Openers put India in a position of safety after 166 run partnership

Lokesh Rahul (left) and Shikhar Dhawan were the saviour for India on day four
Lokesh Rahul (left) and Shikhar Dhawan were the saviour for India on day four

India 172 & 171-1 (Dhawan 94) v
Sri Lanka 294 (Herath 67)
First Test, Eden Gardens, day four

Lokesh Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan shared a 166 run opening stand as India showed resilience on day four to claim a 49 run lead after coming from behind in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens.

Starting their second innings with a trail of 122 runs, India had a contrasting start to their first innings with Rahul (73 not out) hitting three boundaries in the second over and with no trouble whatsoever, both he and Dhawan (94) brought the 50-run stand off 75 deliveries.

In the 16th over from Dilruwan Perera (0-41), Sri Lanka unsuccessfully reviewed a decision against Dhawan and at the end of the second session, India reached 70 for naught.

Rahul started the final session with a flurry of boundaries and soon brought his eighth score of 50+ in just nine innings. As the duo looked to build on the momentum, a vividly desperate Sri Lanka used another review for a LBW against Dhawan but replays indicated the involvement of bat.

The 100-run stand came off just 24 overs and Dhawan went on to register a 73 ball fifty. Just at the stroke of stumps, Dasun Shanaka (1-29) had Dhawan caught behind, ending a massive opening partnership and at stumps, India had a lead of 49 runs leading into the final day.

Earlier, Sri Lanka resumed the day with a score of 165 for four. Dinesh Chandimal (28) and Niroshan Dickwella (35) brought the 50-run stand but the Indian pacers Mohammad Shami (4-100) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-88) struck in quick succession to reduce Sri Lanka to 244 for eight before Rangana Herath (67) lifted the total to 294.

© Cricket World 2017