Sri Lanka vs India 3rd Test: Advantage Sri Lanka as rain restricts play on Day 1 to just 15 overs
Rain played spoilsport as just 15 overs was bowled on Day 1 of the third Test between Sri Lanka and India with the hosts holding the slight advantage. Sri Lanka made good use of a lively pitch to pick up two early wickets and continued to trouble the Indian batsmen who finished the day with the score on 50/2.
India lost both their centurions from the 2nd Test, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane, early on while stand-in opener Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli also survived some close chances, including a dropped catch of Kohli. The Sri Lankan pacers were brilliant and would consider themselves unlucky to have not picked up more wickets.
The toss was always going to be crucial with a grassy pitch prepared on the relaid surface at the SSC Colombo and Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews had no hesitation in opting to bowl first after he made the right call. With the series tied at 1-1, a good start was essential for both teams and it was Sri Lanka who drew first blood dismissing KL Rahul in just the second ball of the match.
The Indian youngster had gotten off the mark of the very first ball with a double off an inside edge after being tempted to play the cover drive. That delivery seemed to be playing on Rahul’s mind as he was caught in two minds with Dhammika Prasad’s next ball which pitched at an uncertain length. The ball hit the seam and jagged back a long way to hit the top of Rahul's stumps who failed to cover his stumps properly after opting to leave the ball.
Rahane looked confident in striking two boundaries down the ground but missed a full delivery from Nuwan Pradeep and was adjudged leg-before-wicket leaving India reeling at 14/2 with just 4 overs bowled. The inswingers continued to trouble Pujara and Kohli at the crease, with the former surviving a close appeal by Mathews. Kohli meanwhile had a catch dropped by Sri Lanka’s debutant keeper Perera.
Frustratingly for the hosts, the ball went on to hit the helmet kept behind the keeper giving India five penalty runs. There were also outside knicks by both batsmen that fell short of the slip fielders before the rain came pouring down in the morning session itself. The day’s play was eventually called off after the match officials held an inspection around 3:30 IST.
The match will start tomorrow at 8:45 IST.