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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Pujara and Rahane put India in control against Sri Lanka on Day 1 of Colombo Test

Batsmen put on an unbeaten 211-run partnership to give the early advantage to the visitors in the second Test.

Ajinkya Rahane, right, will be leading India full-time in a Test for the second time. Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters
Ajinkya Rahane, right, will be leading India full-time in a Test for the second time. Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both hit centuries as India took opening day honours on 344-3 at stumps against Sri Lanka in the second Test on Thursday.

Pujara (128) and Rahane (103) put on an unbeaten 211-run partnership for the fourth wicket to thwart Sri Lankan bowlers who struck two crucial blows in the afternoon session in Colombo.

The in-form Pujara registered his 13th Test century in his landmark 50th game as Rahane fired his ninth Test hundred. The visitors, who lead the three-match series 1-0, wobbled slightly when Lokesh Rahul went for 57 and captain Virat Kohli followed for 13 soon after lunch.

Rahul, who scored his eighth Test 50 on his return from a viral fever, was run out in a mix-up with Pujara.

Veteran left-arm spinner spinner Rangana Herath sent Kohli trudging back to the pavilion with a tossed-up delivery that got the edge of the captain's bat and went to slip.

Pujara and Rahane ground out the runs to deny Dinesh Chandimal's side any more wickets during the day. Pujara, who scored 153 in the first innings of the opening Test, hit 10 fours and a six at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.

Rahane also tackled the spinners with aplomb, using his feet to great effect during his 168-ball stay at the crease so far.

In the morning session, off-spinner Dilruwan Perera had Shikhar Dhawan trapped lbw for 35 after the tourists elected to bat first.

Debutant left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was still searching for his first Test scalp. The hosts need at least a draw to stay alive in the series.

* Agence France-Presse

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