India vs Sri Lanka: R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma run through SL on Day 1 in Nagpur
Ishant Sharma struck early the blows before spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ran through the Sri Lanka cricket team line-up as Indian cricket team dismissed them for 205 in the first innings of second TestUpdated: Nov 24, 2017 17:47 IST
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
The same old malady that afflicted Sri Lanka cricket team in the rout last series resurfaced at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Friday. At the end of the first day’s play of the second Test, the Lankan innings lay in tatters with R Ashwin returning to haunt them with a four-wicket haul. (HIGHLIGHTS)
After the gutsy show in the early part of the opening Test at Eden Gardens, its back to the one-sided nature of contests seen in the three Tests played in Sri Lanka earlier this year. On a normal opening day wicket, the Islanders folded up for 205. In reply, India were 11 for one, losing their opener KL Rahul for seven. (SCORECARD)
Pace bowler Ishant Sharma struck the early blows before spinners R Ashwin (28.1-7-67-4) and Ravindra Jadeja (21-4-56-3) punched holes through the rest of the Lankan line-up.
It was an impressive return to Test cricket by Ishant, claiming three wickets for 37 runs in 14 overs. For once, the lanky bowler was bowling within himself and looking to use the ball, instead of attempting to rattle the batsmen with pace. The length was fuller and was varied how he wanted to set up the opponent. Ishant was among the three changes in India’s eleven, with Rohit Sharma and Murali Vijay getting a chance.
Even though there was not much in the wicket for the spinners on the opening day, the Sri Lankan batsmen were no match for the guile of Ashwin and Jadeja. Ashwin created doubts in their mind by getting the ball to drift while Jadeja was focused on bowling flat and sliders. It was the reason most of their victims were bowled or leg before because they were playing the wrong line.
There was grass cover on the wicket but it held no devils, offering little movement to the new-ball bowlers. The Indian attack was disciplined but not menacing. With better application, runs could be scored.
Having elected to bat after winning the toss, the onus was on the Sri Lankan top-order to provide the foundation for the innings. Only opener Dimuth Karunaratne in the top three showed the application and technique to handle the pressure exerted by the Indian bowlers.
First young opener Sadeera Samarawickrama tried an expansive drive and gifted his wicket, then Niruwan Dickwella played a horrible shot, and with seven wickets down skipper Dinesh Chandimal threw away his wicket by trying to reverse sweep R Ashwin to be put leg before wicket. Chandimal looked the most comfortable batsman and was well set batting on 57 when he suffered the brain fade.
He was losing partners at the other end, but the Sri Lankan captain still had Rangana Herath at the other end, who he could have trusted to give him support, especially after the Herath had got a half-century in the last Test.
Having done well in the second session, in which they upped the scoring rate after being completely bogged down in the morning, Sri Lanka were expected to consolidate in the post-tea period. To the dismay of their supporters, they completely collapsed after resumption. In 15 overs they lost four wickets for the addition of 39 runs to be reduced to 190 for eight within one hour. At tea they were 151 for four having added 104 runs in 32 overs after lunch.
Sri Lanka could have been in even more trouble as Dimuth Karunaratne was slightly fortuitous to get to his half-century. He was dropped by Pujara when on 15 and stumped on a no-ball off Jadeja on 21.
First Published: Nov 24, 2017 09:21 IST