KOLKATA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal breathed fire on a green track to rock India on a stop-start opening day of the rain-hit first test on Thursday.
The hosts were reeling on 17 for two when bad light and drizzle forced early tea after a brief 50-ball session.
Cheteshwar Pujara was on eight not out with skipper Virat Kohli yet to score at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
The morning session was lost to rain, which is also forecast to affect play in the next couple of days.
India opted for a left-right opening combination and Shikhar Dhawan walked out with Lokesh Rahul after Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to field in overcast conditions.
Lakmal struck with the first ball of the match, dismissing Rahul caught behind with a delivery that pitched just outside the off-stump and the extra bounce beat the batsman.
The 30-year-old also breached Cheteshwar Pujara’s defence in the same over but the batsman survived as the ball missed the stumps.
Dhawan hit Lahiru Gamage for a boundary but threw away his wicket playing a rash drive, dragging a Lakmal delivery on to his stumps to depart for eight.
Lakmal, who sent down four consecutive maidens, pursued a probing line and the right-hander nearly dismissed Kohli but the India captain’s flick fell short of mid-wicket.
Pujara took 23 balls to get off the mark, which he did with a streaky boundary off Gamage.
His next scoring shot, another boundary off the same bowler, was more convincing as India’s number three elegantly straight drove him past mid-on. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ed Osmond)