India August 12(IM): Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul smashed quick half-centuries to take India to 134 without loss on the opening day of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday. With Dhawan on 64 and Rahul on 67, it was a perfect start for the visitors as they target a series sweep after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in Colombo. The Indian openers scored at just under five runs an over after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. The left-handed Dhawan registered his fourth Test 50 in just 45 balls, with nine boundaries. Rahul, who survived a dropped catch on 28, brought up his seventh consecutive Test 50 with a double off paceman Lahiru Kumara.Rahul joins Everton Weekes, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumar Sangakkara and Chris Rogers in the list of batsmen who have made seven consecutive 50-plus scores in Tests. Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal rotated his new-look pace attack through the morning session along with eight overs from Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera and two from left-arm unorthodoox Lakshan Sandakan. Pacemen Vishwa Fernando and Kumara shared the new ball for the hosts with part-time bowler Dimuth Karunaratne acting as the third seamer. (LIVE SCORECARD)Catch all live cricket action between India and Sri Lanka straight from Pallekele.14:58 IST: Sri Lanka will be happy with their performance towards the end of their session. India now need to rebuild after tea.14:41 IST: Sri Lankan bowlers have done well to mount a fightback after Dhawan and Rahul's stand.14:25 IST: WICKET! Pujara is caught at slip off Sandakan's bowling. India lose their 3rd wicket.14:14 IST: OUT! India lose their second wicket as Dhawan departs for 119.13:55 IST: FOUR! Dhawan picks up another boundary of Kumara's bowling.13:50 IST: Dhawan certainly has made the most of his opportunity.13:48 IST: HUNDRED! Dhawan scores his 6th Test ton. India 195/1 and in command.13:32 IST: Rahul has scored seven consecutive Test fifties and is bound to be desperate for that hundred.13:08 IST: Dhawan and Rahul have batted sensibly this morning. The duo has scored quickly without taking any risks.
13:06 IST: FOUR! Short from Sandakan and Dhawan punishes him with a pull shot.12:45 IST: Vishwa Fernando is back into the attack 12:44 IST: Rahul hits a four off a Sandakan delivery. Sandakan concedes 5 runs this over 12:40 IST: The players are back after lunch.
12:05 IST: India 134/0 (KL Rahul 67*, Shikhar Dhawan in 27 overs at lunch
11:57 IST: FOUR! Dhawan sweeps well to pick up another boundary.11:47 IST: Rahul has now equaled record of Australian cricketer Chris Rogers for 7 consecutive 50+ scores
11:37 IST: FIFTY! Rahul completes his 9th Test fifty. This has been a good comeback from injury by the right-hander.11:30 IST: FIFTY! Dhawan gets to his 4th fifty. Solid stuff from the left-hander.11:13 IST: Dhawan picks up two boundaries in that Dilruwan over. Too short from the off-spinner. India 83/0.11:07 IST: India 69/0 (Rahul 35*, Dhawan 32*) in 13 overs.10:59 IST: FOUR! Dhawan flicks Karunaratne's ball off his pads for a boundary. Superb from the left-hander, this.10:56 IST: Rahul dropped on 28 by Kumara of Karunaratne's bowling.10:39 IST: Karunaratne gives away only 2 runs. India are 44/0
10:34 IST: Kumara is taken off the attack, He had given away 16 runs! Dimuth Karunaratne comes in 10:24 IST: Expensive over from Kumara. Three boundaries - two from Rahul and one from Dhawan. 10:17 IST: FOUR! Dhawan cuts through for his second boundary of the match.
10:12 IST: Dhawan and Rahul have been very watchful in the early exchanges.9:56 IST: The Indian openers are out in the middle.9:49 IST: Kuldeep Yadav replaces suspended Ravindra Jadeja for India.9:32 IST: Virat Kohli wins the toss and elects to bat first.9:24 IST: Wriddhiman Saha plays his 100th first-class match today.9:22 IST: Hello and welcome to our live cricket blog for Day 1 of the final Test between India and Sri Lanka.Virat Kohli, on the other hand, has added one more feather to his cap after becoming the only India captain to win two Test series in Sri Lanka. Runs have come easy for the Indians in the series with Cheteshwar Pujara leading the list with a couple centuries to his name and an average of more than 100 so far. However, India will miss the services of Ravindra Jadeja in the final Test starting Saturday due to his suspension for breaching an ICC conduct code. With not too many changes expected to take place in the Indian side, the visitors will either opt for Axar Patel who has been included in the 15-member squad or Kuldeep Yadav who has impressed one and all with his bowling display in the practice games.