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SL v IND, 1st Test, 4th Day Review: Sri Lanka look feeble as India finish the game in 4 days

With an authoritative 304 runs win the Indian team took a 1-0 lead in the series.

Virat Kohli India
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli celebrates. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The horrendous run for Sri Lankan Cricket continues and is likely to persist on for some more time. A rampant Indian side just ran through the Lankan batting order on Day 4 which propelled them to their fourth biggest victory in terms of runs. It was an action packed day with skipper Virat Kohli reaching his 17th Test ton to the Ashwin-Jadeja combination spinning a web around.

Resuming at 189/3, skipper Kohli went about his innings aggressively and his partner Ajinkya Rahane too provided came out with an intent. With a huge six off Dilruwan Perera, the duo completed 2,000 partnership runs together and became the 14th pair to do so. Almost four to five singles were taken in every over and the odd boundary just kept haunting the bowlers.

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Kohli soon reached his hundred with a nudge on to mid-on and this was his first three digit score since the double-ton he scored at Hyderabad against Bangladesh in February. India played another over after Kohli got to a hundred and the declaration came in with India having a gigantic 549-run lead.

They called their second innings at 240/3 in 53 overs and interestingly, the visitors have scored at over 4.5 runs per over in both the innings. Kohli remained not out on 103 off 136 balls and Rahane compiled 23 off 18 balls.

The Ashwin-Jadeja show that sealed the deal

As though the Lankans had fewer problems to deal with, Rangana Herath too didn’t come out to bat, leaving the hosts with just nine men to bat out over 180 overs to save the Test. With the world number one and number three bowlers on the other side, their optimistic aspiration were never going to turn true and they couldn’t survive even three-quarters of a day’s play.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga entered the field with “attack is the best form of defence” motive. Tharanga smashed a couple of boundaries and was even dropped by Kohli at slips in the third over. But Shami took his wicket in the same over and there was no damage caused for the skipper.

Umesh Yadav then turned on to pick up Dhanush Gunathilaka’s wicket and both these wickets were thrown by the Lankan batters. Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (36 off 71 balls) then decided to stem the flow of wickets and went into a defensive mode. Their partnership was one of the few positives for the hosts as the duo did a fine job and brought up their fifty-run stand.

After batting 25 overs together and adding 79 runs for the third wicket, Kusal Mendis’ perseverance came to an end. After the on-field umpire turned down the bowler’s appeal for a caught-behind, the DRS rescued the visitors and provided a much-needed breakthrough. Angelo Mathews (2) stay was cut short to ten deliveries as Ravindra Jadeja picked up his second in the spell.

A valiant effort from Karunaratne and Dickwella

Karunaratne had reached a well-deserved half-century but batting was getting tougher with every passing hour. The ball was beginning to grip and Ashwin’s fingers couldn’t resist the temptation. But amidst a massive collapse from the Islanders, Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella (67 off 74 balls) stood up to throw a fight and showed high-class resilience.

The sharp turn scarcely had an impact on Dickwella, who amassed ten boundaries in his innings. Whilst Karunaratne played the anchor, there were some delightful shots played at the other end by the southpaw and the scoreboard kept moving well as long as these players were together.

Dickwella swept, danced down the ground and even terrorized the offside field, making his innings a wholesome package of entertainment. He notched up his fifty just after the tea break with a spanking drive through covers for four. It was the fourth half-century in Test match cricket for the youngster and he’d hope for many more in the future.

The duo had completed a hundred-run stand as well and it was quite evident that Dickwella’s innings was not going to last for an eternity. Ashwin was the man yet again breaking an on-song partnership and the rest was a mere formality. Karunaratne though, fell three runs short of a magnificent hundred, scoring 97 off 202 balls. He decided to sweep Ashwin through the line but it took the bottom edge and rattled his timber.

The spin twin picked up one wicket each after that to finish the game in style. India registered their biggest victory outside home and Sri Lanka suffered their worst defeat in Test matches in terms of runs. The eight men could only gather 245 runs in 76.5 overs and India took a 1-0 lead in the three match series.

Brief Scores

India first innings: 600 all out in 133.1 overs

Sri Lanka first innings: 291 all out in 78.3 overs

India second innings: 240/3 (declared) in 53 overs (Virat Kohli 103, Mukund 81)

Sri Lanka second innings: 245 all out in 76.5 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 97, Niroshan Dickwella 67, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/65, Ravindra Jadeja 3/71)

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