Virat Kohli hits career-best 243 to leave Sri Lanka gasping in Delhi Test
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Virat Kohli hits career-best 243 to leave Sri Lanka gasping in Delhi Test

Powered by Virat Kohli’s double century, India have taken charge of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 03, 2017 20:49 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs Sri Lanka,3rd Test,Feroz Shah Kotla
Virat Kohli raises his bat after completing his double century during the second day of the third Test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.(AFP)

Virat Kohli has been in unstoppable form over the last three years and captaincy only seems to have added to his steely determination to succeed. And the hapless Sri Lanka were flattened on Sunday as the India skipper hit a majestic 243 in the final Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Sunday. (IND v SL UPDATES | SCORECARD)

Kohli’s career-best knock was his sixth double century, surpassing Brian Lara’s five as captain. The India No 4 drew level with Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for most 200 or more scores. Sehwag’s knocks include two triple centuries.

With a home crowd egging him on, Kohli dominated the hapless Sri Lankan bowling for the second day, with only the brief stoppage caused by pollution after the lunch interval affecting concentration and leading to dismissal when a first Test triple century looked imminent.

India declared at 536 for seven in the afternoon, and Sri Lanka, after early wobble, were 131/3 at stumps. Angelo Mathews was on 57 and skipper Dinesh Chandimal was 25 not out.

READ | Virat Kohli hits sixth double ton in Delhi Test, breaks Brian Lara’s record

Rapid knocks

The beauty of Kohli’s knocks has been that they have been rapid affairs and come as great advertisement for entertaining Test cricket. He faced just 287 balls, and scored at a strike rate of 84.66. He got 100 of them in fours, batting for over seven hours to underline his supreme fitness.

His 135-run fifth wicket partnership with Rohit Sharma (65) had taken India to 500 when the latter was caught behind at the stroke of lunch. As play was disrupted after lunch with Sri Lanka players needing attention due to the air pollution, Kohli stretched and lay on the field impatient.

Resumption saw R Ashwin fall straightaway, and the loss of concentration led to Kohli misreading a stock delivery from Chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan to be trapped leg before.

The captain, clearly upset with the break in play as he could have attempted the triple century before tea and asked Sri Lanka to bat, then declared when he realised Sri Lanka were struggling to put out 11 players on the field.

Kohli’s brilliance dominated morning’s play after he resumed on 156 with India on 371/4. He surpassed his best Test score of 235 after going past the best Test knock at the Kotla (230 – New Zealand’s Herbert Sutcliffe, 1955).

READ | Rohit Sharma’s fifty piles more misery on Sri Lanka in Delhi Test

Kohli’s six double centuries have barely taken a year-and-half, starting with the West Indies tour of July, 2016.

He attacked Suranga Lakmal immediately after the second new ball was taken. He took a knock on his left thumb, and then pulled Gamage to midwicket for a couple to complete 200. The flicks and drives past midwicket were all on display as the Indian captain arguably completed his final Test innings of 2017 on a high.

Mohammed Shami bowled a brilliant opening spell when Sri Lanka batted, and it should auger well for the South Africa tour. He had Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind off the first ball and Ishant Sharma trapped new No 3 Dhanajay de Silva leg before for one run. However, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli dropped catches in the slips to allow the visitors to fight back.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja made it 75 for three after trapping Dilruwan Perera (42), who was sent in at No 3. Angelo Mathews and skipper Dinesh Chandimal were together at stumps.

India, 1-0 up in the Test series, can equal the record for most wins in a row (9) with a draw or victory here.

First Published: Dec 03, 2017 12:17 IST