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Rain plays spoilsport, India at 50/2 on Day 1

Virat Kohli, Angelo Mathews

Colombo: Rain played spoilsport on the opening day, washing out more than two sessions, after India were reduced to a precarious 50 for two in their first innings on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka here today.

Persistent rain prevented any play after the first hour at the SSC, where heavens opened up shortly in the morning session. The visitors had faced a mere 15 overs when weathergods destroyed any chances of play post lunch.

Cheteshwar Pujara (19) and skipper Virat Kohli (14) were the unbeaten batsmen for India when play was called off after a couple of inspections on a soggy ground, which had puddles owing to the showers.

For the remaining four days, weather-permitting, play will start at 9.45 am and go on till 5.15 pm to make up the overs lost.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first on a recently re-laid pitch with a sprinkling of grass. The hosts made three changes to their side, with Upul Tharanga coming in for the retired Kumar Sangakkara.

Fit-again Nuwan Pradeep returned in place of Dushmantha Chameera while Jehan Mubarak was dropped and Kusal Perera handed his Test debut.

India, on the other hand, made two changes to the playing eleven, with Pujara coming in for the injured Murali Vijay, and Naman Ojha handed his Test debut after Wriddhiman Saha’s hamstring injury.

Pujara walked out to open the innings with KL Rahul (2). It was India’s fifth different opening combination in the last six Tests.

And their partnership didn’t last long, with Rahul bowled off the second ball he faced. Dhammika Prasad (1-16) bowled an inswinger that jagged back massively and the young opener was squared completely, unable to come forward or go backward to cover the line possibly.

Ajinkya Rahane (8) walked out to bat at number three, and started off with a couple of crispy drives down the ground. But his stay didn’t last long either, as he was struck in front of the leg-stump by Nuwan Pradeep (1-16) in the 4th over, out plumb LBW.

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