Published On: Sat, Nov 25th, 2017

Pujara, Vijay hand India 107 runs lead against Sri Lanka on Day 2

Nagpur: Cheteshwar Pujara (121 not out) and opener Murali Vijay (128) powered India to 312/2 and take a 107-run first-innings lead against Sri Lanka on the second day of their second cricket Test here on Saturday.

Vijay and Pujara dominated the second session, disallowing the Sri Lanka bowlers take wickets

Pujara watched every ball closely and played a patient knock to bring up his 14th Test ton, while Vijay marked his return in the Test cricket with his 10th century. They shared a 209-run stand for the second wicket which took India past Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 205.

After the fall of Vijay, skipper Virat Kohli (54 not out) was ruthless from the onset as he and Pujara forged an unbeaten 96-run third-wicket stand when umpires called it a day.

For Sri Lanka, spinner Rangana Herath (1/45) was the only successful wicket-taker of the day at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

Resuming the day at 11/1, the overnight pair of Vijay and Pujara started cautiously, meddling the odd ball for quiet singles in the first hour of play before Vijay got into the act to bring up his 16th Test half century.

Vijay had his share of luck on his individual score of 45 in the first session of play when he miscued a Dilruwan Perera delivery to mid-off which skipper Dinesh Chandimal, running back failed to grab.

Thereafter, there was no looking back for the Tamil Nadu right-hander as he nailed pacer Dasun Shanaka’s half-volley for a brilliant boundary to long-on to bring up his half century in style.

Both the Indian batsmen took minimal risk, scoring on loose deliveries and rotating strike to maintain a healthy run-rate as India reached 97/1 at lunch.

Vijay and Pujara dominated the second session, disallowing the Sri Lanka bowlers take wickets.

The Saurashtra batsman stood tall on the stumps sending the loose deliveries to the fence. Tamil Nadu right-hander Vijay looked to be the aggressor out of the two, occasionally stepping out of the crease to sent the ball to the fence.

Few overs into the final session, Vijay looked to change gears and eventually fell prey to Herath’s delivery handing an easy catch into the arms of Dilruwan Perera at short fine leg.

Later, Kohli joined hands with Pujara and the former stamped his authority, scoring at a faster pace and imposing added threat on the Sri Lanka bowlers.

Meanwhile, right-hander Pujara, who was batting in his 90s when Kohli came, was at ease as the latter was keeping the pressure on the bowlers. Pujara completed his century when he played medium pacer Dasun Shanaka past gully for a double in the second ball of the 87th over.

Afterwards, Kohli and Pujara comfortable sailed through till the end of the day to put India in a position of strength, reaching 312/2.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 205 vs India 312/2 (Pujara 121 not out, Kohli 54 not out; Herath 1/45).

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