India won the toss in the third and final Test against host Sr Lanka and had no hesitation in batting first. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul got the Indian innings off to a flyer. Dhawan went on to bring up his century but KL Rahul missed it narrowly by 15 runs, he departed for 85. Dhawan scored 119 off 123 balls, just shows how he dominated the lacklustre Lankan bowling. But Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli or Ajinkya Rahane did not manage big scores like they are expected to. Pujara scored 8, Virat scored 42 before giving a sharp catch to slip, both the wickets went to Sandakan. Rahane got set but fell for 17, he could not decide whether to go in front or stay put behind.
Ashwin again showed promise with the bat but fell for a good looking 31. India went into stumps at day 1 with a score of 329 for 6. Saha and Hardik Pandya was at the crease. At the start of day 2, India needed to keep their wickets but Saha departed soon for 16. He fell when the score was 339. But just when it seemed that India could fold up soon, Kuldeep Yadav showed resistance along with Pandya. Kuldeep scored a timely 26 and added a partnership with Pandya off 62 crucial runs. Shami fell soon for 8 runs. Hardik Pandya, there was no stopping him as he went on to bring up yet another fifty.
Hardik Pandya went on to score his maiden first class ton off just 86 balls. His innings was studded with 7 sixes and 7 fours, this is the most number of sixes hit by an Indian abroad in a Test. In the process, India went on to score 487, which is a healthy first innings total. Hardik Pandya also hit 26 runs in an over, which happens to be an Indian record.
Power packed century
Power packed celebrations
Power packed reception back in the dressing room