India take vital 243-run lead vs Lanka

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| Monday, August 31, 2015 - 13:45
First Published |

India take vital 243-run lead vs Lanka

Colombo: Top order batsman Rohit Sharma struck a much needed half-century to help India gather a vital 243-run second innings lead at lunch on Day 4 of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground here on Monday.
 
Besides Rohit's 50-run knock, Stuart Binny (38 not out) scored freely along with Naman Ojha (11 not out) as the duo remained unbeaten when lunch was taken. The visitors reached 132/5 in 37 overs in their second innings.
 
Earlier, the hosts scored 201 in the first innings in reply to India's 312.
 
Resuming the fourth day at 21/3, overnight batsmen Virat Kohli (21) and Rohit aimed to gather as many runs as possible to extend their lead.
 
The duo got their proceedings underway by facing the Lankan bowlers smartly on a bright sunny morning in the first 10 overs of the day.
 
But skipper Kohli, trying to play a defensive stroke off a full delivery from right-arm medium pacer Nuwan Pradeep, edged the ball to first slip where Upal Tharaga held onto the ball after a little juggle.
 
With four wickets down at 64, Rohit needed support at the other end as the Mumbai batsman was looking set for a big score. Incoming batsman Binny played a perfect supporting role as the duo scored a handy 54-run partnership for the fifth wicket to take the lead past the 200-run mark.
 
But soon after completing his half-century and just a few minutes before lunch, Rohit gave his wicket away while attempting a pull off a short delivery from pacer Dhammika Prasad. The ball found the top edge to settle in the hands of Pradeep at long leg.
 
With the dismissal of Rohit at 118, debutant wicket-keeper batsman Ojha came in and held on firmly, giving company to Binny.

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