(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Sri Lanka reached 165-4 in its first innings to trail India by only seven runs at stumps on Saturday on Day 3 of the first Test at Eden Gardens.
Bad light forced an early end just after 4pm local time with 24.2 overs remaining. Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten on 13, while Niroshan Dickwella was 14 not out.
India was earlier bowled out for 172 runs in its first innings of the three-Test series. The hosts lost their last five wickets in the morning session as the bad weather that had washed out most of the first two days finally gave way to sunshine.
Sri Lanka reached tea at 113-2 and Lahiru Thirimanne (51) and Angelo Mathews (52) extended their third-wicket partnership after the interval to 99 runs. Thirimanne reached his fifth Test half-century off 86 balls.
Mohammed Shami (0-53) was unlucky not to get any breakthrough. That came at the other end as Umesh Yadav (2-50) had Thirimanne caught at second slip.
Mathews then reached his 28th Test half-century off 88 balls. Shortly after, he became Yadav's second dismissal, chipping a simple catch to Lokesh Rahul at cover.
"I was looking to score runs. You can't hang in there forever," Mathews said. "On this wicket you will get a good ball and you tend to get out. You can't be fluent on this wicket. You have got to grind and try and score runs."
Sri Lanka crossed 150 in the 43rd over. The Indian pacers bowled some Testing spells but weren't able to make further inroads as Chandimal and Dickwella held off to add 27 runs for the fifth wicket.
Sri Lanka had begun its reply in hectic fashion as openers Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) and Dimuth Karunaratne (8) quickly put on 29 runs for the first wicket.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-49) struck the first blow. Dimuth Karunaratne was trapped lbw and the decision stood despite a DRS review from the batsman. Two overs later, Samarawickrama was caught behind as Kumar struck again.
Shikhar Dhawan dropped Thirimanne at first slip off Yadav in the 18th over.
Resuming on 74-5, India added another 98 runs before its first innings ended at lunch.
Cheteshwar Pujara top scored for India with 52 runs while Suranga Lakmal was the most successful of the Sri Lankan bowlers, capturing 4-26.
Pujara, 47 overnight, reached his 16th Test half-century off 108 balls before he was bowled by an inswinger from Lahiru Gamage.
Playing his 52nd Test, Pujara put on a great batting display in tough conditions during limited play on the first two days.
"I was trying to score as many runs as possible. It is tough to get your concentration together after so many rain breaks," Pujara said. "We are still fighting in this match, and on this wicket there is something for the pacers. If we can get a couple quick wickets tomorrow, we can run through their batting."
Wriddiman Saha (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) added a valuable 48 runs for the seventh wicket before they both departed in the same over from Dilruwan Perera.
Mohammed Shami, batting at 10, chipped in with a rapid 24 to prop up the tail before he was the last man out.
| Lanka on top |
India 1st innings L. Rahul c Dickwella b Lakmal 0
S. Dhawan b Lakmal 8 C. Pujara b Gamage 52
V. Kohli lbw b Lakmal 0 A. Rahane c Dickwella b Shanaka 4
R. Ashwin c Karunaratne b Shanaka 4 W. Saha c Mathews b Perera 29
R. Jadeja lbw b Perera 22 B. Kumar c Dickwella b Lakmal 13
M. Shami c Shanaka b Gamage 24 U. Yadav not out 6
Extras (lb4, b6) 10 Total (all out, 59.3 overs) 172
Fall: 1-0, 2-13, 3-17, 4-30, 5-50, 6-79, 7-127, 8-128, 9-146, 10-172 Bowling: Lakmal 19-12-26-4, Gamage 17.3-5-59-2, Shanaka 12-4-36-2, Karunaratne 2-0-17-0, Herath 2-0-5-0, Perera 7-1-19-2
Sri Lanka 1st innings S. Samarawickrama c Saha b Kumar 23
D. Karunaratne lbw b Kumar 8 L. Thirimanne c Kohli b Yadav 51
A. Mathews c Rahul b Yadav 52 D. Chandimal not out 13
N. Dickwella not out 14 Extras (lb4) 4
Total (4 wickets, 45.4 overs) 165 Fall: 1-29, 2-34, 3-133, 4-138
Still to bat: D. Shanaka, D. Perera, R. Herath, S. Lakmal, L. Gamage Bowling: Kumar 14.4-2-49-2, Shami 13.5-5-53-0, Yadav 13-1-50-2, Ashwin 4-0-9-0, Kohli 0.1-0-0-0
Toss: Sri Lanka Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Joel Wilson (WIS)
TV umpire: Anil Chaudhary (IND) Match referee: David Boon (AUS)