India hurtled towards their ninth successive series victory as they left Sri Lanka precariously placed at 31 for three and staring at another humiliation in the third and final Test here today. The visiting Lankans were set an improbable victory target of 410 to level the three-match series. It will be a miracle if Sri Lanka manage to make it. The 16 overs that they batted during the final 85 minutes of the fourth day's play was with an aim to survive rather than play positive cricket. A view of the Feroz Shah Kotla in the morning.
What stood out like a sore thumb was another failure from Ajinkya Rahane, whose woeful run continued. Kohli promoted Rahane 10 to give him enough time to settle down and bat his way out of form. However, desperation to hit his way out of trouble brought about Rahane's downfall. He stepped out to Dilruwan Perera and the lofted shot found Lakshan Sandakan at the long-on boundary. It came after Vijay 9 had played a lazy shot away from the body of Suranga Lakmal to give a catch to Niroshan Dickwella behind the stumps. Sri Lankan players celebrate the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane.
The Sri Lankan players once again wore anti-pollution masks from the start of the Indian second innings due to the prevailing pollution in the national capital. Lakmal, in fact, threw up a couple of times while fielding at the third man area and the groundsmen had to put sand. Sri Lanka's Suranga Lakmal, centre, vomits as his teammates stand next to him during the fourth day of their third test cricket match against India in New Delhi
The Indian skipper and his limited overs deputy added 90 runs in only 15.2 overs. Kohli had only three fours but ran brilliantly between the wickets along with Rohit, who, among his five boundaries, had a gorgeous pull-shot to his credit. The moment he reached his sixth consecutive half-century in Tests, Kohli signaled for a declaration. It was Pujara, whose uncharacteristic batting set the tone for India in the second innings. The Saurashtra batsman was even more attacking than Dhawan, whose innings had five fours and a six down the ground off chinaman Lakshan Sandakan. India's captain Virat Kohli gestures as if he is listening to the crowd during the fourth day of their third test cricket match against Sri Lanka in New Delhi.
Mohammed Shami (1/8 in 3 overs), who was unwell after a three-over burst, bowled a hostile spell and accounted for Sadeera Samarawickrama (5). A barrage of short deliveries unnerved the opener, who was hit on the temple while fielding in India's first innings. Shami played on his psyche with well-disguised bouncers into his body one such he fended awkwardly and offered a simple catch to Ajinkya Rahane in the slips. The ever-accurate Ravindra Jadeja (5-2-5-2) had Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind, giving Wriddhiman Saha his fifth catch of the match. The decision to send Suranga Lakmal (0) as nighwatchman backfired as he played on while trying a forward defensive prod.