Ravichandran Ashwin spins India to massive win over Sri Lanka in Nagpur Test
Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest bowler to take 300 wickets as India defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test match in Nagpur.india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 27, 2017 15:22 IST
That Angelo Mathews occupies the position where once Aravinda De Silva and Mahela Jayawardene used to bat - No 4 - is an indicator of how bare Sri Lanka cricket’s cupboard is at the moment. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Mathews has got loads of runs in Test cricket, but clearly lacks the defensive technique and temperament required of someone who has to hold the innings together. He is a strokeplayer, the kind who thrive at No 6. (SCORECARD)
With his team fighting for survival, Mathews played a horrible shot to give a catch straight to the mid-off fielder and nonchalantly walk back to the hut. It was no surprise then to see the Sri Lanka batting line-up collapse once again. This was the third successive innings their batting flopped – after the first innings here and the second essay at Eden Gardens.
Wasting good batting conditions, Sri Lanka folded for 166 on Monday, handing India an innings and 239-run victory. It equals India’s biggest victory margin, against Bangladesh in 2007. It is Sri Lanka’s heaviest defeat as well, their worst before this was the innings and 229-run rout against South Africa.
R Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief, collecting four wickets (17.3-4-63-4) to complete 300 wickets. He is the fastest to the mark, in just 54 Tests. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal was left to wage a lone battle, scoring 61.
When the Indian batsmen were at the crease, the VCA Stadium track looked benign, with four batsmen getting centuries. But when the Sri Lankans came out for their second stint, they made it look like a minefield.
In a shocking display, the Sri Lanka batsmen fell like ninepins. India’s bowlers hardly had to break sweat but got seven wickets in the first session of play, reducing Sri Lanka to 145 for eight at lunch.
Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did the damage in the morning session. The left-arm spinner got the early wickets during a spell of 7-3-14-2, before Ashwin got into the act and ran through the lower-order.
Sri Lanka trail by 260 runs with two wickets in hand. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal was the only recognized batsmen left and he is currently batting on 53.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did the damage in the morning, picking three and two wickets respectively. The left-arm spinner got the early wickets during a spell of 7-3-14-2, before Ashwin got into the act and ran through the lower-order.
But the most impressive was fast bowler Ishant Sharma. Running in smoothly, the lanky pacer generated sharp pace while keeping the ball in good areas. After his dream ball to get opener Sadeera Samarawickrama on Sunday evening, he produced an unplayable delivery to get rid of Niroshan Dickwella. The rising ball took the edge of the shoulder of the blade and flew to Virat Kohli at second slip, with the skipper taking the catch on second attempt.
It was a moment of brilliance in the field by Murali Vijay that triggered the procession. Sri Lanka’s in-form opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne flicked Jadeja firmly but Vijay stayed steady to take the catch.
Lahiru Thirimanne chased a wide ball by Umesh Yadav to offer a regulation catch to Jadeja at gully and Dasun Shanka holed out. Ashwin then had Dilruwan Perera leg-before to complete 50 wickets in 2017. Rangana Herath lasted two balls before becoming Ashwin’s third wicket. When Chandimal was caught at fine-leg off a nothing ball on his legs, it was all over for Sri Lanka.
First Published: Nov 27, 2017 12:13 IST