India curtail Sri Lanka’s fight back, take unassailable series lead

India batting, 1st innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
S Dhawan leg before wicket Perera 35 (37) 5 1 94.59
KL Rahul run out by Chandimal/Dickwella 57 (82) 7 0 69.51
C Pujara leg before wicket Karunaratne 133 (232) 11 1 57.32
V Kohli caught Mathews, bowled Herath 13 (29) 2 0 44.82
A Rahane stumped Dickwella, bowled Pushpakumara 132 (222) 14 0 59.45
R Ashwin bowled Herath 54 (92) 5 1 58.69
W Saha stumped Dickwella, bowled Herath 67 (134) 4 1 50.00
H Pandya caught Mathews, bowled Pushpakumara 20 (20) 3 0 100.00
R Jadeja not out 70 (85) 4 3 82.35
M Shami caught Tharanga, bowled Herath 19 (8) 1 2 237.50
Umesh Yadav not out 8 (9) 1 0 88.88
Extras: 14 (2 no-balls, 8 byes and 4 leg byes)
India’s total: 622/9 declared in 158 overs, at 3.93 runs per over
India’s fall of wickets: 56/1 (Dhawan, 10.1), 109/2 (Rahul, 30.4), 133/3 (Kohli, 38.5), 350/4 (Pujara, 91.6), 413/5 (Rahane, 110.5), 451/6 (Ashwin, 121.5), 496/7 (Pandya, 132.4), 568/8 (Saha, 152.1), and 598/9 (Shami, 154.5)
Sri Lanka bowling, 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
N Pradeep 17.4 2 63 0 3.56
R Herath 42 7 154 4 3.66
D Karunaratne 8 0 31 1 3.87
D Perera 40 3 147 1 3.67
M Pushpakumara 38.2 2 156 2 4.06
D de Silva 12 0 59 0 4.91
Sri Lanka batting, 1st innings
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
D Karunaratne caught Rahane, bowled Ashwin 25 (45) 2 0 55.55
U Tharanga caught Rahul, bowled Ashwin 0 (6) 0 0 0.00
K Mendis caught Kohli, bowled Umesh 24 (64) 4 0 37.50
D Chandimal caught Hardik, bowled Jadeja 10 (34) 0 1 29.41
A Mathews caught Pujara, bowled Ashwin 26 (33) 2 2 78.78
N Dickwella bowled Shami 51 (48) 7 1 106.25
D de Silva bowled Jadeja 0 (1) 0 0 0.00
D Perera bowled Ashwin 25 (34) 3 1 73.52
R Herath bowled Shami 2 (5) 0 0 40.00
M Pushpakumara not out 15 (22) 1 1 68.18
N Pradeep bowled Ashwin 0 (6) 0 0 0.00
Extras: 5 (4 byes and 1 leg bye)
Sri Lanka’s total: 183/10 in 49.4 overs, at 3.68 runs per over
Sri Lanka’s fall of wickets: 0/1 (Tharanga, 1.6), 33/2 (Karunaratne, 13.4), 60/3 (Chandimal, 24.1), 64/4 (Mendis, 25.4), 117/5 (Mathews, 33.6), 122/6 (de Silva, 34.5), 150/7 (Dickwella, 41.1), 152/8 (Herath, 41.6), 171/9 (Perera, 47.2), and 183/10 (Pradeep, 49.4)
India bowling, 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
M Shami 6 1 13 2 2.16
R Ashwin 16.4 3 69 5 4.14
R Jadeja 22 6 84 2 3.81
U Yadav 5 1 12 1 2.40
Sri Lanka batting, 2nd innings (following on, trail by 439 runs)
Batsmen Dismissal Runs scored 4s 6s Strike rate
D Karunaratne caught Rahane, bowled Jadeja 141 (307) 16 0 45.92
U Tharanga bowled Umesh 2 (9) 0 0 22.22
K Mendis caught Saha, bowled Hardik 110 (135) 17 0 81.48
M Pushpakumara bowled Ashwin 16 (58) 3 0 27.58
D Chandimal caught Rahane, bowled Jadeja 2 (6) 0 0 33.33
A Mathews caught Saha, bowled Jadeja 36 (66) 3 1 54.54
N Dickwella caught Rahane, bowled Pandya 31 (56) 4 0 55.35
D Perera stumped Saha, bowled Jadeja 4 (10) 1 0 40.00
D de Silva caught Rahane, bowled Jadeja 17 (17) 4 0 100.00
R Herath not out 17 (30) 3 0 56.66
N Pradeep caught Dhawan, bowled Ashwin 1 (9) 0 0 11.11
Extras: 9 (2 no-balls, 2 wides and 5 leg byes)
Sri Lanka’s total: 386/10 in 116.5 overs, at 3.30 runs per over
Sri Lanka’s fall of wickets: 7/1 (Tharanga, 2.6), 198/2 (Mendis, 54.5), 238/3 (Pushpakumara, 72.2), 241/4 (Chandimal, 73.5), 310/5 (Karunaratne, 95.4), 315/6 (Mathews, 97.3), 321/7 (Perera, 99.3), 343/8 (de Silva, 105.4), 384/9 (Dickwella, 115.1), and 386/10 (Pradeep, 116.5)
India bowling, 2nd Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
U Yadav 13 2 39 1 3.00
R Ashwin 37.5 7 132 2 3.48
M Shami 12 3 27 0 2.25
R Jadeja 39 5 152 5 3.89
H Pandya 15 2 31 2 2.06

Sri Lanka vs India 2nd Test, day four summary

The hosts fought hard and gave the impression that they might make India bat again in this Test match. But their middle and lower middle order batsmen weren’t as resolute as the Karunaratnes and Mathews, and once Karunaratne fell with the score at 310 and his team still 129 runs behind, the innings fell apart.

The last five wickets fell for the accumulation of just 76 more runs, handing Team India their eighth consecutive Test series victory, with the final Test to be played in Pallekelle from August 12. India won the 2nd Test by an innings and 53 runs.

While Ashwin took a five-fer in the first innings, Jadeja finished with five wickets in the second innings (5/152). Hardik Pandya and Ashwin took two wickets apiece, while Umesh Yadav had taken the wicket of Upul Tharanga on day three.

For scoring an unbeaten 70 and his bowling figures of 61-11-236-7, Jadeja was awarded the man-of-the-match. India have taken an unassailable 0-2 lead in this three-Test series.

Sri Lanka vs India 2nd Test, day three summary

Sri Lanka dug themselves a big hole by batting recklessly in the first session on day three, losing 8/133 and being bowled out in their first innings in 49.4 overs. Niroshan Dickwella top-scored and played an entertaining knock of 51, but neither his approach nor the innings was to the benefit of his team.

Ravichandran Ashwin bagged his 26th Test five-wicket haul, while he was ably supported by Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja taking braces and Umesh Yadav taking one wicket.

Being 439 runs ahead, India were expected to enforce the follow-on and given the way the Lankan Lions had batted in their first innings and the way the pitch had behaved in the first session on day three, the 2nd Test, we thought, had a chance of finishing in three days.

Upul Tharanga was dismissed cheaply once again, this time by Umesh, and Sri Lanka were 7/1 after three overs in their second innings. But Kusal Mendis joined up with Dimuth Karunaratne and put together one of the great partnerships in the history of Test cricket. The reason I say great is because of the way this duo managed the huge deficit (432) in front of them and also denied the Indian bowlers, who had been unplayable only an hour ago, their wickets.

Mendis was the more aggressive in this partnership, hitting 17 boundaries over the course of his innings and particularly playing Jadeja with utter ease and precision. He was dropped on 1 by Shikhar Dhawan, but as he should have, he harnessed that slice of luck and went on to make an attractive century, his third in Test cricket.

He was out for 110 (135) just at the stroke of stumps, with Hardik Pandya bowling a virtual off-spinner that turned sharply, caught the inside edge of Mendis’ blade and ballooned up in the air for Wriddhiman Saha to dive full stretch and take a good catch. Mendis and Karunaratne had put on 191 runs for the second wicket and India uncharacteristically looked flat and short of ideas.

Karunaratne was in many ways an ideal foil for the adventurous Mendis and he was batting on 92 at stumps on day three. Having been asked to follow on with 439 runs behind, Sri Lanka will be proud of their fight back and about reducing India’s lead to just 230 (209/2), with eight second-innings wickets in hand.

Sri Lanka vs India 2nd Test, day two summary

Pujara added only five runs to his overnight score and was trapped early in the day by Karunaratne, but this early wicket didn’t quite impact the proceedings the way the hosts will have hoped for. Ravichandran Ashwin joined Rahane and played positively, as he usually does, and India nudged closer to 400.

The 217-run Pujara-Rahane partnership was followed by a 63-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Rahane and Ashwin, with India continuing to prosper on a pitch which increasingly began to assist the spinners. Rahane lost his wicket in trying to play an expansive stroke off Malinda Pushpakumara, becoming the left-arm spinner’s first Test wicket. Nonetheless, India had enjoyed another productive session, in which they scored 98 runs in 30 overs.

The highlights of the second session were Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha bringing up their half-centuries and giving India a stranglehold of the Test match. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner brought up his 11th Test half-century with a six but was out off the very next ball, to Herath. Ashwin also reached 2000 Test runs in this innings, becoming the fourth fastest player (51 Test matches) to achieve the feat of 2000 runs and 200 Test wickets.

Saha batted through the session and earned himself his fifth Test half-century. Nuwan Pradeep didn’t take the field on day two due to a hamstring trouble picked up on day one, and being a bowler short hurt Sri Lanka badly. Their spinners had to do a lot of bowling as a result and Pradeep was the only specialist pacer picked in the XI.

Hardik Pandya followed up a half-century on Test debut with a run-a-ball 20, before being dismissed by Pushpakumara. Ravindra Jadeja, who had missed out in Galle of the Indian all-rounders, got himself a score as well. He was 37* and giving Saha (59*) company at tea, as India had reached 553/7 and taken total control of the 2nd Test.

India came out of the tea interval with real intent of scoring quick runs and potentially declaring their innings with an hour’s play left in the day. Saha perished early after hitting a six, but Jadeja helped India get past 600 with some clean striking against Herath and Perera. He brought up his eighth Test half-century and was unbeaten on 70*. Mohammed Shami, as he had done in Galle, struck a couple of sixes off Herath and contributed to India achieving what they had set out to. Shami made 19 off eight balls. India declared their innings with 622/9 on the board. For Sri Lanka, Herath picked four wickets, debutant Pushpakumara took two wickets, while Karunaratne and Dilruwan Perera took a wicket apiece.

Sri Lanka were off to an unenviable start in their first innings, losing both their openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga, before stumps on day two. The Islanders finished the day at 50/2, with Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal being the overnight batsmen. Ashwin took both the wickets. You just begin to wonder if somehow you will see Sri Lanka finish a day on top in this Test series.

Sri Lanka vs India 2nd Test, day one summary

Team India began the second Test in the same fashion as they had a week ago in Galle, by scoring over 100 runs in the first session of the Test match and losing just one wicket (101/1). Shikhar Dhawan was out for 35, having provided India another good start and put on 56 for the first wicket. Lokesh Rahul returned to Test cricket with a bang, making an unbeaten half-century and had forged a 45-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, playing his 50th Test match, at lunch on day one.

Virat Kohli had won his second successive toss and opted to bat first, with the fit-again Rahul expectedly replacing Abhinav Mukund in the XI. Sri Lanka made three changes, with the permanent Test captain Dinesh Chandimal returning to the side after recovering from pneumonia, Malinda Pushpakumara being handed his Test debut and Dhananjaya de Silva replacing Danushka Gunathilaka.

Sri Lanka struck twice inside the first hour after lunch, dismissing Rahul for 57 and Kohli for just 13. Rahul and Pujara were involved in a mix-up which ended up costing the well-set Rahul his wicket. Kohli edged a wide Rangana Herath delivery outside off stump to Angelo Mathews at first slip. At 133/3 and with the last of the specialist batsmen in the middle, the hosts had their noses in front at this stage.

But India didn’t fall away and through Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, finished the second session strongly. Despite two of the more attacking batsmen falling very early, the visitors accrued 137 runs in 30 overs. Rahane and Pujara played positively after Kohli’s wicket, and put India in a dominant position at 238/3 at tea.

The final session on day one didn’t bring any wickets for the hosts, while Rahane and Pujara added 106 runs to put India in a commanding position at 344/3. At stumps, they had taken their partnership to an unbeaten 211, with Pujara making his second century of this Test series and remaining unbeaten on 128* and Rahane making 103*. The first day of the 2nd Test did play out pretty much the same way the first day of the first Test had too, with Rahane and Pujara being the overnight batsmen on that occasion too.

From Sri Lanka’s perspective, their bowlers posed a far greater challenge to the Indian batsmen than they had in Galle. They induced plenty of edges and had a few close lbw shouts as well. But then, as we have seen often in recent times, Virat Kohli’s India rose to the challenge and turned the tables on them in a short length of time. Dilruwan Perera (Dhawan) and Rangana Herath (Kohli) were the wicket-takers for Sri Lanka on a good day’s Test cricket.

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