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Ind v SL, 1st Test, Day 1, Review: Suranga Lakmal blows the Indian top-order away on a rainy day

The hosts were reeling at 17/3 when the bad light stopped play.

Sauranga Lakmal
Suranga Lakmal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sri Lanka bowlers led by Suranga Lakmal bowled beautifully on a track which offered a lot to the seamers under overcast conditions. India was reeling at 17/3 when the play was stopped due to bad light and eventually umpires called stumps to give the hosts a much-needed breather. The persistent drizzle delayed the start of the game by almost 4 hours as the crucial toss was won by Dinesh Chandimal who undoubtedly wanted to bowl first in the conditions which were perfect for the bowlers.

Kohli too stated that he wanted to bowl first as the hosts brought in Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Hardik Pandya to boost their bowling resources. Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami also made it to the side along with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who didn’t play limited overs cricket at home against Australia and Kiwis. Murali Vijay was left out of the playing XI who returned to the side for this series after recovering from the injury. Sri Lanka too roped in Dasun Shanaka as a bowling all-rounder as young Sadeera Samarawickrama continued to open as he did in the warm-up game.

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India in deep trouble

Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul strode out to the middle expecting the bowl swing with a mindset to defend. Unfortunately, the rain started again before the first ball was bowled and the wait continued. Though, it stopped soon much to the excitement of the sparse crowd at the Eden Gardens. But what transpired when play started was literally unexpected. Lakmal bowled a peach of a delivery first up which caught the latter off guard and was dismissed off the opening ball of the match for a golden duck.

Cheteshwar Pujara then, survived a few close calls before drizzle returned along with the bad light to frustrate everyone along with the match officials. But India had lost Dhawan just before that who played an expansive drive only to play it onto his stumps off Lakmal yet again. The situation became even worse when the play resumed for the third time on the day and the same bowler trapped the Indian skipper in front to leave the hosts stunned. Even the DRS couldn’t save Kohli and India were looking down the barrel.

Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara then somehow clung on but soon reported to the umpires about the fading light after the latter missed another peach of a delivery from Lahiru Gamage this time. Fortunately for the batsman, it missed the stumps by a whisker else the hosts would have been in deep trouble as they are playing with only five specialist batsmen in this game. The play was stopped for the final time in the day during the 12th over due to the fast fading light and the players never came back on the field. Lakmal was excellent for the visitors as he didn’t concede a single run and scalped three wickets in the six overs he bowled.

The conditions are expected to be the same for the next couple of days as well and the batsmen will have to find a way to post a fighting total on the board. Rain will play more part in the Test match and as the match will start early to cover up the lost overs on Day 1. India would hope that their overnight batsmen stitch a partnership together and bail the team out of the trouble. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would look to wrap up the Indian innings by picking quick wickets on the second day in the similar conditions.

Brief Scores

India 17/3 after 11.5 overs (C Pujara 8*; S Lakmal 3/0)

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