Colombo: Opener Lokesh Rahul’s unbeaten knock of 98 runs aided by captain Virat Kohli’s 78 put India in a formidable position at 206/3 at tea on Day One of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.
Rahul and middle-order bat Rohit Sharma (17) were at the crease with Sri Lanka’s medium pacer Dhammika Prasad bagging two and spinner Rangana Herath picking one scalp at the P. Sara Oval stadium.
India were 97/2 at lunch with skipper Kohli and Rahul at the crease.
After lunch the Kohli-Rahul pair continued where they left, and made easy meal of the Sri Lankan attack. Both batsmen latched onto anything loose that was bowled to them.
The otherwise quiet Rahul matched Virat stroke-for-stroke.
It was Herath who finally broke the partnership as Virat Kohli finally got out for 78, edging one to Mathews.
The next man in Rohit Sharma, looked quite steady from the start blocking a few of the middle of the bat. Rohit then easily neglected the tough deliveries to remain unconquered at tea.
Earlier after electing to bat, India were jolted upfront in the very first over of the day as Prasad trapped opener Murali Vijay (0) leg-before-wicket in the fourth delivery. The ball swung back in and struck the opener on the front pad right in line with the stumps.
Prasad was at it again as he got rid of Ajinkya Rahane (4) too in quick succession after he edged a wide one to the slips.
Tottering at 12/2, it was Rahul and skipper Kohli who took on the responsibility of rebuilding the innings. Both were a little circumspect from the start, letting go of the moving leather whenever possible.
Kohli, however, grabbed hold of the opportunities that came his way as he hit back-to-back boundaries against Dushmantha Chameera in the 10th over.
Rahul soon followed his captain and got into the groove, hitting some delightful boundaries as the red ball began to lose it’s shine.