Kolkata, Nov 18 (IANS) Middle-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne hit a composed 48 to steer Sri Lanka to a comfortable 113/2 and trail India by 59 runs at tea of the third day in the first Test at the Eden Gardens here on Saturday.
After bundling out the hosts for a paltry 172 at lunch, Thirimanne, who was ignored in the last one year before being recalled for the India series at home, hit eight fours en route to his 48.
Angelo Mathews was batting on 31 off 68 balls with four fours. For India, Bhuveshwar Kumar took two wickets leaking 38 runs.
Thrimanne was dropped on 27 by Shikhar Dhawan at first slip off Umesh Yadav’s bowling. India were 70/2 at that time.
He did not play a Test against Virat Kohli and Co. before taking part in the second five-day affair against Pakistan where he could only muster 0 and 7 in two innings.
First Mohammed Shami (0/37) thought he has got Dimuth Karunaratne’s (8) back as the pacer trapped him in front when the opener was batting on 7.
Moments later, the southpaw was lbw, leaving an inswinging Bhuvneshwar delivery which outwitted him and struck the knee-roll. The in-form 29-year old went upstairs for a review which turned out to be unsuccessful.
His opening partner Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) followed suit soon, caught behind to a shortish Bhuvneshwar ball.
Later, fit-again Angelo Mathews to join Thirimanne and the pair stitched together a 79 off 146 balls third-wicket stand.
Brief scores: India 172 in first innings (Cheteshhwar Pujara 52, Wriddhiman Saha 29; Suranga Lakmal 4/26) against Sri Lanka 113/2 (Lahiru Thirimanne 48 not out, Angelo Mathews 31 not out; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/38).
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