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India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test: Pant lights up Mohali on day 1 as Kohli plays 100th test; Vihari grabs opportunity

India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test: Pant lights up Mohali on day 1 as Kohli plays 100th test; Vihari grabs opportunity

India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test: Pant lights up Mohali on day 1 as Kohli plays 100th test; Vihari grabs opportunity
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By Dustin Yarde  Mar 4, 2022 5:37:06 PM IST (Published)

An explosive inning from Rishabh Pant and a solid debut at no. 3 by Hanuma Vihari put India firmly in the driver's seat at the end of the first day's play at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.

Rishabh Pant scored 50 off 73 balls before exploding and racing to 96 off the next 19 balls he faced, much to the delight of fans who made the trip for Day 1 of the first Test at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. Half-centuries from Pant and Hanuma Vihari (58 off 128 balls) ensured India get off to an excellent start posting 357/6 at the end of the day’s play against visitors Sri Lanka.

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Pant stepped up a gear after reaching his half-century and made his intentions crystal clear when he smashed Sri Lanka’s most dangerous bowling option, Lasith Embuldeniya, for 22 runs in the 76th over, which featured back-to-back sixes.
However, the day ended with a twinge of sadness as the southpaw Pant missed out on a well-deserved century, with Suranga Lakmal making good use of the new ball which snuck through the gate and knocked the top of off-stump. Pant (96 off 97 balls) will regret that he missed out on a hundred when looking to defend after a highly entertaining inning, hitting 9 fours and 4 sixes.

At stumps, India seems well-placed after scoring 357/6 in 85 overs, with Ravindra Jadeja (45* off 82 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10* off 11 balls) both looking in good touch.
Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat first. India opted to go with three spinners (Jadeja, Ashwin and Jayant Yadav) and the two seamers (Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah) while Sri Lanka decided on a bowling combination of three seamers and two spinners.
Rohit and Mayank Agarwal got off to a quick start, racing to 50 off just 59 balls. However, Rohit (29 off 28 balls) was the first to depart when he went for his trademark pull shot against Lakmal in the 10th over only to pick out the man at long leg.
Mayank (33 off 49 balls) was next to go when he was trapped LBW by Embuldeniya in the 19th over.
The wickets did little to hurt India as Hanuma Vihari, who was rewarded for his solid overseas performances with a debut at no. 3, made the most of the opportunity with another convincing display. The technically sound batter looked composed in the crease and played to the conditions excellently, reaching his half-century off 93 balls.
Virat Kohli is felicitated for reaching 100 Tests by India's coach Rahul Dravid as his wife Anushka Sharma watches ahead of the first test match between India and Sri Lanka in Mohali, India. Kohli became only the 12th Indian cricketer to play 100 Test matches. (Image: AP)
Vihari was excellently supported by Virat Kohli as the duo stitched together a 90-run partnership for the fourth wicket to steady India.
Kohli, who was felicitated by coach Rahul Dravid in a touching pre-match ceremony for reaching 100 Tests, once again failed to reach the elusive three-figure mark that has dodged him since late 2019. The former skipper looked in good touch, reaching 45 off 76 balls but was outfoxed by Embuldeniya who castled him with an excellent delivery that spun sharply to hit the off-pole.
Sri Lanka then doubled their advantage as they got rid of Vihari just 18 balls later. Vihari (58 off 128 balls) went for a flashy drive against Vishwa Fernando only to play onto the stumps in the 47th over.

Just as the visitors seemed to be gaining a foothold in the game, Pant and Shreyas Iyer (27 off 48 balls) showed great maturity to wrestle back control for India. The duo stitched together a 53-run partnership off just 88 balls for the fifth wicket. To make matters worse for Lanka, speedster Lahiru Kumara walked off the field early in the final session with a hamstring niggle.
Allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, landed a timely blow in the 62nd over when he served up a good length delivery which snuck through the gate to trap Iyer LBW and end what was shaping up to be a promising partnership in the 62nd over.
However, India was once again untroubled by the setback as Jadeja along with the rampaging Pant, stitched together India’s most prolific partnership of the day, adding 104 off 118 balls for the sixth wicket.
India vs Sri Lanka Playing XIs: 
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Lahiru Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya and Lahiru Kumara.
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