India clinch a historic series victory at Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka all out for 265 on the final day of the third Test. First Test series win under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
Sri Lanka were 249 for seven in their second innings post-tea session on the fifth day of the final cricket Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Sri Lanka still need another 137 runs to win this Test.
Right-hand batsman Angelo Mathews carried the Lankan side on his back as he scored 110 on the trophy-deciding match between the two countries. Indian pacer Ishant Sharma seured his 200th Test wicket as he bagged Mathews by lbw.
With just three wickets in Sri Lanka’s pocket, India inches closer to a series victory.
Until lunch Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews provided some resistance with a half-century. He was batting on 56, while Kusal Perera was on 12 at the break, still needing 252 runs for victory.
Having started the day at an overnight score of 67 for three, Sri Lanka added 67 more runs to the total, while losing two wickets in the morning session.
With the ball still relatively new, Ravichandran Ashwin (1/22) completed his over from day four evening and was immediately taken off. The pacers were then deployed with Umesh Yadav (2/41) and Ishant Sharma (2/26) beginning the proceedings.
Ishant should have taken a wicket in his very first over of the morning, when Mathews edged a delivery behind, but it was off a no ball.
The Lankan skipper then denied any straight chance for the rest of the session, as he went on to score his 23rd Test half-century off 118 balls. But prior to that, there were some moments of disappointment for the hosts, as two of their main batsmen got out to poor shots on a day five pitch that was still easing out.
Kaushal Silva (27 runs, 50b, 4X4) was the first to get out, in the third full over of the day. Yadav continued his short-ball tactics but aimed it better at the right-handed batsman, who didn’t find too much space to properly pull the delivery. Instead, he simply gave a catch to Cheteshwar Pujara at short midwicket and he made no mistake.
He had put on 53 runs for the fourth wicket with Mathews.
Lahiru Thirimanne (12) came to the crease looking to make amends for a lean series. He started full of intent to score runs and helped Lanka cross the 100-mark in the 36th over.
After which Mathews also scored his half-century.But his problems began when spin was re-introduced with Amit Mishra (0/16).
Both spinners were deployed in tandem thereafter, and Ashwin struck in his very first over of the new spell.
Thirimanne looked to play against the turn and only managed to lob a leading edge caught by KL Rahul at silly point.
This was the fourth time in six innings in this series that Ashwin dismissed the left-handed batsman. Perera and Mathews then batted out the rest of the session before lunch.
Despite an easier pitch as compared to the past four days, Lanka are still staring down the barrel, even as India look to push on for their first overseas Test series win, since beating West Indies in 2011.
India, who were all out for 274 in their second innings yesterday, had an overall lead of 385 runs.
The series is pegged at 1-1 after the hosts won the first Test in Galle by 63 runs, and then India came back strongly with a 248-run victory, at the P Sara Oval in the second game of the three-match series.