Chandimal fights as India restrict Sri Lanka to 151/4 at tea
Nagpur, Nov 24 (PTI) Indian bowlers maintained consistent pressure on Sri Lanka reducing them to 151 for 4 at tea on the first day of the second cricket Test here.
The trio of Ishant Sharma (2/33), Ravichandran Ashwin (1/45 in 18 overs) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/28 in 13 overs) kept the islanders under tight leash despite skipper Dinesh Chandimal's unbeaten 47 off 92 balls.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne had luck going his way during the first session, when he was dropped once and stumped off a no-ball another time, but still he could not fully capitalize on the reprieves getting out for 51.
Having already played 147 deliveries and hit six boundaries, his skipper Chandimal would have expected Karunaratne to help him stitch a bigger partnership than the 62 runs that they added for the fourth wicket.
Ishant finally sent the dogged Karunaratne back with a delivery that looked to have straightened after pitching. Karunaratne went for DRS but the replays showed that the delivery would have hit the off-stump.
Chandimal showed more intent than his teammates to get the scoreboard moving, hitting four boundaries and a down the ground six off Jadeja. When tea was called, Niroshan Dickwella (18) was giving him company.
Courtesy Chandimal, during the post-lunch session, Sri Lanka managed to score 104 runs in 32 overs while losing a couple of wickets.
Former skipper Angelo Mathews padded a Jadeja arm ball to be dismissed for 1 which brought Chandimal at the crease. The two best shots by the Lankan captain were a picture perfect straight drive and a copybook cover drive off Umesh Yadav at the stroke of tea. The cover drive also brought up Sri Lanka's 150.
Earlier, opener Sadeera Samarawickrama (13) and one down Lahiru Thirimanne (9) were out during a session where the visiting team went into a shell with a safety-first ploy in the 27 bowled during the first morning.
The Sri Lankan batsmen were ultra defensive in their approach during the first session on a Jamtha track that had good bounce and carry but was far from the menacing green top that was on offer at the Eden Gardens during the first Test.
Ishant Sharma, playing his first Test since the home series against Australia, bowled his customary back of the length stuff with an occasional fuller delivery.
He set up opener Samarawickrama with a delivery that was on fifth stump. The right handed opener rightly left it but the very next delivery was fuller, angled in at a drivable length. The batsman took the bait and the thick outside edge was pouched by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip.
The seasoned Thirimanne was in a defensive mode from the start as his 58-ball stay at the crease would suggest. So intent he was on defending that he tried to play an ugly sweep shot to a Ashwin delivery that hardly turned and missed the line completely to get bowled.
Karunaratne could have been dismissed on 15 off Ashwin but Pujara could not latch onto a catch that was there for the taking.
Ashwin had enticed Karunaratne to use his feet and the left-hander tried to play a chip shot over Pujara at mid-on. He did not get the required elevation and Pujara timed his jump well but the ball slipped out.
Karunaratne once again benefitted when Wriddhiman Saha effected a brilliant stumping only to find that Jadeja had overstepped.
It was delivery that had flight and landed shade outside the off-stump as the opener prodded forward and missed it. Saha whipped the bails in a flash but to his dismay found Jadeja being no-balled for overstepping