Pandya slams 86-ball ton as India push towards 500

Lunch: India 487 for 9 (Pandya 108*, Umesh 3*, Sandakan 4-132, Pushpakumara 3-82) v Sri Lanka
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A brilliantly paced maiden Test hundred from Hardik Pandya – also his first in first-class cricket – stretched India’s first-innings total far beyond Sri Lanka’s comfort levels over the course of an extended morning session on day two. Having started the day’s play 329 for 6, India went to lunch having added a further 158 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Pandya had just reached his half-century when India lost their ninth wicket, some ten minutes before the scheduled lunch break. The interval was duly pushed back by half an hour, and Pandya went on to dominate an unbroken tenth-wicket stand of 66, racing from 50 off 61 balls to 108 off 93, with the No. 11 Umesh Yadav scoring 3 off 14 in that time.

Pandya’s charge included 26 runs off one over from the left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara – a flat, slog-swept four, a stinging four past the bowler’s left hand, and three successive straight sixes, one of them clearing the sightscreen and another punching a hole through it.

It meant Pandya, who began the day’s play on 1, became the second Indian batsman in the series to score a century in a session, after Shikhar Dhawan on the first day of the first Test in Galle.

More to follow…

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo