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Stats: Highest 4th innings total by a visiting team in India

The visitors showed great character in the run chase despite losing early wickets towards the end of day 4. 

Dhananjaya de Silva
Dhananjaya de Silva celebrates his hundred. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Many expected the Indians to annihilate Sri Lanka in the final Test, especially after Virat Kohli made a mockery of their bowling. The Indian skipper scoring a double century in the first innings helped them amass a mammoth 537, which could easily have been a lot more if Virat had not declared the innings out of frustration.

Sri Lanka reciprocated strongly with the bat as they posted a decent 373 in their first innings, which didn’t provide the facility to enforce the follow-on for the Indian skipper. India batted another 52 overs, posting a huge target of 410 runs. The visitors were never going to get anywhere close to that mark, but they showed great character in the run chase despite losing early wickets towards the end of day 4.

With India stealing 3 wickets on the final session of the penultimate day, it seemed like a walk in the park for the Indian side. But Dhananjaya de Silva scoring a hundred on debut to go with a stunning knock from the debutant Roshen Silva sabotaged the hosts’ mission.

Sri Lanka break a 30-year-old record

Back in the winter of 1987, West Indies chased down 276 in Delhi, which happened to be the highest 4th innings total by a visiting team on Indian soil. The Sri Lankan batting lineup, which was under the scanner for their poor form, stunned the world with a gritty show on the final day, which helped them post 299 before both teams consented for a draw.

In the process, they went past Windies’ record total of 276 and who knows, this might be the commencement of a new era in their history. Batting in the fourth innings, especially in India, is incredibly difficult and the stats prove why. The tracks provide so much assistance to the bowlers and over the years, not many run chases over 200 have been completed successfully.

What the Islanders achieved here is simply spectacular and will do a world of good for their confidence. Their form has been very poor in recent times but they pulled off a couple of decent stalemates in the series, which signifies that they are a good Test side currently.

Table: Highest 4th innings total by a visiting team in India

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