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Shanaka reduces India to 74-5, Pujara wages lone battle

Friday, Nov 17, 2017,12:17 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kolkata | Sri Lankan seamer Dasun Shanaka struck twice to leave India reeling at 74/5 despite a fighting unbeaten 47 by Cheteshwar Pujara before rain forced an early lunch on the second day of the opening Test here today.
Sahana took two wickets in the morning in the form of Ajinkya Rahane (4) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) but Pujara anchored India’s first innings on testing overcast conditions at the Eden Gardens.
Overnight eight, Pujara faced 102 deliveries and struck nine fours in his knock, three runs away from what could be a memorable half-century as the India No 3 built his innings with supreme resolve.
He patiently waited for loose balls as the visitors got maximum purchase from the Eden greentop, brilliantly aided by the overcast conditions.
Shanaka struck in his third over when he tempted Rahane for a drive and got a thin edge to the wicketkeeper. Next he evicted Ashwin after setting him up brilliantly as Pujara struggled to get a partnership going.
Overnight 17/3 after Suranga Lakmal’s sensational bowling display, Indians were tested in the off-stump corridor by the Lankan pacer’s probing length and bounce.
Indians preferred to take Lakmal with extreme caution as the Lankan new-ball bowler finally ended his overnight spell from the High Court end for 11-9-5-3.
On 24, Pujara was hit on his bottom hand — bowling hand — thumb by a rising short pitched delivery from Lahiru Gamage as he flung his gloves in pain in the 25th over.
In the next over, Pujara lost Ashwin as Shanaka set him up with a bouncer and followed it with a good length delivery that was cut straight to point by the Indian offspinner.
But Pujara remained unperturbed and looked for loose deliveries and scored mainly through boundaries before the first session was halted by rain.
Lunch was taken 10 minutes ahead of schedule while it started pouring in the middle.