AP NEWS

Draw looms as India takes lead vs Sri Lanka on day 4

November 19, 2017
India's Lokesh Rahul, right, plays a shot during the fourth day of their first test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
India's Lokesh Rahul, right, plays a shot during the fourth day of their first test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

KOLKATA, India (AP) — India reached 171-1 in its second innings on the fourth day of the first test against Sri Lanka at stumps on Sunday in Kolkata.

After play was stopped 18.3 overs early due to bad light, the hosts hold a 49-run lead with the prospect of a draw looming.

Lokesh Rahul was unbeaten on 73 runs while Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 2 not out. Shikhar Dhawan scored 94.

Earlier, Sri Lanka finished their first innings at 294 runs and a 122-run lead over India’s 172.

Post tea, Rahul and Dhawan continued their domination over the Sri Lankan attack and put on 166 runs for the first wicket. It was the first hundred-plus stand by an Indian opening pair in the second innings of a test since 2010.

Rahul reached his 10th test half-century off 65 balls. Later, India’s 100 came up in the 24th over.

Frustrated by their stand, Sri Lanka used up both DRS reviews against Dhawan in quick succession for lbw calls, but both were turned down.

Dhawan then reached his fourth test half-century off 74 balls. Overall, he faced 116 deliveries and hit 11 fours as well as two sixes. He eventually fell shortly before stumps, caught behind off Dasun Shanaka (1-29).

Only 32.5 overs were bowled on days one and two due to rain. Bad light has stopped play early on the remaining days with hopes of a result receding

“We will see how the morning session goes. If we can get a few quick runs, then the captain and coach will assess the situation. It is their call in the end,” said Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

At the start of the day,Sri Lanka built on it overnight 165-4 with Dinesh Chandimal (28) and Niroshan Dickwella (35) putting on 62 off 84 balls for the fifth wicket.

India then fought back with three quick dismissals. Dickwella was caught at second slip off Mohammed Shami (4-100) while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-88) trapped Dasun Shanaka (0) lbw.

Shami then struck again and had Chandimal caught behind to reduce Sri Lanka to 201-7 in the space of 10 deliveries.

Dilruwan Perera (5) then survived an lbw call via DRS review. It appeared that he was instructed by the dressing room to ask for the review, after he had decided to walk off.

After the decision was overturned, he put on 43 runs with Rangana Herath (67) for the eighth wicket as the Indian attack struggled to keep a check on the Sri Lankan lower order.

Herath completed his third test half-century off 83 balls and added 46 runs with Suranga Lakmal (16) for the ninth wicket.

“We have to credit fast bowlers from both sides the way they have bowled on this wicket. Compared to the last three days, it was a much better wicket to bat on today. We have had only 180 overs in the game so far. It remains to be seen if we can get a result on the last day,” said Herath.

Umesh Yadav (2-79) was the other wicket-taker. In all, it was the first time since 1983 that Indian pacers shared all 10 wickets in an innings of a home test.