The opening day of the first test of historic significance to both sides saw India pile up 357 for 6 wickets, but it did not produce the much looked to hundreth match Virat Kohli sparkle from the world’s most celebrated batsman. It was the satisfying element to the Lankans, particularly young spin prodigy Lasith Embuldeniya who bowled the superstar for 45.
Embuldeniya’s strike came on a 300th test match landmark to Dimuth Karunaratne’s team that also saw fast bowler Lahiru Kumara send back India’s new captain, the aggressive opening batsman, Rohit Sharma to the pavilion for 29 caught by Suranga Lakmal. Imposing as the close of play total was to the Indians, the Lankan bowlers had the solace of seeing the backs of India’s two most destructive batsmen on a subdued note. Coming to the fore was Rihabh Pant with a top score of 96 inclusive of 9 boundaries and 4 sixes.
India’s most productive partnership was the 104 for the sixth wicket between Pant and Ravindra Jadeja who was unbeaten on 45. Pant was denied a century by Suranga Lakmal who bowled him. Hanuma Vihari notched 58. Opening batsman Mayank Agrawal made 33 becoming Embuldeniya’s second victim plumb leg before wicket. Shreyas Iyer, the big gun in India’s 3-nil T20 triumph over Sri Lanka, fell for 27 leg before wicket to Dhananjaya de Silva after having faced 48 deliveries.
Lasith Embuldeniya returned figures of 2 for 107 followed by Dhananjaya de Silva 1 for 47, Lahiru Kumara 1 for 52, Suranga Lakmal 1 for 63 and Vishwa Fernando 1 for 69.