KOLKATA: After a four-hour rain delay, Sri Lanka asked India to bat upon winning the toss but off-and-on drizzle and bad light allowed just 11.5 over in the entire opening day of the first Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. However, it was enough for Suranga Lakmal to make full use of the juicy track in overcast conditions and take three wickets without conceding a run to rock the hosts.
Lakmal ended with figures of 3/0 in a spell of six maiden overs as he removed opener KL Rahul caught behind off the first ball of the match and then trapped skipper Virat Kohli in front, also for a duck, to leave India stunned.
He went on to take his third wicket in the form of Shikhar Dhawan (8), who inside-edged onto his stumps.
At the time umpires called stumps due to bad light, Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 8 not out and Ajinkya Rahane on 0.
Bad light and rain meant only an hour’s play was possible in the day. The first session was washed away due to drizzle and wet outfield, and the second session began at 1:42 pm as play was possible only for 43 minutes.
Dinesh Chandimal won a fine toss and opted to bowl under overcast conditions as Lakmal made full use of the Eden green top.
Relishing the conditions, Lakmal produced an unplayable delivery that pitched on middle stump line and went away to take a feather edge of Rahul.
It was an agonising end to Rahul’s streak of seven successive fifties. He was picked in the eleven ahead of Murali Vijay but fell to a beauty.
Continuing his dream start, Lakmal almost cleaned up Pujara with a fuller inswinger following Rahul’s dismissal. But luckily for the most dependable India batsman, the ball which darted back in went inches above the middle stump.
The post-tea period began at 3:30 p.m. and there was no change to India’s score in the session but the Lankans added the prize wicket of Kohli in 17 minutes of play.
In the second over after tea, skipper Kohli was trapped anticipating an away delivery when the ball sharply cut back in. Kohli went for the review but was given out on umpire’s call to bring his innings to an end with zero from 11 balls.
Touring here for a Test series for the first time since 2009, Sri Lanka have lost 10 matches and drawn six as they search for a maiden win on Indian soil.