Sri Lanka openers make solid start
Openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Tillakaratne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a solid start in their bid for a series-levelling victory in the third and final Test against India on Wednesday.
Left-handed Paranavitana hit a breezy 53 as the tourists put up 117 for one at lunch after winning the toss and electing to bat first at the Brabourne stadium.
Sri Lanka are yet to register a Test win on Indian soil since their first visit in 1982. They trail 1-0 in the three-Test series after losing the second Test by an innings and 144 runs.
Image: Tharanga Paranavitana
Dilshan, who scored 0 and 11 in the last Test, raced to 51 not out at the lunch break. He punished anything short and blasted Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for a six and a four off successive deliveries to make his intentions clear on a good batting pitch.
He got his half-century from just 57 deliveries, having hit seven boundaries, with a fine sweep for two runs against Harbhajan in the 26th over.
Image: Tillakaratne Dilshan
But the opening partnership was halted by spinner Harbhajan Singh, who helped stem the flow of runs with some flat, accurate bowling which claimed the wicket of Paranavitana.
Harbhajan's probing spell with the ball was finally rewarded when he claimed Paranavitana. The left-hander, who made 53 from 81 deliveries, inclusive of seven boundaries, was tempted by the full delivery from Harbhajan that turned a bit and took the outside edge to Dravid at first slip.
Image: Harbhajan Singh gets a pat from Laxman and skipper Dhoni
Dilshan delivers with a hundred
Tillakaratne Dilshan registered his second century of the series before he was unluckily dismissed.
The 33-year-old opener scored 109 runs in 160 deliveries, inclusive of 10 boundaries and two sixes.
He curbed his early morning aggression after the quick dismissals of Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera in the space of four balls in the second hour of play during the post-lunch session to post his 11 Test hundred.
Image: Tillakaratne Dilshan celebrates on getting a hundred
Harbhajan's third victim
Dilshan was Harbhajan Singh's third victim of the innings -- the first two being Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera. .
But it was a lucky one as the ball missed the bat and went off the pads to Murali Vijay at short leg. Umpire Nigel Long thought otherwise and ruled Dilshan out.
Harbhajan ended the day with figures of 4 for 107 in 29 overs, as Sri Lanka put up 366 for 8 after 89 overs at stumps. Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 86 with Muthiah Muralitharan yet to open his account.
Image: Harbhajan Singh