Kandy: In the lines of some insane hitting, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has smashed his maiden Test ton in the third Test of the three-match series against Sri Lanka on Day 2 of the third Test at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
This is the fastest century by an Indian batting at number 8. Pandya’s century came in just 83 deliveries with 8 fours and 7 biggies. Pandya amassed 108 off 96 balls.
Hardik has shown that he can bat in different styles. Pandya found no problem clearing the field every time he made an attempt to do so.
India was bowled out at 487 just three balls after lunch.
After an early fall of wicket, Pandya (108) and Kuldeep Yadav (26) stabilised the innings and helped India reach a challenging score. Pandya’s 93-ball knock was laced with eight boundaries and seven sixes.
Resuming the day at 329/6, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (16), who was batting with Pandya, failed to respond to the pressure situation and was dismissed by Vishwa Fernando early.
Incoming batsman Kuldeep Yadav (26), who was drafted in the team in place to Ravindra Jadeja, showed his temperament and forged a 62-run partnership with the Baroda player and helped India to cross 400-run mark.
Soon, Kuldeep was sent packing by left arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan. Incoming batsman Mohammad Shami (8) tried to pace up the innings with Pandya but failed to do as he was caught by the bowler Sandakan.
With nine wickets down, Pandya started thrashing the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. Umpires also extended the morning session. Unperturbed by the conditions, Pandya continued his show and created havoc among the Sri Lankan bowlers.
In the process, Pandya completed his century. Umesh Yadav also supported him at the other end and both batsmen survived the extended morning session without losing their wickets.