Ton for Shikhar Dhawan, turn for Sri Lanka

Lahiru Gamage has been called up to the Sri Lanka squad for the final Test against India in Pallekele along with Dushmantha Chameera

Lahiru Gamage has been called up to the Sri Lanka squad for the final Test against India in Pallekele along with Dushmantha Chameera

India have won the toss and elected to bat first in the dead-rubber third and final Test of the three-match series against Sri Lanka here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Resuming the final session at 235/3, left-arm spinner Pushpakumara scalped the wicket of Rahane before Sandakan sent Kohli back into the hut just when the skipper was looking good with three fours. Wridhiman Saha and Hardik Pandya were at crease with 13 and 1 respectively when stumps were drawn for the day.

Both Dhawan (119) and Rahul (85) looked positive from the outset and scored three boundaries apiece in the first six overs and brought their 50 run stand off just 55 deliveries.

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The opening session of the Test belonged to the Indian openers as they milked the bowling attack to put on 188 runs for the opening wicket, bettering the record of 171-run stand between Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Singh Sidhu (1993).

Ravichandran Ashwin (31) was the only wicket to fall to the faster bowlers when he edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella after the hosts had taken the second new ball. Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, made just once change in the squad. In doing so they took India past 400 in the 110th over, something that seemed unlikely at stumps on day one.

Pushpakumara broke the big partnership of the two India openers, with Rahul chipping a ball to Dimuth Karunaratne, who took a nice catch on the jump at mid-on.

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Jamie Vardy put the visitors ahead from Marc Albrighton's cross on the half-hour mark, only for Danny Welbeck to strike level on half-time.

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal brilliantly caught Dhawan diving to his left at square-leg when the batsman swept Pushpakumara. "He had proved himself during the Dharamsala Test and thus has a good chance of playing tomorrow", Kohli said in the pre-match press conference. Fast and swinging the ball both ways, Shami troubled Sri Lanka's left-handed opening pair with the away going ball, and kept them guessing by bringing the ball in, making it hard to leave the balls outside the off-stump.

By this time, Malinda Pushpakumara had bowled four overs in the morning, and his figures read 22-2-56-3.

With Yadav and Sandakan featuring in the match, it is only the second time since 2004 when two "chinaman" bowlers are playing in the same game after Dave Mohammed (West Indies) and Paul Adams (South Africa) at Cape Town.

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Kohli and Rahane were then tasked with stabilizing the innings, which they did, ensuring no more wickets were lost as the team headed into Tea.

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