Colombo: India were all out for 393 in their first innings on the second day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka here today.
Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha shepherded the lower order batsmen with an unbeaten half century as India batted at a slow pace to reach to 386 for 8 at lunch.
Saha batted sensibly without taking much risk to avoid a below-par total in the Indian first innings even as the pitch at the P Sara Oval eased out for batting.
Ishant Sharma (2 batting) was giving him company at the lunch break as India added 67 runs from 24.4 overs in the second morning of this Test.
Resuming the day at 319/6, the visitors did not get off to a great start. Saha was lucky not to be bowled off the seventh ball of the morning while on his previous day’s score of 19. Dhammika Prasad (2/84) was the unlucky bowler as the ball kissed the off-stump but did not dislodge the bail.
Six balls later, Sri Lanka did get their first wicket of the morning, with Ravichandra Ashwin (2) hitting Angelo Mathews (2/24) straight to short extra cover fielder.
Saha survived another close call in the 91st over, Prasad again being the unlucky bowler, as his loose shot did not quite carry enough to the keeper.
TV replays appeared to suggest that the umpire’s decision to give Saha a benefit of doubt to be correct. Saha had not added a single run to his overnight score then. He finally got going on the 14th ball he faced whilst Amit Mishra (24, 50 balls, 3×4) joined him at the other end.
Mishra too was lucky to survive, without opening his account off 10 deliveries, when in the 94th over, umpire Bruce Oxenford failed to detect a faint edge to the keeper with Mathews the one to miss out on a wicket this time. With these ‘lives’ given, it was no surprise that the batsmen decided to settle down and curb their shots, and run scoring was slow as a result.
Saha and Mishra built a sluggish partnership of 46 runs for the eighth wicket and it helped India cross the 350-run mark in the 101st over of the innings. Just as Mishra looked to open up a bit, he was dismissed caught behind, with Dushmantha Chameera (2/72) getting the breakthrough in the 106th over.
Saha then reached his second Test fifty off 106 balls and with Ishant for company, avoided further loss until lunch. 67 runs came in this first session of play in 23.4 overs.
Rangana Herath (2/80) and Tharindu Kaushal (0/110) were the other bowlers deployed by Lanka, but the pitch did not give them great help as yet.
On day one, Lokesh Rahul scored 108 runs, his second Test hundred, and put up 164 runs with Virat Kohli (78) to help India score 300-plus in one day’s play. Rohit Sharma also scored 79 runs as the visitors had recovered from 12/2 at one stage after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
India 1st innings
Murali Vijay lbw b Prasad 0
Lokesh Rahul c Chandimal b Chameera 108
Ajinkya Rahane c Karunaratne b Prasad 4
Virat Kohli c Mathews b Herath 78
Rohit Sharma lbw b Mathews 79
Stuart Binny c Chameera b Herath 10
Wriddhiman Saha lbw b Herath 56
Ravichandran Ashwin c Silva b Mathews 2
Amit Mishra c Chandimal b Chameera 24
Ishant Sharma lbw b Herath 2
Umesh Yadav not out 2
Extras: (B-8 LB-13 W-4 NB-3) 28
Total: (All out in 114 overs) 393
Fall of wickets: 1/4 2/12 3/176 4/231 5/267 6/319 7/321 8/367 9/386
Bowling: Dhammika Prasad 24-7-84-2, Angelo Mathews 15-7-24-2, Dushmantha Chameera 20-2-72-2, Rangana Herath 25-3-81-4, Tharindu Kaushal 30-2-111-0.