Mathews, Thirimanne fifties give Sri Lanka advantage

Angelo Mathews (left) announced his comeback with a half-century
Angelo Mathews (left) announced his comeback with a half-century

India 172 (Lakmal 4-26) v
Sri Lanka 165-4 (Mathews 52)
First Test, Eden Gardens, day three

After contributions from lower order helped India recover an post 172 runs in their first innings, Sri Lanka managed to bring down the trail to seven runs riding on the fifties from Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne at stumps on day three of the first Test at Eden Gardens.

India resumed the day with a score of 74 for four. With a boundary in the second over, Pujara completed his half-century but he soon perished when castled by Lahiru Gamage (2-59) in the 38th over to leave the home side reeling at 79 for six.

The boundaries came bit freely when Ravindra Jadeja (22) got going along with Wriddhiman Saha (29). Their partnership of 48 runs helped India recover a bit and in the process, Sri Lanka reviewed a decision unsuccessfully against Saha.

The Indian wicket-keeper batsman also had a reprieve when Niroshan Dickwella missed a stumping, though a double strike from Dilruwan Perera (2-19) in the 52nd over had both Jadeja and Saha dismissed.

Sri Lanka used a review successfully to get rid of Jadeja while Saha's review went in vain after he was caught in the slips. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13) and Mohammad Shami (24) showed some fight later on but Sri Lanka did well to bowl out India for 172 runs in their first innings.

Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) looked extremely positive early on as Sri Lanka raced to 29 for naught in the first four overs. Dimuth Karunratne (8), though survived after giving out LBW by using a review.

India did manage to get an early breakthrough when Bhuvneshwar (2-49) trapped Karunaratne LBW and soon the seamer also ended Samarawickrama's attacking 22-ball knock.

Thirimanne (51) and Mathews (52) survived the early scare with the new ball and soon the boundaries kept coming more freely as Sri Lanka crossed the 100-run mark. At tea, Sri Lanka were positioned 113 for two.

Thirimanne, who was dropped when on 27 in the slips by Shikhar Dhawan went on to complete a half-century and soon Mathews also achieved the milestone. However, their hardwork were undone when Umesh Yadav (2-50) struck twice to dismiss them in successive overs as Sri Lanka ended the day with a score of 165 for four. They still trail India by seven runs.

© Cricket World 2017