A maiden Test century from Hardik Pandya, coming in at number eight and off just 86 balls, helped India make 487 runs in the first innings of the third Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekele. This was Pandya’s maiden century in first-class century which helped India score 158 runs from 32 overs in the first session, an extended one, on Sunday.
Resuming the day at 329 for 6, India added a total of 158 runs before being bowled out by Sri Lanka for 487, two balls into the second session. This may prove too much for Sri Lanka as the Pallekele pitch is taking some turn and batting won’t be easy.
It was one of the most entertaining innings by Pandya who also managed to carry India throughout the first session with the tail. India had lost their ninth wicket when Pandya had reached his half-century. This extednded the first session in which he scored his century. He was unbeaten on 108 off 93 balls when India reached Lunch but could not add any more to his or India’s account as he was caught at deep cover. The final wicket stand for India was worth 66 runs.
In the first session, Pandya’s innings saw an over from Malinda Pushpakumara in which he took 26 runs — the most by and Indian player in Test cricket. He hit two fours, followed by three consecutive sixes before a dot final ball. A four through mid-wicket, one past the bowler were followed by a three sixes — one over long-off, one flat straight down the wicket and other hitting the sight screen.
Laskhan Sandakan picked up five wickets for 132 runs, his maiden five-for in Test cricket and remained the stand out bowler for Sri Lanka. He had picked up two wickets on day one and added three more on day two.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 13 August 2017
Vishwa Fernando took the first wicket of the day when Wriddhiman Saha played a rash cut short straight to gully. Kuldeep Yadav resisted and played some good shot before Sandakan got one to turn slightly away from him and he got a thin outside edge.
Mohammed Shami was looking to hit big shots straightaway but offered a catch back to Sandakan who accepted it. Pandya was his fifth wicket when he bowled one wide and the Indian went after it only to hit it straight down the throat of sweeper cover.