Dominant India coast home to 304-run win inside four days

India batting, 1st innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
Shikhar Dhawan caught Mathews, bowled Pradeep 190 (168) 31 0 113.09
Abhinav Mukund caught Dickwella, bowled Pradeep 12 (26) 2 0 46.15
C Pujara caught Dickwella, bowled Pradeep 153 (265) 13 0 57.73
Virat Kohli caught Dickwella, bowled Pradeep 3 (8) 0 0 37.50
Ajinkya Rahane caught Karunaratne, bowled Kumara 57 (130) 3 0 43.84
R Ashwin caught Dickwella, bowled Pradeep 47 (60) 7 0 78.33
W Saha caught Perera, bowled Herath 16 (32) 3 0 50.00
Hardik Pandya caught de Silva (sub), bowled Kumara 50 (49) 5 3 102.04
R Jadeja bowled Pradeep 15 (24) 2 0 62.50
M Shami caught Tharanga, bowled Kumara 30 (30) 0 3 100.00
Umesh Yadav Not out 11 (10) 1 1 110.00
Extras: 16 (3 no-balls, 6 wides, 5 leg byes and 2 byes)
India’s total: 600/10 in 133.1 overs, at 4.50 runs per over
India’s fall of wickets: 27/1 (Mukund, 7.3), 280/2 (Dhawan, 54.1), 286/3 (Kohli, 56.4), 423/4 (Pujara, 97.4), 432/5 (Rahane, 101.1), 491/6 (Saha, 114.1), 495/7 (Ashwin, 115.1), 517/8 (Jadeja, 121.2), 579/9 (Shami, 129.5), and 600/10 (Pandya, 133.1)
Sri Lanka bowling, 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Nuwan Pradeep 31 2 132 6 4.25
Lahiru Kumara 25.1 3 131 3 5.20
Dilruwan Perera 30 1 130 0 4.33
Rangana Herath 40 6 159 1 3.97
D Gunathilaka 7 0 41 0 5.85
Sri Lanka batting, 1st innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
D Karunaratne leg before wicket Umesh 2 (9) 0 0 22.22
Upul Tharanga run out by Mukund/Saha 64 (93) 10 0 68.81
D Gunathilaka caught Dhawan, bowled Shami 16 (37) 2 0 43.24
K Mendis caught Dhawan, bowled Shami 0 (4) 0 0 0.00
A Mathews caught Kohli, bowled Jadeja 83 (130) 11 1 63.84
N Dickwella caught Mukund, bowled Ashwin 8 (15) 1 0 53.33
D Perera not out 92 (132) 10 4 69.69
Rangana Herath caught Rahane, bowled Jadeja 9 (13) 1 0 69.23
Nuwan Pradeep bowled Pandya 10 (26) 1 0 38.46
Lahiru Kumara bowled Jadeja 2 (12) 0 0 16.66
Batsman who didn’t bat: Asela Gunaratne (injured)
Extras: 5 (1 wide and 4 leg byes)
Sri Lanka’s total: 291/9 in 78.3 overs, at 3.70 runs per over
Sri Lanka’s fall of wickets: 7/1 (Karunaratne, 1.5), 68/2 (Gunathilaka, 14.2), 68/3 (Mendis, 14.6), 125/4 (Tharanga, 33.6), 143/5 (Dickwella, 39.2), 205/6 (Mathews, 58.5), 241/7 (Herath, 66.2), 280/8 (Pradeep, 73.5), and 291/9 (Kumara, 78.3)
India bowling, 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
M Shami 12 2 45 2 3.75
Umesh Yadav 14 1 78 1 5.57
R Ashwin 27 5 84 1 3.11
R Jadeja 22.3 3 67 3 2.97
Hardik Pandya 3 0 13 1 4.33
India batting, 2nd innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
Shikhar Dhawan caught Gunathilaka, bowled Perera 14 (14) 3 0 100.00
Abhinav Mukund leg before wicket Gunathilaka 81 (116) 8 0 69.82
C Pujara caught Mendis, bowled Kumara 15 (35) 2 0 42.85
Virat Kohli Not out 103 (136) 5 1 75.73
Ajinkya Rahane Not out 23 (18) 2 0 127.77
Batsmen who didn’t bat: R Ashwin, W Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav
Extras: 4 (2 wides, 1 no-ball and 1 leg bye)
India’s total: 240/3 declared in 53 overs, at 4.52 runs per over
India’s fall of wickets: 19/1 (Dhawan, 3.6), 56/2 (Pujara, 16.5) and 189/3 (Mukund, 46.3)
Sri Lanka bowling, 2nd Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Nuwan Pradeep 12 2 63 0 5.25
Dilruwan Perera 15 0 67 1 4.46
Lahiru Kumara 12 1 59 1 4.91
Rangana Herath 9 0 34 0 3.77
D Gunathilaka 5 0 16 1 3.20
Sri Lanka batting, 2nd innings (target: 550)
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
D Karunaratne bowled Ashwin 97 (208) 9 0 46.63
Upul Tharanga bowled Shami 10 (10) 2 0 100.00
D Gunathilaka caught Pujara, bowled Umesh 2 (8) 0 0 25.00
K Mendis caught Saha, bowled Jadeja 36 (71) 3 0 50.70
Angelo Mathews caught Pandya, bowled Jadeja 2 (10) 0 0 20.00
N Dickwella caught Saha, bowled Ashwin 67 (94) 10 0 71.27
D Perera Not out 21 (50) 3 0 42.00
Nuwan Pradeep caught Kohli, bowled Ashwin 0 (2) 0 0 0.00
Lahiru Kumara caught Shami, bowled Jadeja 0 (8) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Asela Gunaratne and Rangana Herath
Extras: 10 (7 wides and 3 leg byes)
Sri Lanka’s total: 245/8 in 76.5 overs, at 3.18 runs per over
Sri Lanka’s fall of wickets: 22/1 (Tharanga, 2.5), 29/2 (Gunathilaka, 5.4), 108/3 (Mendis, 30.5), 116/4 (Mathews, 34.3), 217/5 (Dickwella, 61.5), 240/6 (Karunaratne, 73.2), 240/7 (Pradeep, 73.4), and 245/8 (Kumara, 76.5)
India bowling, 2nd Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
M Shami 9 0 43 1 4.77
Umesh Yadav 9 0 42 1 4.66
R Jadeja 24.5 4 71 3 2.85
R Ashwin 27 4 65 3 2.40
Hardik Pandya 7 0 21 0 3.00

1st Test, day four summary

Team India batted for about 30 minutes on day four, added 51 runs in that time and stretched their overall lead to 549. Without costing India any length of time in pursuit of a personal milestone, Virat Kohli, who had an unimpressive series against Australia back home, brought up his 17th Test century (103*) and second against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium as well.

The hosts were set a target of 550, though the priority and focus will have been on trying to bat out the overs, and thereby save this Test match.

The Lankan innings had a couple of impressive partnerships, which provided hope of the hosts taking the 1st Test deep into day five and making Team India work hard for the victory. Dimuth Karunaratne was involved in both the significant partnerships in the innings, putting on 79 runs for the third wicket with Kusal Mendis and 101 runs for the fourth wicket with Niroshan Dickwella.

Karunaratne himself played an exemplary innings of 97 off 208 balls, during the course of which he wasn’t one bit unsettled and put a few doubts in the Indian bowlers’ minds. His serene presence and tight technique were easily the most impressive aspects of not just his innings but also the fourth day’s play. Karunaratne, though, self-sabotaged by playing Ravichandran Ashwin against the spin and under-edging an off-spinner onto his stumps. He fell three runs short of what will have been a great century personally.

Dickwella was his usual adventurous self and because of the way he plays/played, he wasn’t as big a stumbling block for Team India as Karunaratne proved to be. Nonetheless, Dickwella played some eye-catching strokes all round the dial and complemented Karunaratne’s game superbly. Dickwella was out for 67, to Ashwin.

Ashwin took time to affect proceedings, but once he dismissed the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper, he was a completely different spinner who went on to pick the wickets of Karunaratne and Nuwan Pradeep and nudge India closer to a massive victory. Ravindra Jadeja closed out the match by picking the wicket of Lahiru Kumara. Rangana Herath joined Asela Gunaratne as the batsmen who didn’t bat in the Sri Lankan second innings due to thumb and index finger injuries, respectively.

India won by a whopping 304-run margin and this is their second victory at the Galle International Stadium, where they had last won in 2008.

Shikhar Dhawan, for scoring 190 off 168 balls in the first innings and on his return to Test cricket too, was awarded the man-of-the-match.

1st Test, day three summary

For a brief period on the third morning of the 1st Test, Sri Lanka looked as though they might bring something unexpected to the table. The brief period we are referring to is 14.5 overs and about 65 minutes of play. Angelo Mathews and Dilruwan Perera batted aggressively and their intent seemed to nullify the threat of all the Indian bowlers.

Ravindra Jadeja was brought on for his second spell of the day and to bowl the 59th over of the innings, and he struck immediately. Mathews, who had played a fluent innings of 83 off 130 balls, fell to a soft dismissal, chipping the ball to Virat Kohli at cover in trying to clear the same fielder.

Perera was, however, the player of the morning. He batted at a tempo largely unheard of in Test cricket and contributed to his team reducing the deficit. He upped the ante after Mathews fell and from having been 28 off 65 balls, Perera moved through the gears quickly to bring up his half-century in the next 28 balls and maintained this tempo for the rest of his innings. Perera took a particular liking to Ashwin, hitting him for a couple of sixes and fours off the off-spinner’s 23rd and 25th overs.

Unfortunately for Perera, he received very little support from the Sri Lankan lower order, comprising Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara, who made 9, 10 and 2 respectively. Perera remained unbeaten on 92 off 132 balls, an innings punctuated by ten fours and four sixes.

For India, Jadeja took three of the final four Sri Lankan wickets, while debutant Hardik Pandya claimed his first Test wicket (N Pradeep). The visitors bowled Sri Lanka out for 291 in 78.3 overs and thereby took a 309-run first innings lead.

India, however, didn’t enforce the follow-on and started batting for the second time in this Test match.

The centurions from the first innings, Shikhar Dhawan (14) and Cheteshwar Pujara (15), fell cheaply, but Abhinav Mukund had gotten off to a start and was batting on 27 when play had to be suspended due to heavy rain.

Play resumed after an almost 90-minute stoppage, with Kohli joining Mukund in the middle and together looking to stretch India’s lead. Incidentally, Kohli and Mukund were the only two batsmen who failed in the first innings. Mukund made the most of this pressure-less match situation and got to his highest score in Test cricket: the Tamil Nadu opener made 81 off 116 balls (8×4) and was trapped leg before by the debutant Danushka Gunathilaka for his first Test wicket.

Kohli was the more free-scoring batsman in this 133-run third wicket partnership, though the Indian captain became a little circumspect towards the end of the day’s play. He had begun his innings positively and reached his 16th Test half-century off just 68 balls. Kohli was batting on 76 at stumps.

India’s overall lead had swollen up to 498 and the visitors ensured that they finished on a strong note for the third consecutive day in the 1st Test. With two full days and 90 overs of cricket left to be played in Galle, rain alone can be Sri Lanka’s saviour.

1st Test, day two summary

The Sri Lankan bowlers produced a much better effort on day two and needed only 43.1 overs to take the last seven Indian wickets for the concession of a further 201 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane fell in the first hour on the second morning, but not before they had reached their respective milestones of 150 and a half-century. In Pujara’s case, this was his sixth 150+ score in Tests.

India had been reduced to 495/7 at one stage and looked like they might not reach 600. But thanks to a debut half-century from Hardik Pandya (exactly 50) and some pinch-hitting from Mohammed Shami (30), who put on a 62-run ninth wicket partnership with Pandya, India were able to post 600.

Nuwan Pradeep’s bowling rhythm remained intact and he added another three wickets to his tally, finishing with 6/132, his first five-fer in Test cricket. Lahiru Kumara improved on his display from day one and took the wickets of Rahane, Pandya and Shami.

The hosts, though, responded poorly to India’s mammoth first innings total, with Dimuth Karunaratne falling in the second over of the innings to Umesh Yadav. The other opener, Upul Tharanga, batted fluently and was dealing in boundaries for much of his innings.

After the fall of Karunaratne, Tharanga forged a decent partnership of 61 for the second wicket with the debutant Danushka Gunathilaka. The pace and subtle movement of Shami, though, brought Gunathilaka’s innings to an end for 16. And in the same 15th over, the UP-born Bengal pacer claimed the crucial wicket of Kusal Mendis, who fell for a duck. Sri Lanka were reduced to 68/3 and in serious trouble.

The set Tharanga was involved in another half-century partnership (57) with the former skipper Angelo Mathews for the fourth wicket. But it was nowhere near what Sri Lanka needed, given their standing in the Test match.

Tharanga was run out for 64 by some good work from Abhinav Mukund, fielding at silly point, and Wriddhiman Saha, as the opener’s bat bounced off the ground when he dived in after having gone down the pitch to Ashwin. Mukund was in action again, at silly point, as he took a reflex one-handed catch to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella. Sri Lanka, until the dismissal of Dickwella, had denied wickets to Ashwin and will have been satisfied with what they were achieving.

Sri Lanka were 154/5 at stumps on day two, another day which India won hands down.

1st Test, day one summary

Shikhar Dhawan made merry on his return to Test cricket after a ten-month gap and Cheteshwar Pujara continued from where he left off against Australia in March, and together, the Dhawan-Pujara duo put India in the driver’s seat by putting on 253 runs for the second wicket.

Virat Kohli had won an important toss and as teams have historically done in Test matches at the Galle International Stadium, opted to bat first. The pitch was perfect for batting and Team India handed Hardik Pandya his Test debut, with the Baroda all-rounder becoming the 289th Test player. India lost Abhinav Mukund relatively early, with 27 runs on the board. The Tamil Nadu opener spurned another opportunity to not only justify the selectors’ decision to retain him in the squad but also keep himself in the reckoning for future Test matches. He played an iffy shot outside his off stump to Nuwan Pradeep and was caught behind for 13.

This was the only wicket to fall in the first session, which was dominated by India. Dhawan and Pujara had forged a partnership and spelled ominous signs when lunch was taken. India went into the lunch break at 115/1.

The post-lunch session was owned by Dhawan, who accumulated 126 (off just 90 balls) of the 167 runs to be scored in the session. Dhawan’s batting was precision personified: he toyed with the fieldset time and again and basically made the most of a toothless Sri Lankan bowling attack. Dhawan’s whirlwind batting didn’t distract Pujara from playing his normal game.

Dhawan reached his fourth Test century off 110 balls and looked set to score his maiden Test double hundred. But minutes before the tea interval, he mishit an attempted lofted drive over mid-off against Pradeep and was caught out for a 168-ball 190, his highest Test score. While Dhawan was in the middle, India scored at five runs per over, with a boundary hit off almost every over.

Two wickets falling in quick succession after a big partnership isn’t uncommon and this is precisely what transpired on day one in Galle as well: Dhawan had put India in a strong position at 280/2 and one Delhi batsman was replaced by another, Virat Kohli. The prolific Indian skipper cum batsman, though, missed out on a great opportunity to make a big score. He too was caught behind off Pradeep, who finished the day with 3/64 and was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane batted through the day, taking India to 399/3 and their partnership to an unbeaten 113. Pujara brought up his 12th Test century and was unbeaten on 144 at stumps. It was a long, demoralising day at the office for the Sri Lankans, who lacked energy and were evidently short of ideas.

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