Galle: Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne struck defiant knocks to help Sri Lanka recover from a precarious position to post 263 for six at tea against a dominating Indian side on Day 3 of the first cricket Test here today.
Getting behind a 192-run lead, the clueless hosts were reduced to 95 for five this morning before Chandimal (98 not out) and Thiramanne (44) stitched a crucial 125-run partnership to script a fightback. Sri Lanka now lead by 71 runs in the second innings.
The Angelo Mathews-led side managed 155 runs in 28 overs in the second session, losing just a single wicket in the form of Thirimanne.
India's star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3-87) scalped Thirimanne to break the crucial sixth-wicket partnership but Chandimal was unstoppable as he has sticthed
another 43-run unbeaten partnership with Jehan Mubarak (23 not out).
But it was the Chandimal-Thirimanne partnership that stood out as the duo, which had ridden its luck before lunch, made sure that it made no mistakes in the second session. They came out attacking against the Indian bowlers and didn't spare either the spinners or the pacers, treating them alike with disdain. They were scoring at more five runs per over immediately from the start and it was the highlight of the post-lunch session.
They hit Ashwin and Amit Mishra (2-54) out of the attack as the two conceded 48 runs in nine overs after lunch. In the 40th over of the innings, Chandimal brought up his 9th Test fifty off 48 balls, and still kept up the attack on the bowlers.
The Lankan 200-mark came up in the 47th over as Thirimanne-Chandimal celebrated their 100-partnership off only 120 balls. The best part about their partnership being that they didn't present even the slightest chance to the Indian bowlers, taking the three spinners for 68 runs in 13 overs.
If Harbhajan Singh (0-39) looked out of sorts yet again then Ishant Sharma (0-49) looked mliked picking up a wicket but the batting duo didn't give anyone a single chance.