have certainly struggled in the first hour of play. They have lost their captain and Pujara has not looked confident against some quality bowling from Prasad and Pradeep.
1027 hrs IST: WICKET! Virat Kohli departs for 18. All the hard work done in the first 45 minutes has gone in vain. It's a soft dismissal but it's a big technical flaw in the game of Kohli. James Anderson exposed him in England and Angelo Mathews has taken the same clue here to remove his counterpart. He just puts it on a full length outside off and gets it to shape away ever so slightly. Out of habit, Kohli commits himself on the front foot and then needlessly plays at it away from his body. The ball moves away and takes the outside edge along with it. Kusal Perera makes no mistake this time.
1020 hrs IST: Indian batsmen have been watchful so far in the session. Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep are keeping things tight and giving nothing away.
0945 hrs IST: Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli are out in the middle. Dhammika Prasad to start proceedings on Day 2.
0930 hrs IST: It's bright and sunny morning at SSC Colombo. It's a 15 minutes early start today and 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled.
It has come down to the final four days of what has been a fascinating Test series so far. After Sri Lanka snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in Galle, India ruined Kumar Sangakkara's farewell party at the P. Sara Oval with an comprehensive win. As things stand now, the series is level at 1-1. The Indian camp would have gasped in horror when Sri Lanka's new-ball operators removed their centurions from the last match - Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane well within the first hour.
But heavy showers not long after pushed everyone inside, spoiling a possible brilliant counterattack led by Pujara and Kohli. By 3.00 PM, when the umpires decided to schedule more inspection, the damage had been done. The rain was so intense that play had to be called off. But this Indian team is known for its aggression and a typical Kohli knock and some support from the rest could set things up wonderfully for India's in-form bowlers.
For Sri Lanka, there is plenty at stake - this is their first Test after Kumar Sangakkara's retirement and the hosts have to show they are ready for the future. Can their young guns step and capitalize on the early wickets on Friday? An interesting weekend is at store provided the rain stays away.
Both teams would hope for some dry spell here. According to the met department, bad weather is predicted for the next four days.
Sanjay Bangar Hails India's Flexible Batting
India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar on Friday lauded his batsmen for adapting quickly to team's requirements by coming out to bat at any position they are asked to. "All the batsmen are willing to bat at any position which is a big plus of this team," said Bangar after the first day's play of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka, which was a near-complete wash out due to persistent rain on Friday. (Read full story)