India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test, Highlights: Hosts Fightback After India’s Massive 111-Run Lead, Onus on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Ishant Sharma’s five-wicket haul gave India a 111-run lead on day three of the third Test. Armed with this lead, India were in a great position but Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep tore through the top order. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma looked to rebuild before the rain arrived and resulted in early stumps. Relive all the action here: (SCORECARD | PHOTOS | VIDEOS)

16:53 hrs IST: That will be stumps on day three. The rain is just too heavy for the moment. India are 21/3, leading by 132 runs and Sri Lanka will be happy with their fightback. However, tomorrow is a vital day and India will be aiming to extend their advantage without losing wickets at regular intervals.

16:46 hrs IST: The rain is pelting down and the entire ground is fully covered. We might see stumps soon but waiting for some confirmation.

16:38 hrs IST: The groundstaff are racing on to the field with the covers as the rain arrives in Colombo. It is pretty heavy at the moment and India will be heaving a big sigh of relief. India are 21/3, leading by 132 runs.

16:34 hrs IST: Prasad and Pradeep are making life very difficult for Kohli and Rohit Sharma. India are making slow progress but this has been a great spell from these two bowlers, in particular Prasad. However, Rohit Sharma breaks the shackles by depositing Herath over the long-off fence for a six.

16:25 hrs IST: Third wicket down and Sri Lanka are roaring back into the contest. Ajinkya Rahane misses a straight delivery and he has to go. Ajinkya Rahane LBW Pradeep 4 (17).

Pradeep bowls this legcutter full on middle and Rahane plays down the wrong line. He gets hit on the back pad and he is given the marching orders. India are 7/3 and in a bit of trouble.

16:13 hrs IST: Unbelievable! Second time in this match, KL Rahul has fallen the same way. Lokesh Rahul b Nuwan Pradeep 2 (8).

KL Rahul will now be thinking twice before leaving the ball. In the first innings, Dhammika Prasad got him when he left a ball that seamed back in from outside off stump. Now, in the second innings, Pradeep gets this delivery to come back in and Rahul leaves it again. To his horror, the ball hits the off stump and he has to walk back. Second time he has misjudged and this is a poor start for India.

15:58 hrs IST: Hero to Zero in the space of a day for Cheteshwar Pujara. After scoring 145*, he gets out for 0. Cheteshwar Pujara b Dhammika Prasad 0 (2).

Brilliant stuff from Dhammika. Bandaged left hand, sore neck, yet he delivers the goods. He bowls a full ball on middle and it darts away sharply, he gets beaten and the ball crashes into off stump. This is why cricket is a cruel game.

15:47 hrs IST: Sri Lanka have not lasted long after the tea interval. Herath fell to Ishant for 49, giving the bowler his seventh five-wicket haul. Prasad stuck some lusty blows to get Sri Lanka past the 200-run mark but India hold all the aces. The batsmen will now be aiming to score some quick runs and go all out for the win.

15:45 hrs IST: Wild swing and a miss. Prasad is stumped and India have a commanding lead. Dhammika Prasad st Ojha b Mishra 27 (23).

Prasad dances down the track as he looks to heave it to deep midwicket but the flighted legbreak turns away and Ojha whips the bails off in a flash. Sri Lanka have been bowled out for 201 and India have a 111-run lead.

15:42 hrs IST: Dhammika Prasad is going after Ishant here. He smashes him for 12 runs as Sri Lanka reach the 200-run mark.

15:31 hrs IST: Ishant does it. He takes his seventh five-wicket haul in Tests. Richly deserved and India are on the cusp of a big lead. Herath c Ojha b Ishant 49 (84).

This is great stuff from Ishant. He gets this delivery to nip away on the middle and off stump line as Herath pushes at it and the keeper does the rest. This is his first five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka.

15:23 hrs IST: Umpire Nigel Llong is under pressure in the first over after tea. Mishra vehemently appeals for an LBW but the umpire is unmoved. Replays suggest an inside edge onto the pads. In the last ball, Prasad survives a caught behind appeal and the umpire does not give it. Kohli and Mishra are flabbergasted that it was not given out. In fact, it is a good decision. Replays show the ball just missing the glove and the outside edge.

15:05 hrs IST: Sri Lanka started off disastrously with Thirimanne getting out for 0 while Dhammika Prasad left the field injured. Kusal Perera stroked a fifty on debut and shared a 79-run stand with Herath. However, Ishant got rid of Perera for 55 and that sparked off a war of words between Perera, Ishant and Virat Kohli. Before the dismissal, tension had been building when Ishant went after Herath. The exchange of words spoiled what was a gripping session. Herath has remained solid on 47 and India will be cursing themselves for dropping him just before the tea break. Can Sri Lanka come close to the Indian target?

15:00 hrs IST: That will be tea on day three and Sri Lanka are still hanging in there. Rangana Herath has done admirably well to score an unbeaten 47 as the hosts look to come closer to the Indian score of 312. However, this session was dominated by Kusal Perera and Herath’s partnership but it witnessed plenty of tension.

14:45 hrs IST: WICKET and Amit Mishra breaks this frustrating stand. However, it is another poor decision by umpire Nigel Llong. Tharindu Kaushal LBW Amit Mishra 16 (39).

Mishra gets this straight delivery to skid on and he gets an inside edge onto the back pad. However, umpire Nigel Llong fails to spot the edge and gives him LBW. The umpiring is becoming shoddy here. In walks Dhammika Prasad, who retired hurt after getting hit on the left hand by Ishant Sharma.

14:28 hrs IST: Spinners are operating at both ends but Sri Lanka are playing comfortably. How much will the Sri Lankan tail minimise the damage?

14:20 hrs IST: Amit Mishra comes into the attack for the first time in this innings. It has been 37 overs but the pitch is continuing to assist the pace bowlers.

14:05 hrs IST: Kusal Perera falls, Ishant gets his fourth wicket but there is plenty of tension in the air. Kusal Perera c Kohli b Ishant 55 (56).

There was a change of ball two deliveries before and that has done the trick. Ishant bowls this length delivery and Kusal miscues the pull to mid-off where Kohli takes the catch. He kicks the ball away in frustration but at the other end, Perera and Ishant are having a verbal volley. Both are eyeballing each other and Ajinkya Rahane calms him down. On the way, Kohli also has a word with Perera who turns and retorts back. Ends a great knock but there is definitely some tension.

13:57 hrs IST: Great moment for Kusal Perera as he scores a fifty on Test debut off just 49 balls. His counterattack has put India off their game plan. Can he and Herath continue the good work?

13:54 hrs IST: Ishant and Herath are exchanging glares at each other and the batsman has a word with the umpire. This partnership is frustrating India. Kohli has a wry smile on his face and tells Ishant to just continue the good work.

13:47 hrs IST: Sri Lanka have avoided the follow-on thanks to Kusal Perera. He is batting with real authority out there and Herath is giving him good company. Sri Lanka are 117/6, trailing by 195 runs.

13:30 hrs IST: The fifty partnership is up between Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath. The counterattack is deflating India and these runs will boost the morale of the hosts. Sri Lanka 101/6, trailing by 211 runs.

13:24 hrs IST: Edged but not given! Stuart Binny maintains the round the wicket angle and gets this full delivery to nip away, Kusal Perera goes for the drive and gets an edge through to the wicketkeeper, India appeal but the umpire is unmoved. The umpiring today has been slightly dodgy and this adds to it.

13:19 hrs IST: Kusal Perera is doing his best to unsettle the Indian bowlers. He is handling Ashwin well, playing the reverse sweep and also playing him with soft hands. He has confidently moved on to 25 and Sri Lanka need a lot, lot more to get them out of this tricky situation.

13:11 hrs IST: After 23 overs, spin introduced for the first time. India are going for the kill and that is why they have brought their main tormentor into the attack. Just for your information, Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker in this series, having picked up 17 wickets in the two Tests played.

13:03 hrs IST: Catch dropped! KL Rahul’s mixed day continues. After taking some smart catches, he drops his second catch of the day. Umesh squares up Kusal Perera and Rahul drops the catch at second slip. Rohit Sharma attempted a rebound catch but the ball was just out of reach. Perera and Herath are looking to strike some boundaries and are taking the attack to the Indian bowlers.

12:46 hrs IST: Two balls later, Ishant hits Dhammika Prasad’s left glove and he is lots of pain. One must remember that Prasad already has a neck injury and this will increase his woes even further. He has retired hurt and this will be a major blow for Sri Lanka when he will be required to bowl in the second innings. Dhammika Prasad retired hurt 1 (1).

12:43 hrs IST: What a start by Ishant Sharma after lunch. He is bowling with pace and venom and on top of that, he is accurate. Lahiru Thirimanne c KL Rahul b Ishant 0 (7).

Thirimanne looks to get behind the line of the delivery but the ball jags back in, the edge is taken and Rahul at second slip dives to his right to take a good, low catch.

12:01 hrs IST: The Indian pacers have dominated the first session of the third day. Ishant Sharma kept pegging away but Umesh Yadav troubled the batsmen with his swing and accuracy. Stuart Binny bowled with discipline and they choked the life out of Sri Lanka. The top order, barring Dinesh Chandimal, were simply blown away by the discipline of these three bowlers and they are well behind the game. The onus is now on Lahiru Thirimanne to get Sri Lanka back to a semblance of safety. Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara joined a very illustrious list when he scored an unbeaten 145. You can read about his feat here.

11:59 hrs IST: Binny strikes at the stroke of lunch and India are on top. Sri Lanka are in tatters and it will be a gloomy lunch interval for them. Dimuth Karunarate c KL Rahul b Binny 11 (37).

Binny floats a full delivery outside off and Karunaratne, after hanging in there for so long, is lured into the drive and he edges it to second slip where KL Rahul completes a non-chalant catch. Sri Lanka are in tatters at 47/5, still trailing by 265 runs.

11:56 hrs IST: There is a slight drizzle at the moment but with lunch approaching, the players might stay out there for some time.

11:53 hrs IST: The groundstaff are assembling close to the boundary. It has gotten dark at the SSC and one feels that the rain is not too far away. Meanwhile, Ishant almost gets another as Lahiru Thirimanne fends at a short delivery aimed at his body but the ball falls just in front of short leg.

11:49 hrs IST: The Sri Lankan skipper departs and the hosts are in real trouble. Angelo Mathews c Naman Ojha b Ishant 1 (9).

Ishant gets this delivery to seam away just in that channel outside off and Mathews edges it to Naman Ojha to give him his first catch. Sri Lanka are in massive trouble here.

11:27 hrs IST: BIG WICKET! Stuart Binny gets the wicket of Chandimal and Sri Lanka slide further. Chandimal LBW Binny 23 (27).

Binny gets this delivery to nip back in from a good length and Chandimal plays slightly inside the line. He gets hit on the back leg and the umpire raises the finger. Chandimal is not happy as he walks off, he was looking good out n the middle.

11:08 hrs IST: Looks like the ball has gone out of shape. Players will be taking drinks at the SSC.

11:05 hrs IST: Chandimal breaks the shackles by smashing two boundaries off Yadav. Sri Lanka will need a repeat of his heroics in Galle if they are to salvage the situation.

10:54 hrs IST: Yadav is really troubling the Sri Lankan batsmen. He ends his third over with a brilliant delivery to Dinesh Chandimal. He angles this delivery in at 142 kmph but it straightens after pitching and Chandimal is beaten all ends up. Yadav cannot believe that he has not got a wicket with that delivery. Sri Lanka 11/2, trailing by 301 runs.

10: 52 hrs IST: WICKET! Kaushal Silva follows Upul Tharanga back in the pavilion. Kaushal Silva b Umesh Yadav 3 (11).

Silva looks to get his bat out of the way to a short ball but he is late in doing so and he ends up dragging it back onto the stumps. Just reward for Yadav who is bowling an immaculate line and length.

10:50 hrs IST: WICKET! Tharanga goes but there could be some controversy here. Upul Tharanga c KL Rahul b Ishant 4 (23).

Ishant bowls a full delivery just outside off and Tharanga once again pushes at it. The edge flies to Rahul at second slip who takes the catch. However, the umpires check for the no-ball and Ishant’s front foot is on the line. Now, according to the rules, the line belongs to the umpire and there is no part of Ishant’s foot behind the line so it must be a no-ball. However, the third umpire, Raveendra Wimalasiri, rules it OUT! That is very strange. India are very lucky to get away with that. It was clearly a no-ball.

10:42 hrs IST: While Ishant is struggling a bit for rhythm, Umesh Yadav is bowling well. He is generating plenty of seam movement and is getting some extra zip and bounce from this deck.

10:26 hrs IST: DROPPED! Upul Tharanga has survived. Action already in the first over. Ishant angles this full delivery across just outside off and Tharanga is lured into the shot. He pushes at it and the edge flies to first slip where Lokesh Rahul flies to his right but drops it.

10:25 hrs IST: Poor start for Ishant Sharma. In his first over, he has already bowled three no-balls. Virat Kohli has a grumpy look on his face.

10:15 hrs IST: Pujara’s unbeaten 145 has laid the foundation for India to be in a great position. He gets a standing ovation from the dressing room for this achievement. On a difficult pitch and in the face of some disciplined Sri Lankan bowling, this knock has been sensational. The onus is now on the Indian bowlers to carry forward the good work done by Pujara.

10:12 hrs IST: STAT ATTACK! Cheteshwar Pujara becomes the fourth Indian batsmen to carry his bat in a Test innings. The three other players before him are Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid.

10:10 hrs IST: All over and India are all out for 312. Umesh Yadav b Herath 4 (14).

Umesh Yadav hangs back and Herath fires the quicker arm ball that goes straight on, Yadav plays all around it and gets cleaned up.

10:05 hrs IST: Close. Umesh Yadav survives a run-out. He punches a back of a length delivery to mid-off and strolls down the other end. However, the fielder quickly moves in and has a shy at the bowler’s end but misses. Had he hit the stumps, Yadav was a goner!

0958 hrs IST: The 300 is up for India. Pujara is content on rotating the strike and he will be hoping Umesh Yadav gives him solid support.

0953 hrs IST: WICKET! Ishant goes and Herath strikes in the second over of the day. Ishant b Herath 6 (9)

Herath floats this delivery slower through the air and it straightens, Ishant looks to slog it to midwicket but he misses and the ball hits the middle stump. India 298/9.

09:45 hrs IST: Both batsmen are striding out to the middle. How many more runs will India accumulate and what will be Pujara’s approach? Dhammika Prasad was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers yesterday as he generated good seam movement. He is bowling with plenty of aggression despite suffering from a sore neck.

0915 hrs IST: Cheteshwar Pujara stole the show on day two with a magnificent hundred on his comeback. On a tough SSC wicket, he grafted and hung in there. His partnership wtih Amit Mishra has helped India reach a good position and he will be aiming to carry on. Sri Lanka will be aiming to take the remaining two wickets quickly. Bright sunshine currently in Colombo, which will be a welcome relief for both teams after two days of rain.

India were down in the dumps by lunch – Rohit Sharma had just been dismissed at the stroke of 12 and the Indian dressing-room was a worried corner. Out in the middle were two men, who were under pressure to cement their own places. But Cheteshwar Pujara, making a comeback to the Test team after eight months held his own and shared a brief partnership with debutant wicketkeeper Naman Ojha and then stitched up a 107-run stand with Amit Mishra (59), reaching his seventh hundred in the process.

By the end of the second day, which came earlier than either team would have wanted, thanks to another spell of rain, the Indians were in a good position, according to former skipper Sunil Gavaskar. From 119/4 at lunch to 292/8, India had scripted a very good recovery, thanks in no small measure to that heroic stand between Pujara and Mishra. The pitch at the SSC has helped seamers so far and India have three in their line-up. A score in the region of 330 could make things interesting if Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Stuart Binny pitch it in the right areas.

Day 2 Recap

Cheteshwar Pujara marked his recall with an unbeaten century after Sri Lanka’s Dhammika Prasad ripped through India’s batting in the decisive third and final Test in Colombo on Saturday.(Scorecard | Highlights)

The tourists, who resumed at 50-2 after a rain-curtailed opening day, moved to 292-8 by stumps on the second day at the Sinhalese Sports Club with Pujara holding fort on a watchful 135 not out.

Pujara, who had been dropped for India’s last four Tests across Australia, Bangladesh and the ongoing series, may not have played this match too if both regular openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan had been fit.

The 27-year-old grabbed the chance to notch up his seventh Test century that has so far included 13 boundaries. (Read Full Day 2 Report)

Cheteshwar Pujara Thanks Rahul Dravid for his Words of Encouragement

Relieved after notching up his first hundred in close to two years, Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Saturday thanked A team coach Rahul Dravid for reassuring him that there was “nothing wrong” with his technique during the prolonged lean patch. Pujara, who made a grand comeback to the playing XI by scoring an unbeaten 135, had spent quality time with Dravid last month while playing against Australia A in Chennai. (Read More)

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