Ravichandran Ashwin hits back late after Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal tons
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal slammed centuries to help Sri Lanka fight on the third day of the final Test against Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team before Ravichandran Ashwin dented the visitors with quick wickets.india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 04, 2017 17:02 IST
Left without much time to acclimatise for the South Africa tour, India’s Plan B was to seek seam-friendly pitches for the Test series against Sri Lanka. However, with the well-rolled Feroz Shah Kotla pitch favouring batsmen, it was imperative the hosts held on to their catches. (INDIA vs SRI LANKA UPDATES)
India put down four catches with shoddy attempts in the slips where three chances, including two of Angelo Mathews’ lives, were given. The result was their bowlers had to toil for most of the third day of the Test on Monday. (INDIA vs SRI LANKA SCORECARD)
The former Sri Lanka skipper cashed in, scoring his first century for over two years (111 – 268 b, 14x4, 2x6) and shared a 181-run fourth-wicket partnership with Dinesh Chandimal. The in-form Sri Lanka skipper was unbeaten on 147 after reaching his 10th Test century (341b, 18x4, 1x6).
However, Indian bowlers led by Ravichandran Ashwin (3/90) stormed back deep into the last session to help regain control. Five wickets fell for 26 runs to reduce Sri Lanka to 356/9, trailing India by 180 runs, when fading light stopped play.
Sri Lanka were cruising at 317/4, finally showing some spine in their performance in the series, before Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jadeja along with Ashwin struck.
After pollution stoppages blighted the second day, it was again hazy and the floodlights came on at 1 pm. Murali Vijay was off the field for a while due to cold and fever, possibly due to the bad air quality that had left Sri Lankan players reeling on Sunday. However, the hosts didn’t make much of the conditions, making do with mini stoppages for players to stay hydrated.
India’s catching though clouded their efforts. Dropped by Kohli on six overnight, Ishant Sharma saw Rohit Sharma drop Mathews, again at second slip, off the first delivery with the second new ball.
On 98 then, he got to his century only for Vijay Shankar, substitute for Vijay, palming one at mid-off. India finally saw the back of Mathews when Ravichandran Ashwin, sparingly bowled in the first two sessions, had him caught behind, Wriddhiman Saha taking the first of two superb catches.
Chandimal added 61 runs with Sadeera Samarawickrama (33) for the fifth wicket to continue the fight. The opener, hit on the helmet while fielding and dropped to No 6, had another close shave when a wild throw from Kohli glanced off his elbow.
Ishant’s brilliant delivery and Saha’s acrobatic take ended his stay. Ravichandran Ashwin then abandoned his leg-stump line and attacked off-stump to have debutant Roshen Silva caught off bat and pad and bowl Niroshan Dickwella, both for duck.
Sri Lanka will still take heart from the turnaround, especially Chandimal after scoring fifties in both innings in the Nagpur Test loss.
Mohammed Shami, who bowled brilliantly in the morning without reward, struck in his fresh spell to remove Suranga Lakmal but last man Lakshan Sandakan saw off seven deliveries at the end.