Third Test started on a good note for India as Virat Kohli won the toss again.
India decided to include Kuldeep Yadav in the team, denying Axar Patel his Test debut. However, Indian openers continued to impress one and all with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan putting on 188 runs for the first wicket. This is a world record opening partnership by any team visiting Sri Lanka. They went past Navjot Sidhu and Manoj Prabhakar record score of 171, made in Colombo in 1993.
Rahul and Dhawan kept the run rate healthy, as Dhawan scored at almost at a run a ball, while Rahul held the fort at the other hand. Rahul completed his 7th fifty in as many innings and Dhawan brought up his soon.
However, Rahul couldn’t convert his fifty into a hundred, as a rush of blood caused him to give a catch to mid-on. Dhawan completed his 6th Test hundred and second of the series. However, Pushpakumara soon accounted for him, as Chandimal took a brilliant catch at square leg and Dhawan departed for 119.
Cheteshwar Pujara couldn’t do much, as he cut a sharp spinner from Sandakan into the hands of Mathews at slips. Rahane was cleaned up by Pushpakumara and India were teetering at 264/4. Captain Virat Kohli and R Ashwin steadied the ship.
Malinda Pushpakumara may not have had a good debut in Colombo, but his triple strike hurt India very much at Galle. Lakshan Sandakan also joined the party removing Indian skipper Virat Kohli for 42.
However, Sri Lanka managed to snag R Ashwin as well for 31, as the new ball created pressure thanks to Kumara and Fernando.
Sri Lanka made a grand comeback into the match after Rahul-Dhawan made them toil hard and Dhawan scored a century. But Pushpakumara, Sandakan, Kumara and Fernando bought Sri Lanka some quick wickets.
The match will definitely will be an interesting one.
INDIA 329/6 (S DHAWAN 119; M PUSHPAKUMARA 3/40)