IND vs SL: Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara grind Sri Lanka with tons in Nagpur Test

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November 25, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 312 for 2 (Vijay 128, Pujara 121*, Kohli 54*) lead Sri Lanka 205 by 107 runs

 

November 25, 2017

Brief Scorecard: India 312 for 2 (Vijay 128, Pujara 121*, Kohli 54*) lead Sri Lanka 205 by 107 runs

 

 

Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara bring up their 10th century stand – ICC

 

NAGPUR – In an almost perfect day for India, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara grinded the Sri Lanka attack to dust with solid hundreds in the second Test.

The two cashed in on perfect conditions to bat at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday, guiding India to 312 for two at the end of the second day’s play in reply to Sri Lanka’s 205 all out.

Vijay hit a stylish 128 (221 b, 11×4, 1×6) and Pujara batted in his typical, dour manner to remain unbeaten on 121 (284 b, 13×4). It’s the kind of performance which snuffs the fight out of the opposition as the Sri Lankan bowlers had just one wicket to show despite a disciplined effort.

Late in the day, skipper Virat Kohli joined Pujara and was at the bowlers’ throat from ball one, racing to an unbeaten 54 (70 b, 6×4).

Among the three performers of the day, there was extra focus on Vijay as he was under some pressure coming into the game. Plagued by shoulder and wrist injuries, the opening batsman was playing his first Test since March, after being overlooked in favour of Shikhar Dhawan for the opening match in Kolkata.

Pujara-Vijay stand

Pujara and Vijay have developed a good understanding batting together and it was on display on Saturday. The average partnership between the two is above 70, and they provided further proof of it adding 209 runs together. It is their fourth double century partnership. They have shared 2740 runs in 38 innings.

The Sri Lankan bowling was not exactly menacing but they bowled with a lot of discipline. However, their tactic of trying to build pressure and force the batsmen into mistakes didn’t work against Vijay and Pujara, who were all concentration.

Pujara has now batted on all seven days of the series. Due to the rain breaks, he was at the crease on all five days of the Eden Gardens Test, where he got 52 and 22.

India opener KL Rahul’s (7) cheap dismissal meant Pujara walked in to bat on Day One.

Vijay’s drives

Vijay started the day with a glorious cover drive off Suranga Lakmal but runs were hard to come by for Vijay and Pujara in the first hour — India managing just 32 runs in the first 16 overs of the day.

Pujara opened up once off-spinner Dilruwan Perera was introduced into the attack while Vijay pounced on anything pitched fuller, driving with aplomb. The feature of Vijay’s innings was the off-side driving, as he time and again caressed the Sri Lankan pacers to the boundary. His only six came against left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, stepping out and lofting him over long-off.

Sri Lanka were left to rue the two chances they gave Vijay, dropping him on 19 and 61.

Kohli came and straightaway upped the tempo. While the Indian captain was not going for the big shots, he was taking on the fielders and running hard between wickets. For dominant teams nowadays, the benchmark is to get 300 runs per day on good batting surfaces and that task was taken up by Kohli to get India to that target, having resumed on 11/1.


Courtesy/Source: Wisden India