Iyer rescues India as Lankan spinners thrive in day-night test

BENGALURU, India, March 12 (Reuters) – India were bowled out for 252 in the first innings against Sri Lankaon a pitch that offered the spinners turn and variable bounce on day one of the day-night teston Saturday.

While the pitch proved tough to score runs on, middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer was unperturbed and reached 92 after India won the toss and skipper Rohit Sharma opted to bat first in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

India’s openers fell cheaply in the first session, with Mayank Agarwal run out in the second over attempting a non-existent run after Rohit Sharma failed to send him back in time.

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With the pacers having no luck, Sri Lanka switched to spin early and Lasith Embuldeniya (3-94) struck in his second over, enticing Rohit (15) into a defensive shot and drawing an edge which was safely pouched in the slips by Dhananjaya de Silva.

Rohit was playing in his 400th international game and his wicket ironically drew cheers from the Bengaluru crowd as it brought Virat Kohli — former captain and the star of their Indian Premier League franchise — to the crease.

Kohli and Hanuma Vihari built a 47-run stand to steady the ship but left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama (3-81) started asking questions of the batsmen with his turn.

After snaring Vihari leg-before and seeing the decision overturned on review, Jayawickrama eventually got his man with a rising delivery that turned and nicked Vihari’s bat and he was caught by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella for a patient 31.

Sri Lanka brought on a third spinner in De Silva and he struck in his first over to trap Kohli (23) leg-before with a delivery that kept surprisingly low, silencing the home crowd as the umpire raised his finger.

Rishabh Pant, dropped early in his innings by Suranga Lakmal, blazed to a quick-fire 39 with seven boundaries before Embuldeniya struck again with a ball that turned and smashed into the stumps.

Ravindra Jadeja, who scored an unbeaten 175 in the first test, was surprised by a rising delivery from Embuldeniya and caught in the slips.

Iyer reached his half-century with two massive sixes in one over and new batsman Axar Patel also went on the attack, prompting Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne to bring back Lakmal, with the veteran pacer striking immediately to have Patel bowled.

Iyer finished with 10 fours and four sixes before he was stumped off the bowling of Jayawickrama, eight runs short of a century.

India lead the two-test series 1-0 after winning the first test in Mohali by an innings and 222 runs.

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Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

source: reuters.com