India ends rain-hit 1st day on 17-3 in 1st test vs Sri Lanka

November 16, 2017

India's captain Virat Kohli reacts as he leaves the ground after losing his wicket during the first day of their first test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

KOLKATA, India (AP) — India struggled with rain, bad light and Sri Lanka’s bowlers as it went to stumps at 17-3 Thursday on Day 1 of the first test.

Only 11.5 overs were bowled in Kolkata in just 60 minutes of play overall.

Suranga Lakmal (0-3) bowled an exceptional six-over spell — all maidens — and used the new ball brilliantly during the 43-minute session before bad light forced an early tea.

The pacer took all three wickets as India’s top-order collapsed on a green, moisture-laden pitch after Sri Lanka won the toss.

Cheteshwar Pujara (8 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (0 not out) were the unbeaten batsmen at the close of play. Lahiru Gamage has 0-16.

India’s batting coach played down the dismissals.

“It was a difficult pitch to bat on,” Sanjay Bangar said. “In these conditions, there is an additional element of patience required. But there were too many interruptions and our batsmen didn’t get one continued passage of play. We cannot find fault with their dismissals on a wicket like this.”

After an early tea was taken, India tried to rebuild its innings from 17-2. But Lakmal trapped Virat Kohli (0) lbw on the eighth ball after the interval. The batsman was ruled out despite DRS review.

Earlier, Lokesh Rahul (0) was caught behind off the very first ball, becoming the sixth Indian batsman to be dismissed off the first ball of a test. Shikhar Dhawan (8) played on and was bowled off Lakmal in the 7th over.

There was only 17 minutes’ play in the final session. The umpires waited for light to improve, before calling off play more than an hour before the scheduled time.

Play had been reduced to 55 overs after rain prevented play in the morning session. The weather finally relented to allow the toss to take place four hours behind schedule. Another small interruption then reduced it to 52 overs.

“We don’t know what a good first inning’s score on this pitch could be,” said Rumesh Ratnayake, Sri Lanka’s bowling coach. “For Sri Lanka it could be 200, but for India, it could be 250. It depends on different perspectives. On this pitch, you need to bowl a specific line and length and we did that.”

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