Pallekele Test: India win toss, elect to bat first against Sri Lanka

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Pandya said his hundred (108) was all about playing according to the situation and the 26-run over (off Malinda Pushpakumara) just happened.

Along with his incredible six-hitting ability, Pandya is a good bowler, who can take important wickets at regular intervals. Dhawan reached his ton with a boundary to Pushpakumara in 107 balls.

Sri Lanka's misery did not end. Pandya defended the final ball of the over as he wanted to take a single and keep the strike for the new over but failed.

The big wicket came when Chandimal was caught at leg gully off R Ashwin (2/22) in the 32nd over, the ball lobbing up and KL Rahul completing the easy catch.

Both batsmen made the most of the opportunities with Dhawan reaching his fourth Test fifty off just 45 deliveries while right-handed Rahul brought up his seventh consecutive score of 50 or more in 67 deliveries.

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). At tea Sri Lanka were 61 for 4, and their downward slide continued in the final session as well. They were all out for 28.2 overs against Pakistan in Kandy in 1994 and in 34.2 overs against Australia in Pallekele past year.

"First time in my life I have not had the 90s butterfly".

Shikhar Dhawan struck a century for India, but Sri Lanka's spinners fought back to leave honours finely balanced after the first day of the third Test yesterday.

Having secured a 352-run lead, Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on for the second time in successive Tests, leaving Sri Lanka a further 15 overs to bat out on the second evening.

With little obvious room in the schedule for any of the players to appear in county cricket at the start of 2018, it remains possible that a county could attempt to sign one of the India batsmen - perhaps even Kohli - before the end of this season, too. While Axar Patel is picked in the Indian squad as Jadeja's replacement, it is likely that chinaman Kuldeep Yadav will accompany Ravichandran Ashwin as the two will take care of India's spin-bowling department. Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored back-to-back hundreds in the first two matches, fell cheaply.

"The Sri Lanka bowlers bowled well and pulled the match a little bit on their side", Dhawan, who celebrated his sixth Test century, said.

Sri Lanka's batting meanwhile has been heavily reliant on Dimuth Karunratne.

India dominated the second day of the Pallekele Test against Sri Lanka.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal (13 not out) and Niroshan Dickwella (14 not out) are batting.

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