Kolkata: Sri Lanka will be the happier team walking back to the dressing room at the end of the third day’s play as now they trail just by seven runs to match India’s first innings total of 172 at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
The day began with Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha battling it out to take India to a decent total from 74/5. But Pujara who had batted so far fell for a well made 52 as India once again looked to be in all sorts of trouble. But a brief 48-run stand between Saha (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) helped India cross the 100-run mark. In the end, brief cameos by Mohammad Shami (24) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13) helped India make 172 runs in their first innings. For the visitors, Suranga Lakmal, who destroyed the Indian top order on Day 1 was the most successful bowler with figures of 19-12-26-4.
He was ably supported by Dilruwan Perera (2/19), Dasun Shanaka (2/36) and Lahiru Gamage (2/59).
After India limped to 172 in the first innings, it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who dented the Sri Lankan reply with two early wickets but a 99-run partnership between Angelo Mathews (52) and Lahiru Thirimanne (51) made sure that Sri Lanka were on the right track en route to the small total. Umesh Yadav then scalped the wickets of Mathews and Thirimanne towards the end of the day to help India get back into the game. But with seven runs to get to overhaul India’s total, Sri Lanka are in the driver’s seat and would look to capitalise on the good batting performance of the top order on the fourth day, if the weather is the same as was on Saturday.
Sri Lanka 165/4 (Angelo Mathews 52, Lahiru Thirimanne 51; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/49) trail India 172 all out (Cheteshwar Pujara 52, Wriddhiman Saha 29; Suranga Lakmal 4/26) by 7 runs.