Kohli, Ashwin Lead India to Record-equalling Victory as Sri Lanka Go Down Without a Fight.
Sri Lankan batsmen fell like nine pins and failed to provide any challenge to India as the hosts sealed a comfortable innings and 239 runs victory – which is also equal to the team’s record victory against Bangladesh in 2007 – on the fourth day of the 2nd Test at Nagpur on Monday.
Ashwin ended with figures of 4/63 as Sri Lanka fell for 166 in the second innings after Virat Kohli’s mammoth double ton had led India to 610 in the first innings.
First to depart was Dimuth Karunaratne for 18, thanks to a great effort from Murali Vijay at short leg, who somehow held the catch in between his thighs. Ravindra Jadeja got the first wicket of the day.
Next to go was Lahiru Thirimanne, to a terrible shot as he looked to go across his stumps and touched a rather wide delivery but was only successful in slicing the ball straight to backward point where Jadeja completed a simple catch. Umesh Yadav got his first wicket of the day.
This led to captain Dinesh Chandimal joining Angelo Mathews out in the middle. The two are Sri Lanka’s most experienced and solid batsmen.
In fact, Mathews has joined the team only as a batsman after injury prevented him from bowling.
However, his mode of dismissal was rather soft as he looked to hit Jadeja over long off but only managed to find mid-off.
Niroshan Dickwella got a great delivery from Ishant Sharma which rose to his chest and he could only manage an outside edge, captain Virat Kohli completed a juggling catch second slip.
Ishant was bowling a probing spell throughout the first session, threatening to take a wicket in every over that he bowled.
Shanaka joined Chandimal in the middle and he started going for his shots right from the first ball.
He smashed a couple of sixes before Ashwin outsmarted him, giving the ball a bit of extra air, which Shanaka managed to sky but could not clear the rope and Rahul took a good catch.
Perera became Ashwin’s 50th wicket of the year – third straight time that the off spinner has managed to achieve this incredible feat.
Herath too lasted only 2 balls with Ashwin accounting for him as well.
Captain Chandimal was the only batsmen to show a bit of fight with his team struggling to survive.
Suranga Lakmal then joined his skipper and showed some grit as Sri Lanka went to lunch with the score reading 145/8.
The two stitched together a 58-run partnership. This is the second time Lakmal & Chandimal have put on 50+ for the 9th wicket in a Test.
More pertinently, Lakmal has been a partner in each of the last 5 9th wicket 50+ stands for SL in Tests, which goes onto show the situation Sri Lankan cricket finds itself in.
Umesh Yadav finally ended Chandimal’s resistance for 61 after the Sri Lankan skipper hit a leg stump volley straight to Ashwin at fine leg.
Then, Ashwin came back to take the final wicket, which was also his 300th Test wicket and made him the fastest bowler to reach the milestone.
The action will now shift to Delhi for the final Test of the series and Sri Lanka will have some soul searching to do if they are to provide any kind of challenge to this strong Indian team.