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India vs Sri Lanka 2017, 1st Test: KL Rahul-Shikhar Dhawan's opening stand troubles Sri Lanka

India ended the day on 171 for 1 with Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul at the crease.

FEATURED WRITER
Feature 19 Nov 2017, 16:34 IST
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Shikhar Dhawan KL Rahul
Rahul-Dhawan smash Sri Lanka

Under the blazing sun at the Eden Gardens, the green tinge on the track withered away which made life much easier for the batsmen and the bowlers were made to toil hard for any success.

Sri Lanka consolidated their position during the first innings as an unlikely batting star in Rangana Herath surfaced as he carved, swept, and cut his way to a feisty 67. This propelled Sri Lanka's first innings lead to 127 and all of a sudden, the match swung back into the corner of the visitors.

However, the Indian openers, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul came out with a lot of positive intent and dispatched plenty of gentle offerings to the boundary as they cruised their way past the 127-run deficit and such was the extent of their dominance that Sri Lankans looked a depleted unit by the end of the day.

The run rate never dipped below 4 runs per over and this now means that the hosts can now push on and boost their lead. This would also mean that Sri Lanka, which started the day well ahead, were suddenly under pressure and with their backs against the wall.

Rahul started the innings in fine fashion as he kept driving the half volleys scurrying through the covers and this set the tone perfectly for the rest of the innings. Dhawan was more watchful at the other end and both batsmen were in stark contrast to each other, which worked beautifully for the hosts.

However, as Dhawan breezed past his half-century, he put his foot on the accelerator and plundered runs off Rangana Herath and then looked to carve into the faster bowlers too.

Rahul became more circumspect at the other end and looked to hand over the strike to Dhawan as he was skating along at the other hand.

The Delhi-man galloped away, but his exuberance was cut short when he missed an expansive drive and was dismissed for 94 in 116 balls.

Their partnership for the first wicket was worth 166.

India ended the day on 171 for 1 with Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul at the crease.

As the lights dimmed at the Gardens, India had pulled away from Sri Lanka and on the fifth day they can now look to press on and get to a decent lead of around 250 runs and then exert pressure on the hosts in the final two sessions.

However, a draw seems to be the most likely result as the pitch which started as a green track offering plenty of assistance to the seamers has now settled down and has become a batting belter with almost no assistance to either the seam or spin bowlers.

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