Colombo, August 14: Indian cricket team registered a commanding win over Sri Lanka and continued its glorious form in the Test matches. Notably, India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 171 runs in the third and final Test at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele on Monday. After winning this match, India claimed their first ever 3-0 series win overseas.
Though it was all round performance by team India, bowlers showed rent less bowling attack particularly Ashwin and Mohammed Shami, who finished with combined second-innings figures of 43.3 overs, 12 maidens, conceded only 100 runs and took 7 wickets to wrap Sri Lanka’s batting attack. It was the only skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews who created resistance in the first session, later they lost their way and India won the match easily.
Starting the day at 19 for the loss of 1 wicket, Sri Lanka lost three wickets by the time they could add 15 more runs, until Chandimal and former skipper Mathews put on 65 runs for the fifth wicket, to allow the team to go into lunch at 82 for 4, still trailing India's first innings score of 487 by 270 runs.
However, after the break, the departures of both the well-set batsmen Chandimal, Matthew spell doom for the Sri Lankans and they folded for 181. Mohammad Shami once again sets the tone with a probing spell early but it was his opening partner for the day, Ravichandran Ashwin who got the first breakthrough in the form of SL's highest run-getter in the series, Dimuth Karunaratne. Karunaratne was undone by a flatter one that slid on; with the batsman edging to first slip Ajinkya Rahane.
Shami removed Malinda Pushpakumara edged one behind to Wriddhiman Saha. An over later, Shami shocked Kusal Mendis full and wide that came back in. Mendis was on the move trying to play the delivery to the leg side but failed to connect with that bat. He departed for 12.
Chandimal and Mathews had quite a few nervy moments against Ashwin and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav but managed to survive the opening session. The pair started the second session well and Mathews even ventured out of the crease to Ashwin and plunked him for a six to bring up his team's 100. Kuldeep and Ashwin though were bowling well and created chances with close in fielders. Kuldeep got the wicket of Chandimal when the Sri Lankan skipper was cramped for room and jabbed a length delivery on to his pads and the ball looped into Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. Chandimal departed for 36.
Two overs later, Mathews fall out to Ashwin after scoring 35 runs. Niroshan Dickwella was happy to sweep around and made most of the ample time he had to bat on en route to 41 off 52 deliveries. But wickets kept falling at the other end with Ashwin removing Dilruwan Perera for 8 and Shami accounted for Lakshan Sandakan (8) for this third wicket. Umesh Yadav, in the end, got to Dickwella when he edged one to the slips. Ashwin wrapped up the match taking the last wicket of Lahiru Kumara.
Earlier, the visitors enforced follow on the hosts after they were bundled out for a paltry 135 runs in the first innings in reply to India's massive first inning score of 487 runs. After the match, during post match presentation Indian skipper Virat Kohli said, “The confidence he's shown with the ball and the maturity with the bat gives us a real boost down the order and a lot of balance to the side.”
Brief Scores :
Sri Lanka 181 (Chandimal 36; Ashwin 4/68) & 135 (Chandimal 48; Kuldeep 4/40) trail India 487 (Dhawan 119, Pandya 108; Sandakan 5/132) by an innings and 171 runs