India stretch lead after Dhawan fifty
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India stepped on the gas in Tuesday’s second session to stretch their overall lead to 355 runs against Sri Lanka on the penultimate day of the third and final test at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan celebrated his 32nd birthday with a 67 and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 49 to help the hosts, chasing a record-equalling ninth consecutive test series win, to 192-4 at tea.
Skipper Virat Kohli, fresh from his career-best 243 in the first innings, was batting on 25 at the break with Rohit Sharma on 28 at the other end.
Suranga Lakmal denied India a strong start to their second innings, dismissing Murali Vijay for nine.
The paceman was subsequently seen vomiting and was temporarily off the field as Delhi smog continued to affect the test.
Ajinkya Rahane has been the lone batsman in India’s top six without a fifty in the series and was sent ahead of Pujara in a bid to help him rediscover his form ahead of the tour to South Africa.
The move, however, did not work.
The right-hander survived two reviews and yet managed only 10, trying to hit his way out of trouble and holing out in the deep off Dilruwan Perera.
Dhawan initially looked subdued but the left-hander soon accelerated, stepping out to hit Lakshan Sandakan over his head for a huge six.
The left-arm wrist-spinner had the last laugh though, as he lured the southpaw into charging out for a similar shot only to be stumped.
Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal made a career-best 164 to help Sri Lanka post 373 all out as India claimed a handy 163-run lead.
With Sri Lanka’s number 11 bat Sandakan for company, Chandimal, resuming on his overnight score of 147, unsurprisingly went after the Indian bowlers.
The right-hander added three more boundaries before his thick edge off paceman Ishant Sharma flew to Dhawan at third man.