India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Day 2 Review: Hosts on driver’s seat amidst pollution saga

India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Day 2 Review: Hosts on driver’s seat amidst pollution saga

Matthews and Chandimal's performances will be key if the Lankans are to turn the tables in the subsequent days of the contest.

Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Day 1 of the ongoing 3rd Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi was all about the hosts piling on the agony for the visitors. Despite Lakshan Sandakan’s late strikes, India managed to end the day on a high. Going into Day 2, the Lankans had to play out of their skins in order to put the skids under the Indians. However, they had another mediocre day in the office.

Rohit Sharma commenced proceedings by scorching a few boundaries of the spinners. Meanwhile, he also cleared the ropes a couple of times to bring up his half-century. On the other hand, Virat Kohli carried on his own merry way to notch up his sixth and the fastest double century of his career. The Indian skipper creamed the Lankan attack with sheer ease at his home-ground on the first day.

He replicated the same touch on the morning session of the second day as he treated the bowlers with absolute disdain. Sri Lanka took the new ball in the 97th over to disturb India’s momentum. However, India smashed the leather out of it and raced to 500 runs in the first session. Nevertheless, Sandakan gave the Lankans something to cheer for with the wicket of Rohit Sharma at the stroke of Lunch.

Anything but cricket

The post-lunch session was more about on-field ‘arguments’ between Dinesh Chandimal and the match officials than actual cricket. The Lankan skipper complained of severe pollution after which both he and Angela Matthews donned a face mask on the field. Sadeera Samarawickrama suffered from concussion after which Lahiru Gamage complained of an indifferent health.

Such was the gravity of the situation that Sri Lanka couldn’t field eleven players. Nic Pothas, the Lankan coach, also trotted on to the ground to have a chat with the umpires. Even the Sri Lankan support staff were set to take the field. The game was halted as many as three occasions in an hour’s time. Meanwhile, the stoppage in play didn’t help Virat Kohli and his team.

After the first interruption, Ravichandran Ashwin succumbed to Gamage’s away-going ball. Virat Kohli vented his frustration by charging down the wicket to a Sandakan delivery. After the second stoppage, to make things worse, Virat Kohli perished to the chinaman bowler, attempting to work the ball onto the on-side.

Post the third interruption, an agitated Virat Kohli decided to declare with the score at 536/7, mentioning that India would be happy to bowl. Samarawickrama’s illness meant that Dilruwan Perera accompanied Dimuth Karunaratne as the makeshift opener. The Lankans didn’t have an auspicious start as Mohammed Shamis’s good-length delivery exploded of the pitch and accounted for Karunaratne’s demise.

Dhananjaya de Silva survived a few LBW decisions, but was eventually trapped plumb in front by Ishant Sharma. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka were reduced to 2/14 and India ended the session on a high. The onus was now on Perera and veteran Angelo Matthews to steady the ship.

A Lankan comeback, but India on top

India had an awry start to the post-tea session as they grassed a couple of catches in the slips. First, Perera got a reprieve when Shikhar Dhawan spilt a catch of Mohammed Shami’s bowling. A couple of overs later, Kohli failed to grasp Matthews’ catch off Ishant Sharma’s out-swinger. Thereafter, Perera dished out some delightful boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.

However, Ravindra Jadeja nipped out Perera after Kohli went for the Decision Review System (DRS). However, Matthews settled in, played a decent hand and injected some sort of respectability to the Lankan score at the close of play on Day 2. He was particularly severe on Ravichandran Ashwin and spanked him for a couple of sixes in his very first over.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal agave him apt support and looked unflustered at the crease. Sri Lanka, eventually, ended the second day with the score at 131/3. Matthews and Chandimal have been Sri Lanka’s batting stalwarts and their performances will be key if the Lankans are to turn the tables in the subsequent days of the contest.

Brief Scores

India, 1st innings, 536/7 dec after 127.5 overs: Virat Kohli 243, Murali Vijay 155; Lakshan Sandakan 4/167, Lahiru Gamage 2/95

Sri Lanka, 1st innings, 131/3 after 44.3 overs: Angelo Matthews 57*, Dilruwan Perera 42; Ravindra Jadeja 1/24, Mohammed Shami 1/30

Sri Lanka trail by 405 runs