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Dhawan fail to scale sikhar despite dashing stand

19th November 2017
Unless something drastic happens the first Test looks set for a draw after openers K L Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan neutralised 122 run lead set by Sri Lanka as they finished their first innings for 294 on Day 4 at Eden Gardens here today.
K L Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan played a rollicking first wicket partnership of 166 scoring merrily at over 4 runs an over with Dhawan getting out unfortunately for 94.  
Men in Blue rectified first innings debacle and started off strongly, smashing some delicate shots all over the park. K L Rahul brought his eigth fifty in nine innings nudging the ball to the right of mid-wicket, while Dhawan reached his fifty flicking the flighted delivery through mid-wicket. Chandimal brought Hearth into the attack in 27th over. Indian openers took on the left-arm spinner aggressively. As the deck provided less assistance to seamers, the Lankan bowlers were far from their impressive first innings performance, without causing any threat to Indian duo.
Towards the fag end of the day, Dhawan missed a well-deserved century by 6 runs as Shanaka’s delivery managed to kiss the inside edge of the bat. Pujara(2) and Rahul(73) signed off cautiously as India were 171/1 at stumps,leading by 49 runs.
Earlier, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a rich purchase off the pitch to put the Islanders in trouble. Resuming at 165/4, Dickwella retaliated playing some attacking shot
Shami broke the 62 runs partnership when Kohli took a sharp catch at second slip to send Dickwella(35) back. The islanders lost three wickets in space of one run as Bhuvi removed Shanaka for a duck trapping in front of wicket while Shami finished Chandimal’s unconvincing stay by initiating a healthy edge to Wriddhiman Saha in back-to-back overs.
Shami caught Dilruwan Perera with sharp inward movement, but Perera got lucky as leg-before decision was overturned, as the impact was outside off even after plumbing the wicket. Ultimately Perera fell prey to Shami for 5. Rangana Herath might not have much to do with the cherry, but the veteran put up a dogged resistance and frustrated Indians with two partnerships of 43 and 46 runs with Perera(5) and Lakmal(16) respectively.
Post-lunch, Herath completed his third Test fifty and finally deep backward point on 67. Seven balls later, Shami uprooted Lakmal’s off-stamp to end Lanka’s innings on 294, conceding lead of 122 runs. Shami and Bhuvi scalped four wickets each, while Umesh picked up two wickets.

Ayan Das