Vijay, Pujara put India in dominant position

Doug Mendoza
November 26, 2017

The overnight batsmen put together a 209-run partnership for the second wicket to take the hosts past Sri Lanka's 205.

It was then Pujara's time to raise his bat to acknowledge the support of the crowd as he completed his 14th Test ton (4th versus Sri Lanka).

Pujara, on 121, was batting alongside skipper Virat Kohli, on 54, at close of play. The overs in the legs showed when Lakmal went for 21 in four overs in his mid-afternoon spell despite reverse swing on offer. India were without the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, both of who had caused much damage in the first Test. As openers do, he needed a little bit of luck going his way, but his discipline otherwise was good.

"I like batting, so it does not matter who bats at the other end!"

Forced to defend, defend and defend, Vijay looked to manufacture a shot. There was a scare when Vijay was beaten by Shanaka and Sri Lanka reviewed for caught behind, but replays suggested there was no nick.

With Niroshan Dickwella and Chandimal out in the middle and the total on 160 for 4, Sri Lanka had an opportunity to post a decent score, butDickwella's dismissal triggered a collapse as the tourists lost six wickets for 45 runs. Kohli brought up his half-century in the penultimate over of the day, before, finally, time was called and the Sri Lankans were put out of their misery, for the time being at least. He began with a plum half-volley, which got dispatched too.

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However, India's run-feast did not stop. False strokes nearly went out of India's game, and the field looked prone.

Sri Lanka didn't help their chances of challenging India for the second Test in a row when they gave away lifelines to the returning opener.

As the mileage grew in those legs, the intensity dipped, the run rate increased and the milestones began to arrive.

In the second session, with the bowlers forced into defensive lines by this point, Pujara brought up his own half-century, his 17th in Tests, off 145 balls, even as Vijay closed in on a comeback century at the other end.

Converting the start, Pujara reached his hundred with a double off the second ball of the 87th over. Yet, when India squared up against Sri Lanka on a green Eden Gardens pitch under overcast conditions, Vijay was left out.

3 - Vijay and Pujara have the third-highest average for any pair in Tests at home (min 1500 runs).

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