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Dhawan, Rahul help India reach 329/6

 PALLEKELE, Aug 12: Shikhar Dhawan continued his golden run but a rare flop show from the famed middle-order saw Sri Lanka restrict India to 329 for 6 here on the first day of third cricket Test.

Courtesy Dhawan’s (119) sixth Test hundred and a record 188-run opening stand with KL Rahul (85), India looked good for a score close to 400 after opting to bat.

However, some fine bowling in the final two sessions by left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara (3/40 in 18 overs) and chinaman Lakshan Sandakan (2/84 in 25 overs) helped Sri Lanka gain some foothold when stumps were drawn on the opening day.

The in-form Cheteshwar Pujara (8), last Test’s centurion Ajinkya Rahane (17) were dismissed cheaply while skipper Virat Kohli (42) was dismissed after getting set.

However, Kohli had been reaching out to play the spinners from his crease and ended up edging the ball to first slip off Sandakan in the 79th over.

Ravichandran Ashwin (31) looked compact but became left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando’s scalp at the fag end of the day.

Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha (13 batting), who survived a DRS appeal for caught behind, then brought up India’s 300 in the 81st over even as the visitors were in dire need of a partnership to make their morning advantage count.

The duo added 26 runs for the 6th wicket and negotiated the second new ball properly as well. But Ashwin was caught behind off Fernando, two overs before stumps leaving India with more work to do on the second day. – PTI

Scorecard

India 1st innings: Shikhar Dhawan c Chandimal b Pushpakumara 119, Lokesh Rahul c Karunaratne b Pushpakumara 85, Cheteshwar Pujara c Mathews b Sandakan 8, Virat Kohli c Karunaratne b Sandakan 42, Ajinkya Rahane b Pushpakumara 17, R Ashwin c Dickwella b Vishwa Fernando 31, Wriddhiman Saha batting 13, Hardik Pandya batting 1. Extras: (B-6, LB-5, NB-2) 13. Total: (For six wkts; 90 overs) 329. Fall of wickets: 1-188, 2-219, 3-229, 4-264, 5-296, 6- 322. Bowling: Vishwa Fernando 19-2-68-1, Lahiru Kumara 15-1- 67-0, Dimuth Karunaratne 5-0-23-0, Dilruwan Perera 8-1-36-0, Lakshan Sandakan 25-2-84-2, Malinda Pushpakumara 18-2-40-3.

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