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Vijay, Pujara guide India to 97/1 on Day 2 

Nagpur, Nov 25 (IANS) Opener Murali Vijay marked his return to Test cricket with a brilliant unbeaten half ton as India went to lunch comfortably placed at 97/1 on Day 2 of the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here on Saturday.

At the break, Vijay and his overnight partner Cheteshwar Pujara went undivided on the scores of 56 and 33 respectively as the hosts trailed by 108 runs to Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 205.

Both the Indian batsmen took minimal risk, scoring on loose deliveries and rotating strike to maintain a healthy run-rate. 

Resuming the second day at 11/1, the overnight duo started cautiously, meddling the odd ball for quiet singles in the first hour of play before Vijay got into the act to bring up his 16th Test half century. 

Vijay had his share of luck on his individual score of 45 in the first session of play when he miscued a Dilruwan Perera delivery to mid-off which skipper Dinesh Chandimal, running back failed to grab.

Thereafter, there was no looking back for the Tamil Nadu right-hander as he nailed pacer Dasun Shanaka’s half-volley for a brilliant boundary to long-on to bring up his half century in style.

Vijay consumed 129 deliveries for his knock, laced with six hits to the fence.

Pujara, at the other end played the perfect second fiddle, complementing his partner, during their 90-run unbroken second wicket stand.

The Saurashtra right-hander, who came in to bat on Friday at the fall of the other opener Lokesh Rahul, provided the stability to the Indian innings, as he faced 92 balls for his knock, comprising five boundaries.

For the tourists, none of the bowlers looked threatening except a few awkward bouncers from the pacers in the morning session.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 205 vs India 97/1 (Murali Vijay 56 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 33 not out, Lahiru Gamage 1/17).

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