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Sunday, 23 August 2015





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Sri Lanka crash-lands after skipper soars

India took a stranglehold with an overall lead of 157 runs with 9 wickets intact after Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews struck his sixth Test hundred (102) to help his side to a first innings total of 306 in reply to India’s 393 at the end of the third day of the second Test at the P.Sara Oval yesterday.

At stumps on the third day India in their second innings were 70 for 1 with first innings centurion Lokesh Rahul out for 2. Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 39 and Ajinhya Rahane on 28.

The Sri Lankan batting looked good in the pre-lunch session with Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne associating in an unfinished 110-runstand for the fourth wicket. But after lunch with the Thirimanne-Mathews vigil broken the Sri Lankans staggered and collapsed losing four wickets for 74 runs between lunch and tea. From 224 for 3 at lunch they were reduced to 298 for 7 by tea.

Ishant Sharma looks back after taking the scalp of Lahiru Thirimanne (Pictures by Saman Mendis)

When Sri Lanka continued from their overnight 140 for 3, Ishant Sharma bowled a good first over to Mathews and had Thirimanne almost picked up in the slips.

Then Mathews drove Stuart Binny on the on-side for a four and picked the gap between cover-point for another four to post the 150.

On the third day the pitch gave little assistance to the fast bowlers. Neither Umesh Yadav nor Stuart Binny bowled well to exploit it. Even the spinners were unable to make much of an impact.

Ishant Sharma made Mathews and Thirimanne to hurry on their strokes.

As a result left hander Lahiru Thirimanne came perilously close to be caught in the slips. It was stonewall batting by the Sri Lankan captain and the vice captain.

Virat Kohl in an attempt to get a breakthrough switched his bowlers from one end to the other.

Only paceman Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravichandra Ashwin tried to extract some sort of life on an otherwise placid pitch.With the second new ball available after 80 overs, Kohli took it in the last over before lunch with the score reading 217 for 3.

At lunch the host team were 224 for 3 with Mathews on72 and Thirimanne on 57, the pair adding 110 runs for the third wicket in the pre-lunch session after 28 overs that brought Sri Lanka 84 runs.

There were two interruptions due to a brief drizzle, the first one lasted for seven minutes soon after lunch but not before a bit of activity.

Mathews struck three fours off Ishant Sharma in his first over after lunch and in his next over Ishant Sharma broke the 127-run alliance for the fourth wicket between Mathews and Thirimanne.

Left hander Thirimanne going for a drive missed outside the off stump and keeper Saha appealed for it to be upheld by umpire Bruce Oxenford to the dissatisfaction of the batsman.

Thirimanne had scored 62 by that time facing 168 deliveries with four boundaries.

Chandimal came in next with memories of Galle still lingering in the minds of the Indians. He was immediately greeted with a bouncer by Ishant Sharma which struck his helmet.

The second interruption for rain lasted for more than half an hour. Chandimal did not last long thereafter.

After facing eleven deliveries with a solitary boundary he edged one into the slips and Lokesh Rahul took the catch in the second attempt. Mathews was gradually working his way towards his sixth hundred. He achieved it by reverse-sweeping Ashwin to the point boundary. He faced 167 deliveries and hit a dozen boundaries and was the backbone of the Sri Lankan innings.

Soon after Mathews reached the three-figure mark, three balls later, the hard working Stuart Binny bowling from the pavilion end got one to move away and Mathews edged it into the slips for Murali Vijay to gleefully take the catch and give Binny his first Test wicket.

With the dismissal of Mathews none of the Sri Lankan Lankan batsmen could play a really dominating innings to reduce the deficit. Jehan Mubarak hung around till tea for 22 as the last seven wickets fell for 65 runs. Amith Mishra had impressive figures of 4 for 43 in 21 overs.


India 1st innings: 
393 (L. Rahul 108, V. Kohli 78,R. Sharma 79, W. Saha 56
D. Prasad 2-84, A. Mathews 2-24, D. Chameera 2-72
R. Herath 4-81)

Sri Lanka 1st innings
D. Karunaratne lbw b Yadavc			01
K. Silva c Ashwin b Mishra 			51
K. Sangakkara c Rahane b Ashwin 		32
L. Thirimanne c Saha b I. Sharma 		62 
A. Mathews c Vijay b Binny 		       102                     
D. Chandimal c Rahul b I. Sharma 		11
J. Mubarak b Mishra 				22
D Prasad c Rahane b Mishra 			05
R. Herath lbw Ashwin 				01
T Kaushal st. Saha b Mishra 			06
D Chameera not out 				00
Extras: 					13
Total (all out) 			       306   

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Karunaratne), 2-75 (Sangakkara)
		 3-114 (Silva), 4-241 (Thrimanne)
		 5-259 (Chandimal), 6-284 (Mathews)
		 7-289 (Prasad), 8-300 (Mubarak)
		 9-306 (Herath)     
Bowling: I. Sharma 21-3-68-2 (nb4),
 	 Yadav 19-5-67-1
 	 Binny 18-4-44-1 (nb1)
	 Ashwin 29-3-76-2
	 Mishra 21-3-43-4

India 2nd innings:
M. Vijay not out				39
L. Rahul b Prasad 				02
A. Rahane not out 				28
Extras: (w1) 					01
Total (for one wicket) 				70 

Fall of wicket: 1-3 (Rahul)
Bowling: Prasad 4-0-12-1
	 Herath 11.2-3-23-0
	 Chameera 4-0-14-0 (w1)
	 Mathews 2-1-1-0
	 Kaushal 8-0-20-0


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