Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each as India defeated Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening match of a three-match Test series at Galle International Stadium on Saturday. India, batting first, scored 600 in its first innings and bowled Sri Lanka out for 291. India batted again with a 309-run first-innings lead without enforcing the follow-on and declared their second innings on 240 for three. Set a daunting 550 to win, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 245. Dimuth Karunaratne fell three runs short of a century as he was involved in two lengthy partnerships with Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella. But Indian bowlers took crucial wickets to record a convincing win. (MATCH SCORECARD)
HIGHLIGHTS FROM INDIA VS SRI LANKA, 1ST TEST, DAY 4
16.53 IST: Virat Kohli - Last time we should have won and it dented our confidence. This time we are a more experienced side and that's what is showing in the field. All bases covered nicely. Everyone turned up. The surface didn't offer much, that's why the win is speacial. Persistnet pressure for longer periods always pays off and that's something I believe in. Last time it was good for bowling and this time it is good for batting. Only 3 openers make the squad. It's good to have guys scoring guys rather than guys not scoring consistently. It felt nice that it came off nicely. Abhinav batted well. He deserved a 100 as well.
16.50 IST: Rangana Herath - My finger is getting better. There was a fracture on the same finger previously and I got hurt on the same finger. All credit to India, they outplayed us. Losing Asela is a great loss for us. But we want to improve and come back strong.
16.45 IST: Shikhar Dhawan is the Man of the Match for his 190 in the first innings. "Really enjoyed batting here. Just watched the ball and kept scoring. Very healthy competition in the side and it keeps me on my toes and always looking forward to improve myself," says Dhawan.
16.43 IST: R Ashwin receives a speical award for playing his 50th Test.
16.35 IST: Chasing history, the Islanders had come out victors in their previous Test against Zimbabwe but come India, they were found wanting. Their approach was hard to understand, they played their shots and kept losing wickets to them. Dimuth Karunaratne was the only one to put up a fight and not surprising that he didn't play any extravagant shot - till he got out.
16.32 IST: India set up the game thanks to their massive first innings total. Both Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara notched up tons as they posted a mammoth total on the board. Ravindra Jadeja then led the attack to take a 309-run lead. India chose not to enforce the follow-on.
16.30 IST: No Rangana Herath, no Asela Gunaratne to bat and Sri Lanka have lost the first Test inside four days. Doesn't it reflect perfectly on the two individuals? Those two have done most of the hard work in the last few series' and without them, it has been very hard for the home side.
16.26 IST: OUT! DONE AND DUSTED! Loops this one outside off, Kumara looses his patience here and goes for the big shot. Gets a top edge on it and the ball balloons towards the mid off region. Mohammed Shami settles under it and gobbles it safely. INDIA WIN BY 304 RUNS!
16.20 IST: FOUR! Time for some fun! Jadeja bowls it around off, Perera gets across and sweeps it through the fine leg region for a boundary. SL 245/7
16.17 IST: OUT! Ashwin removes Pradeep for 0. Another one bites the dust! Ashwin bowls it around off and middle, Pradeep looks to nudge it but gets a glove on it. The ball lobs towards Virat Kohli at leg gully. He lunges forward and takes it inches off the ground. That is another wicket for Ashwin and India inch closer to victory. SL 291 & 240/7, need 310 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d)
16.13 IST: OUT! Ashwin removes Karunaratne for 97. Ashwin bowls it around off, Karunaratne sits down to sweep that one but is beaten by the low bounce. He gets an under edge and the ball crashes into the stumps. That is it for the opener. He didn't play a single bad shot till then but he played one and perished. He lost the battle of patience there. That is how the game of cricket is. I just blurted out that he would have been unlucky if he missed out on a ton and now he gets out trying to sweep one off his stumps. A pretty long, lonely walk to the pavilion for him. SL 291 & 240/6, need 310 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d)
16.09 IST: NOT OUT! India review in vain! Too full around off and middle, Perera is hit on his boot as he is a tad late to bring his bat down in time. The players appeal but the umpire says no. Jadeja was too confident and hence Kohli goes for the review. Maybe since he knows he will get them back after eight overs? Time for replays. No bat confirmed. Ultra Edge confirms the ball hit the boot. Ball Tracker shows that it hit him outside the line and hence it is not out.
15.45 IST: FOUR! Jadeja bowls it short and wide outside off, Perera goes back and cuts it to the deep point fence for a boundary.
15.40 IST: FOUR! Full and outside off, Dilruwan Perera comes forward and drives it through cover-point for a majestic boundary. SL 224/5, need 326 to win
15.34 IST: OUT! Ashwin removes Dickwella for 67. Here comes the wicket! Floats it outside off, Dickwella shapes to sweep that one but gets an edge which carries to Saha. The players appeal and the umpire raises his finger. A wicket at last for Ashwin. Karunaratne asks about the review to Niroshan but the latter acknowledges that he hit that one. An important breakthrough for the visitors. SL 291 & 217/5, need 333 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d)
15.30 IST: FOUR! In the gap! Good length outside off, Dickwella just stands tall and punches it through covers for another boundary. Top batting! 100-run stand between Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella! SL 216/4
15.26 IST: FOUR! Full and outside off, Dickwella stands tall and just crashes it through the covers off the toe end of the bat for a boundary. That was hit with a lot of disdain.
15.15 IST: Play time! Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella come out to bat. India begin the session with Ravindra Jadeja! Here we go...
15.00 IST: A meandering session of Test cricket. India started off on a positive note where Jadeja took two quick wickets. But since then Karunaratne and Dickwella have looked settled in the middle with the former inching towards his ton. The Indian bowlers are toiling really hard but except a couple of dropped catches, they haven't been able to create anything special. The visitors will want these two batsmen to see this day off for them if they wish to have a chance to stay in the game. An exciting final session of cricket awaits us.
14.55 IST: SL 291 & 192/4 at Tea, need 358 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d). Jadeja 2/42
14.49 IST: FOUR! Ashwin tossed up around leg, Dickwella goes for the slog sweep. Gets it over the mid-wicket region for a boundary.
14.14 IST: FOUR! Ashwin floats this one around leg, Dickwella goes for the sweep. Times it well through the mid-wicket region for a boundary. SL 165/4, need 385 runs
14.06 IST: Karunaratne is playing a good hand here. He is showing good intent here. SL 155/4, 395 runs to win
13.35 IST: FOUR! Ashwin lands it around off, Dickwella kneels down and slog sweeps it through mid-wicket for a boundary. Ashwin should not be minding that. SL 134/4, need 416 runs
13.33 IST: FOUR! Jadeja bowls it around off, Dickwella comes down the track and lofts it over the mid on region. Has not hit that well but gets a boundary. SL 129/4, need 421 runs to win
13.30 IST: FOUR! Ashwin drops it short outside off, Karunaratne goes back and punches it through covers for a boundary. He has looked at ease for the most part of the innings.
13.24 IST: Maiden over from Ashwin! SL 118/4, need 432 runs to win
13.17 IST: OUT! Jadeja removes Mathews for 2. SL 291 & 116/4, need 434 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d)
13.12 IST: FOUR! Ashwin bowls it around off, Karunaratne kneels down and clubs it in front of square for a boundary. SL 112/3, need 438 runs to win
13.04 IST: OUT! Jadeja removes Mendis for 36. India review successfully! Jadeja floats it outside off, Mendis goes back to punch but seems to be beaten. The keeper collects the ball and appeals hard. The players are convinced and ask Kohli to go for the review. The Indian skipper obliges. Ultra Edge detects a spike as the ball goes past the bat and hence the on field calls has to be turned over. Kusal Mendis has to walk back to the hut after playing a good knock. SL 291 & 108/3, need 442 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d). Angelo Mathews comes out to bat.
12.53 IST: NOT OUT! Shorter down the leg side from Ashwin and Mendis looks to clip but seems to have missed it. Saha collects and appeals long and hard. Nothing from the umpire. Kohli goes for the review on the word of Saha. Replays detect nothing and that is a review wasted by India. SL 104/2, need 446 runs to win
12.51 IST: Kusal Mendia hits Jadeja to deep extra cover for three runs and with it comes up the 100 for Sri Lanka.
12.51 IST: FOUR! Jadeja bowls it around off, Mendis kneels down and slog sweeps it over mid-wicket for a boundary.
12.50 IST: Fifty for Karunaratne off 81 balls. he gets there with a double off Ashwin's last ball. This is his maiden fifty against India in 8 innings. SL 94/2, need 456 runs
12.49 IST: FOUR! Shorter and outside off, Karunaratne goes back and cuts it to the sweeper cover fence for a boundary. Poor ball from Ashwin and punished!
12.47 IST: Jadeja concedes couple of runs of his over. SL 88/2, need 462 runs
12.45 IST: Spin from both ends now! Ravindra Jadeja to partner Ashwin in the attack!
12.44 IST: Ashwin starts off in a great way! Just a single off his over. SL 86/1, need 464 runs
12.40 IST: Sri Lanka batsmen are walking out to resume the mammoth task in hand. It will be interesting to see how long they can offer resistance in front of the Indian bowling attack. R Ashwin to start the proceesings for India.
12.05 IST: That's a fighting session of Test cricket. India declared after a bash and then nipped out Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka early in the piece. The pair of Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne has done well to keep the visitors at bay. The Indian spinners haven't quite bowled as well as they would have liked. They need 8 more wickets to win, maybe 6 if Herath doesn't bat. The hosts still need 465 runs to win, it is a long way away for now. Join us in a while for the second session.
12.01 IST: Sri Lanka 291 & 85/2 at Lunch, need 465 to win vs India (600 & 240/3d). Shami 1/32, Umesh 1/26
11.59 IST: Three runs off the last ball of Ashwin's over and Sri Lanka are 83/2, need 467 runs
11.52 IST: Good over from Ashwin. Just a single off the over. SL 78/2, need 472 runs to win
11.36 IST: A decent over from Umesh, he gives away 3 runs. SL 69/2
11.32 IST: FOUR! Good shot! Shorter outside off, Mendis camps back and cuts it through the backward point region for a boundary. SL 64/2, need 486 runs
11.30 IST: FOUR! Fuller around middle and off, Karunaratne does not let settle Jadeja settle and goes for the reverse sweep. Times it well and gets it through the point region for a boundary.
11.29 IST: Yes indeed, Jadeja is introduced into the attack!
11.25 IST: Ravindra Jadeja is warming up and we might just see spin introduced soon.
11.19 IST: Fifty comes up for Sri Lanka.
11.15 IST: Time for Drinks! Sri Lanka have lost a couple of quick wickets which has made life even more difficult. The Indian pacers will look to make further more inroads as they look to decimate the opposition totally.
11.11 IST: FOUR! Karunaratne plays it through soft hands towards deep backward point. Good length delivery outside off, Karunaratne has a slightly hard push at it. Outside edges it through the backward point region for a boundary. SL 47/2, need 503 runs to win
11.05 IST: FOUR! Crunched! Fuller delivery outside off, Mendis leans forward and plays a crispy front foot drive through the cover-point region for a boundary. SL 42/2, need 508 runs to win
11.00 IST: FOUR! Very well bowled but even better played! Fuller delivery right in line of the stumps, Karunaratne transfers his weight back a bit and clips it elegantly through the mid-wicket region for a boundary. SL 37/2, need 513 runs to win
10.52 IST: OUT! Umesh removes Gunathilaka for 2. Two soft dismissals for Gunathilaka! On a length around middle, Gunathilaka shapes to clip it but finds the lone fielder on the leg side. Pujara takes the simplest of the catches at mid-wicket and that is it for Danushka. He has been picked thanks to his ODI form but he needs to be a lot more circumspect in the whites. Sri Lanka two down already! SL 291 & 29/2, need 521 to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d). Kusal Mendis walks out to the middle.
10.45 IST: FOUR! Classical! Fuller around off, Karunaratne comes forward and drives it down the ground, just past the umpire and through long off for a boundary. Superb shot! SL 26/1, need 524 runs to win
10.40 IST: OUT! Shami removes Tharanga for 10. The dropped catch has not cost India anything! Shami angles it on a back of a length, Tharanga is cramped for room as he aims to dab it down to third man. The ball goes off the inside edge and cannos into the stumps. Virat Kohli will be a relieved man. India get the breakthrough early. SL 291 & 22/1, need 528 runs to win vs IND (600 & 240/3d)
10.37 IST: DROPPED! Good length outside off, Tharanga pokes at it. The ball goes off the outside edge straight to Virat Kohli at second slip. He drops it, can't believe that himself and that is a chance gone down. India would have loved that.
10.36 IST: FOUR! Deft! Short and outside off, Tharanga plays it with an angled bat wide of the gully fielder for a boundary. Poor bowling with the new ball.
10.35 IST: FOUR! Tucked! Shorter and on the pads, Karunaratne clips it down to the fine leg fence for a boundary. Sri Lanka are chasing this? Sri Lanka 18/0
10.30 IST: FOUR! Nicely played! Back of a length outside off, Tharanga just punches it off his crease. More of a push and the ball runs to the deep point fence. SL 12/0, need 538 runs
10.27 IST: FIVE WIDES! Short ball around middle, Tharanga ducks under it. Saha cannot stop it and the ball runs down to the fence for a boundary. Wides signaled.
10.26 IST: ALMOST! Short ball from Shami, climbing on the batsman, Karunaratne looks to fend it away. The ball flies off the splice of the bat and goes wide of gully for a single to third man.
10.25 IST: Players are out in the middle. Mohammed Shami to start the proceedings for India.
10.22 IST: India have declared! Didn't take them long to do so, a century for the skipper was all that mattered. Despite the big lead, they didn't start well losing the centurions of the first innings early but Mukund and Kohli swelled the target courtesy a half century by the former and a century for the latter. The hosts on the other hand will have to bat really well if they want to keep this match alive. Would be interesting to see if the hosts choose to defend or they play attacking cricket to chase the total down? An uphill task awaits them. Stay tuned for the final innings.
10.15 IST: Shorter in length around middle and leg, Kohli pulls it down to fine leg for a single. And that is it, India have declared! India end on 240/3, Sri Lanka need 550 runs to win!
10.08 IST: Virat Kohli hits his 17th Test hundred! Kohli helps himself to a ton! Shorter outside leg, Kohli goes back and works it through mid-wicket for a single. That is it, he gets a century, his 17th in Test cricket! He raises his bat and celebrates his 10th ton as a Test captain. No declaration yet though. IND 600 & 233/3, lead SL (291) by 542 runs
10.05 IST: SIX! BANG! Flatter in line of the stumps, Kohli comes down and clubs it over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum. Superb shot!
10.04 IST: FOUR! Short and wide outside off, Rahane throws his bat at it and gets an edge which flies down to the third man fence for a boundary. Kohli isn't getting enough strike for his century for now.
10.04 IST: FOUR! Up and over! Can't bowl full and wide, Rahane gets under it and crunches it over wide mid off for a boundary. The intent from India is evident.
10.02 IST: CHAOS! Gunathilaka lands it around off, Rahane drives it towards mid off and takes off for a single. Kohli does not want it and sends him back. The fielder has a direct hit at the bowler's end for some reason and Rahane gets enough time to get back to his crease at his end. There were a lot of shouts but none about which end to throw the ball at. An early escape for Ajinkya!
9.55 IST: The players are out in the middle. Virat Kohli comes out to bat, he will be joined by AJINKYA RAHANE! Does it mean they will bat for a longer time? Danushka Gunathilaka to complete his over.
9.45 IST: Angelo Mathews thinks that it will be challenging to bat on this wicket. Informs that they will look for runs and not just bat. He does not think that the deck is that difficult to bat. Mentions that they will look to chase whatever they can. On his bowling, he informs that he still needs to get fit to bowl in Tests.
9.40 IST: Pitch Report - Russel Arnold doing the pitch report says that to survive on this wicket, mindset is the key. Feels that the surface is still good with hardly any scratches on it. Reckons that the deck still looks good and Ravindra Jadeja was the only one to extract some turn. Adds that when the sun comes down, the pitch will break down even more which will make batting difficult. Mentions that Sri Lanka will have to defend really well to survive on this pitch.
9.30 IST: While Dilruwan Perera mentioned that they will have plans as per the score to chase down, even he will admit that it is far, far from how things stand for them. They might not mind bowling today as it reduces the time they might have to bat. There is rain forecast and the home side will want a lot of it. Will they be able to survive today and earn a draw tomorrow? Let's see.
9.20 IST: With a handsome lead on the board the tourists are in the driver's seat and this Test is moving towards a result pretty fast. Virat Kohli is nearing a ton and he might declare after they bat for an hour today to put the game beyond the hosts.
Brief Day 3 Report: Abhinav Mukund and Virat Kohli scored half-centuries and shared a 133-run partnership to propel India's lead to 498 on Friday in the first test against Sri Lanka. India was 189-3 in its second innings at stumps on Day 3 with Kohli 76 not out. India did not enforce the follow on despite an imposing 309-run lead from the first innings after dismissing Sri Lanka for 291.
Sri Lanka resumed the day on 154-5 after India scored 600 runs in its first innings.
India lost its first wicket on 19 when Dilruwan Perera had Shikhar Dhawan, who hit 190 in the first innings, caught by Danushka Gunathilaka for 14. Cheteshwar Pujara, who also made a century in the first innings, was caught by Kusal Mendis for 15 with the total on 56.
Kohli joined Mukund after a rain interruption and the pair batted for 178 deliveries before Mukund was out for 81 on the last delivery of the day. He hit eight boundaries in a second test half-century.
Kohli had faced 114 deliveries with five boundaries.
Having resumed 446 runs behind in the first innings, the Sri Lankan middle and lower order folded quickly. The home team was bowled out shortly after the lunch break, with Perera, left stranded on 92 not out. Primarily an offspinner, it was his second opportunity missed to score a maiden test hundred.
With plenty of time still left in the match, India resisted the temptation to send Sri Lanka back in, choosing instead to bat again in the hope of building an unassailable lead before making an early declaration. (Read Full Report Here)