Cheteshwar Pujara and Lokesh Rahul notched up half-centuries as India posted 238/3 at tea on the first day of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club here on Thursday.

Pujara was batting on 89 while Ajinkya Rahane was unbeaten on 41 when the teams went in at the break.

Pujara, who is appearing in the 50th Test of his career, has faced 140 balls fo far, with nine boundaries and a well-struck six off left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara over the mid-wicket fence.

Earlier, Rahul celebrated his comeback with a half-century. The right-handed opener made 57 runs off 82 runs with seven hits to the fence before falling shortly after lunch.

Dilruwan Perera notched up figures of 1/54 while fellow off-spinner Rangana Herath returned 1/66.

Brief scores:

India (first innings): 238/3 (Cheteshwar Pujara 89 batting, Lokesh Rahul 57; Dilruwan Perera 1/54, Rangana Herath 1/66) vs Sri Lanka.

Lokesh Rahul celebrated his comeback with a half-century as India posted 101/1 at lunch on the first day of the second cricket Test against Sri lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club here on Thursday.

Rahul was batting on 52 with the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 14 at the other end when the teams went in for the break.

In-form opener Shikhar Dhawan was the only wocket to fall in the morning session. Dhawan made a quick 35 runs off 37 balls before being trapped leg before by off-spinner Dilruwan Perera.

Perara, the only successful bowler among the hosts so far, returned figures of 1/11 in his four overs.

Shikhar Dhawan, who had narrowly missed out on the maiden double century of his career, seemed to be in excellent form here as well.

Dhawan and fellow opener Lokesh Rahul handled the Lankan bowlers quite comfortably and saw India off to a superb start.

Dhawan was a bit tentative in the opening over and enjoyed a reprieve when Lankan pacer Nuwan Pradeep managed to find his outside edge.

The ball however, fell just wide of the slip cordon and went for the first boundary of the match.

The Delhi left-hander edged another delivery, this time off Rangana Herath in the second over, the ball falling short off the slip cordon once again.

But he soon recovered his composure and made an excellent comeback by charging out of his crease to smash the fifth ball of the over into the stands.

The Indian openers continued to bat comfortably with the run rate consistently hovering around the five per over mark.

Just like in the first Test, the Lankan bowling attack did not seem too formidable although the pitch had a slight bit of bounce.

Dhawan who seemed set for a big score, fell off the first of the 11th over when he missed an attempted sweep and the ball straightened enough to hit him on the pads.

The umpire had initially ruled not out but the Lankans decided to call for the review and were rewarded when the third umpire overturned the decision.

Pujara and Rahul however, ensured tha the visitors lost no more wickets til lunch.

 

Earler India made one change to their playing XI. Fit-again opener Lokesh Rahul replaced Abhinav Mukund in the top order.

Host Sri Lanka made three changes to the side that was thrashed by India in the first Test.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva and all-rounder Malinda Pushpakumara came in for injured Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Kumara, and Asela Gunaratne.

Squads:
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep.

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.