x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Dilshan, Mathews help Sri Lanka share day's honours

The Indian bowlers keep chipping away at wickets but the visitors also batted positively with the wicket offering turn and bounce from Day One.

MUMBAI // The Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan posted his 11th Test century as the visitors made 366 for eight on a fluctuating first day of the third and final Test against India. Dilshan's 160-ball 109 and his brisk 93-run partnership for the opening wicket with Tharanga Paranavitana (53) were the feature of Sri Lanka's innings after captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat. The offspinner Harbhajan Singh (4-107) struck some crucial blows to stop Sri Lanka's progress as the hosts bounced back into the contest after struggling in the opening session. Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan all-rounder, hit a career-best 86 not out to give Sri Lanka a narrow edge as it seeks to level the series. Mathews, who had just one half-century in his previous six Tests, struck 13 boundaries off 118 balls and featured in two prosperous partnerships: 74 for the fifth wicket with Dilshan and 67 for the sixth with Prasanna Jayawardene (43). Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the closing stages, leaving Muttiah Muralitharan at the crease at stumps, yet to score.

Dilshan struck two sixes and 10 fours to stamp his authority against India's pace attack, and forced home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to turn to his spinners earlier than he would have hoped. He was finally given out caught by Murali Vijay at forward short leg but replays showed that the ball bounced off his pad. Paranavitana struck seven boundaries off 81 balls before offspinner Harbhajan got India's first breakthrough, inducing an edge to Rahul Dravid at first slip. After toiling in the field against Sri Lanka's opening pair, India struck back with three wickets in the afternoon session to slow the visitors' scoring. The left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (2-97) dismissed Sangakkara caught behind for 18. Pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (1-39) then removed Mahela Jayawardene, who top-edged an intended pull-shot to Yuvraj Singh at backward square-leg. Harbhajan then snared Thilan Samaraweera's (one) wicket, inducing a bat-pad catch to Vijay at short-leg. Harbhajan later dismissed Rangana Herath (one) and also featured in Prasanna Jayawardene's dismissal, taking the catch off Ojha's bowling. * AP

Sri Lanka (first innings): T Paranavitana c Dravid b Harbhajan 53 T Dilshan c Vijay b Harbhajan 109 K Sangakkara c Dhoni b Ojha 18 M Jayawardene c Sehwag b Sreesanth 29 T Samaraweera c Vijay b Harbhajan 1 A Mathews batting 86 P Jayawardene c Harbhajan b Ojha 43 N Kulasekara c Dhoni b Zaheer 12 R Herath c Dravid b Harbhajan 1 M Muralitharan not out 0 Extras (4b, 4lb, 2w, 4nb) 14 Total (eight wickets; 89 overs) 366 Fall of wickets: 1-93, 2-128, 3-187, 4-188, 5-262, 6-329, 7-359, 8-362 Bowling: Zaheer 19-2-70-1 (4nb, 1w), Sreesanth 14-1-66-1 (1w), Harbhajan 29-2-107-4, Ojha 23-1-97-2, Yuvraj 4-0-18-0.