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Sri Lanka make late comeback after Dhawan, Rahul fire

Shikhar Dhawan scored yet another century
Shikhar Dhawan scored yet another century

India 329-6 (Dhawan 119) v Sri Lanka
Third Test, Pallekele, day one

After Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul scored 119 and 85 runs respectively, Sri Lanka bowlers led by a three-wicket haul from Malinda Pushpakumara made late comeback to restrict India to 329 for six at stumps on day one of the third Test in Pallekele.

India won the toss for the third time in a row and decided to bat first. Kuldeep Yadav replaced the suspended Ravindra Jadeja for the visitors.

Both Dhawan (119) and Rahul (85) looked positive from the outset and scored three boundaries apiece in the first six overs and brought their 50 run stand off just 55 deliveries.

Rahul had a reprieve when he was put down by Lahiru Kumara (0-67) at mid on in the 12th over. The duo continued to play their strokes and brought the first 100-run opening stand at the venue.

Dhawan went past his fifty with a boundary in the 18th over and soon Rahul completed his own two overs later. As Sri Lanka were looking clueless once again, India raced to 134 for naught in the first session.

In the fourth over of the second session, the pair went past the 150-run stand and soon held the record for the highest opening stand against Sri Lanka in their own backyard when they reached 175.

Pushpakumara (3-40) provided some respite for Sri Lanka finally when he snared Rahul, 15 runs short off a deserving century. Nevertheless, he held the national record for seventh consecutive half-century.

Two overs later, Dhawan completed a scintillating century - his second in the series but Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan (2-84) struck in quick succession to remove Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara (8) early. India went into tea with a score of 235 for three.

Sri Lanka lost a review when they reviewed a LBW decision against Ajinkya Rahane (17) in the 63rd over but he failed to carry on as he became the third victim of Pushpakumara.

Virat Kohli (42) and Ravichandran Ashwin (31) looked to consolidate the innings a bit but both fell at the stroke of stumps with Sandakan and Vishwa Fernando (1-68) being the wicket takers. At stumps, India were positioned 329 for six.

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