KOLKATA: India will push for victory on the final day of the rain-hit first Test against Sri Lanka, Shikhar Dhawan said Sunday after he combined with fellow opener Lokesh Rahul to help the hosts fight back on day four.
The pair hit fluent half-centuries during their 166-run stand as India ended the day on 171-1, leading by 49 after wiping out a 122-run first-innings deficit in Kolkata.
Dhawan was eventually caught behind off paceman Dasun Shanaka for 94. Cheteshwar Pujara, on two, was batting alongside Rahul, on 73, when bad light stopped play.
"Feeling good and bad both. Of course it's disappointing when you're so close to the century and miss out. But we've made a game of this, so I'm happy," said Dhawan.
"We're going to be positive tomorrow and try to make a match of it. We're going to go for it," the left-hander added.
Rangana Herath's 67 had helped steer the visitors to 294 in response to India's 172.
But Rahul and Dhawan made batting look easy on a sunny afternoon -- a welcome change from the rainy start on the first two days -- to keep the Sri Lankan attack at bay.
The in-form Rahul registered his ninth score of 50-plus in the last 11 innings. He got strong support from Dhawan, who recorded his fourth Test fifty.
The two batsmen smashed 19 boundaries between them, including two sixes from Dhawan, forcing Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal to juggle his bowling options.
Shanaka, with little time left until stumps, denied Dhawan what would have been his seventh Test hundred in his 27th match.