Advertisement

SL v IND, 2nd Test, Day 2 Review: India post a mammoth total; hosts lose openers cheaply

Sri Lanka finished at 50 for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs.

India
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli celebrates. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Team India look in complete command in the second Test as the batters posted a gigantic total in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo. In an attempt to condense the huge total, Sri Lanka lost both their openers in less than 20 overs and all they can do is pray for a miracle.

Resuming at 344/3, Cheteshwar Pujara could add only five runs to his total on day 2 and was dismissed by the part timer Dimuth Karunaratne. Ravichandran Ashwin walked into bat and straight away started collecting quick runs. He and Ajinkya Rahane (132 off 222 balls) added a crucial 63-run stand for the 5th wicket before the latter also lost his cool and gave away his wicket to debutant Pushpakumara.

Advertisement

Ashwin (54 off 92 balls) and Wriddhiman Saha (67 off 134 balls) started scoring runs quickly and the hosts had no place to hide. Ashwin soon completed a well-compiled half-century with a massive six over mid-off. He also completed his 2,000 runs in Test cricket and is growing in confidence with the willow in hand. But Herath got him in the very next ball as the 30-year-old tried an audacious cut off a ball which was too straight in line.

“Jadeja – The Rockstar”

Hardik Pandya lasted just 20 balls and in an attempt to gather quick runs, he fell into the trap of Pushpakumara. In came Ravindra Jadeja, who made the difference between India a score in the range of 500 and 622 that they eventually got. With Jadeja scoring at a brisk speed, Saha played watchfully and registered a valiant half-century.

The Lankan spinners had a horrid time bowling to the left-hander, who looked ruthless with his approach. Just when Jadeja was closing in on his half-century, Saha walked a mile down the ground attempting a slog off Herath and never made contact. Dickwella made no mistake in stumping him. Saha has not been getting enough opportunities to express himself with the bat but this was a decent effort from the wicketkeeper, who is slowly graduating as a substantial contributor.

In the very same over, Jadeja with a tickle down the fine-leg region got a boundary and the sword celebration was out as he had reached his 8th Test match half-century. It was a spectacular knock from Jadeja, whose status as an all-rounder has been under the scrutiny for a long while.

Jadeja and Mohammed Shami pulled out some mighty blows from their bats and Team India crossed 600 courtesy an unexpected acceleration. With Jadeja batting on 70 off 85 balls and the score at 622/9, Kohli called the innings off. India thus became the first ever visiting team to post two consecutive scores in excess of 600 in a Test series in Sri Lanka.

Rangana Herath did pick up four wickets in the innings but never had a significant impact on the game. Just the way it happened in the first Test at Galle, the Lankans were outdone with the bat and with another three days to go in the Test match, surviving on this wicket is not going to get easy for the hosts.

Ashwin on target from the outset

Who else could it be but Ravichandran Ashwin providing the crucial first wicket. Skipper Kohli opted for Ashwin ahead of Umesh Yadav to take the new ball and the move proved to be a masterstroke. Ashwin after bowling 5 very good balls in his first over pitched one short and KL Rahul was smart to grab the catch off Upul Tharanga at short leg that was hit into his body.

Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis had a tough time battling the Indian spinners with the new ball as the spin-twin generated turn as well as bounce off the track. Karunaratne soon fell in the trap and edged it straight to the best slip fielder in India, Rahane. Chandimal and Mendis batted the rest of the overs carefully and India were right on top. Sri Lanka finished at 50 for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs.

Brief Scores

India first innings: 622/9 declared in 158 overs(Cheteshwar Pujara 133, Ajinkya Rahane 132, Ravindra Jadeja 70, Rangana Herath 4/154)

Sri Lanka first innings: 50/2 in 20 overs(Ashwin 2/38)

Advertisement