India ended the first day of the 3rd test match at Palleke International Stadium, Kandy on 329 for 6 in 90 overs. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul got India off to a great start but in the second and third session, Sri Lankan bowlers made a comeback restricting them to 329 for 6.
Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss again for the third consecutive time. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul gave the team a flying start with average bowling performance by the Sri Lankan inexperienced new ball bowlers. In the first hour, India scored 69 runs in first 13 overs. Both batsmen looked in great touch. Shikhar Dhawan completed his half century off 47 balls with a boundary. KL Rahul became the first Indian batsmen to score 7 successive half centuries in test matches. At the end of the first session, both openers continued their brilliant form scoring 134 runs at 4.9 runs per over.
Coming back from the break, both openers continued their aggressive style of play. In the 41st, Malinda Pushpkumara got the breakthrough for Sri Lanka as KL Rahul tried to hit a big shot and was well caught by Karunanthe for 85. Dhawan completed his 6th test century. Few overs, Shikhar Dhawan was too dismissed by Pushpkumara for 119 in 123 balls. Before the tea break, Sandakan got the big wicket of Pujara for 8 runs. In the second session, India added 101 runs with the loss of 3 wickets.
In the third session, Rahane and Virat Kohli steadied the innings adding 29 runs as Rahane was dismissed by Pushpkumara for 17 runs. Captain Kohli and Ashwin played with caution as the Sri Lankan bowlers showed great discipline with their lines not allowing the Indian batsmen to score runs easily. Kohli was dismissed by Sandakan to end a 32 runs partnership for the 5th wicket. Before the end of day’s play, Ashwin was brilliantly caught by Dickwella for 31. At the end of day 1, India scored 329 for 6 in 90 overs. In the final session, the visitors scored 94 runs losing 3 wickets.
India 329 for 6 in 90 overs ( Shikhar Dhawan 119, KL Rahul 85, Malinda Pushpkumara 3/40)