Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Virat’s brilliant ton goes in vain as bad light forces a draw in first test match

[caption id="attachment_58507" align="aligncenter" width="580"]9398 Virat Kohli scored his 18th Test ton today at the Eden Gardens. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: A brilliant century from Virat Kohli went in vain as the first test match between India and Sri Lanka resulted in a disappointing draw. The islanders survived some anxious moments before bad light stopped play. Sri Lanka chasing 231 runs to win scored 75/7 in 26.3 overs. Indian captain Virat Kohli brought up his 50th ton in international cricket. He smashed an unbeaten 104 from 119 balls studded with 12 boundaries and 2 sixes as India recovered from behind 269 for six to declare their innings for 352 for eight and set a challenging 231 target in a little over one session.

In reply, Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar rocked the Sri Lankan second innings with superb figures of 11-8-8-4, well supported by Mohammed Shami (9.3-4-34-2) as bad light stopped play 75/7 in 26.3 overs with the visitors making a narrow escape after first two days were interrupted by rain, with a total of 551 minutes.

Yadav (1/25) also did well to support the duo as India in retrospect missed a fourth seamer as the selection of two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja went wicketless.

Shami and Bhuvneshwar bowled a devastating spell of swing bowling as they reduced the visitors to 22/4 at the start of second innings, sparking hopes of a repeat of that famous test match against Australia in 2001.

There were tempers flowing from both sides. Indian captain got livid in the 19th over at the Lankan second innings due to apparent time-wasting tactics when batstman Dickwella repeatedly went out from his crease without any disturbance with Shami beginning his run-up.

Usually level-headed, Shami looked furious and walked straight up to the batsman as the duo had a heated exchange in the middle while Kohli too got into the act in an animated discussion before umpire Nigel Llong pacified it.

Finally India managed to break the partnership with Shami cleaning up the Sri Lankan skipper Chandimal with a 140-plus fuller delivery to uproot the middlestump.

Dickwella (27) and Dilruwan Perera (0) were dismissed in addition of six runs as Bhuvneshwar and Shami looked at their furious best before the match could not last the distance.

Earlier in the day, resuming on 171/1, India lost their first wicket with addition of 21 runs as KL Rahul once again failed to convert his fifty to get out for 79. Specialist batsmen duo of Pujara (22), Rahane (0) also failed to stick around, while Jadeja (9), Ashwin (7) and Wriddhiman Saha (5) also went back cheaply as India looked in trouble with 281/7 with a paltry overall lead of 159.

But the Indian captain like always rose to the occasion as he played an entertaining knock to bring up his maiden test ton at Eden Gardens. Kohli did had a lucky survive as he survived a loud leg before shout on 72 runs. He went on to score his 18th ton in test cricket that included 12 hits to the fence and 2 huge sixes over covers.

Pujara became the ninth player overall, and third Indian to bat across five days of a five-day Test, thanks to rain interruption on day one and two.

The second Test of the three-match series will be in Nagpur from November 24-28.

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