Brief Scores: India 252 (Shreyas Iyer 92, Pant 39, Jayawickrama 3-81, Embuldeniya 3-94) & 303-9d (Shreyas Iyer 67, Pant 50, Jayawickrama 4-78) beat Sri Lanka 109 (Mathews 43, Dickwella 21, Bumrah 5-24) & 208 (Karunaratne 107, Mendis 54, Ashwin 4-55, Bumrah 3-23) by 238 runs
A staggering 16 wickets fell on the first day while 14 more toppled on the following day resulting in this Test moving at rocket speed. Hosts India, after Jasprit Bumrah’s maiden Test fifer at home, shouldering on Shreyas Iyer’s masterclass and fastest half-century from courageous Rishabh Pant threw a target of 447 in front of Sri Lanka, who had a daunting task going into the third and possibly the final day of the tour.
With 9 wickets required to wrap up the series, India were clear favorites to clinch the series 2-0.
The 22-yard at Chinnaswamy on Day 3
Undoubtedly, the 22-yard was not going to get better for batting. With the sun beating on it, the pitch had gotten drier and the cracks were wider now. Batters got to be proactive because one ball would come with their name on it.
Ashwin-Jadeja regained control with three wickets before Mendis-Karunaratne partnership; India 6 wickets away from victory at Tea
The first 40 odd minutes belonged to the visitors as both overnight Sri Lankan batters began the day with quite an urgency hitting the balls to the boundary and also kept on rotating the strike. The pressure was getting created on the hosts. Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis reached his fifty in just 57 balls.
But Ravichandran Ashwin broke the 97-run partnership between Karunaratne and Mendis, when he sent one past the latter to have him stranded outside the crease as Rishabh Pant did the stumping job. His bowling partner Ravindra Jadeja yorked Angelo Mathews on 1 before Ashwin drew the edge of Dhananjaya de Silva’s edge to short leg to let India regain control of the match. With that wicket, Ashwin also went past Dale Steyn (439) in the all-time highest Test wicket-takers list.
Since then though SL captain Dimuth Karunaratne notched up his 28th Test half-century and partnered with Niroshan Dickwella in a 46-run stand as his side went into the break without any further damage. India’s bowlers were still asking questions and with just 6 wickets to grab having 296 runs in the bank, they were still ahead in the game.
Ashwin-Bumrah gifted India 2-0 series victory
India kicked off the middle session with positive energy sending back Dickwella who in a moment of brain fade stepped out of his crease off Axar Patel, only for the ball to spin in and got stumped. Charith Asalanka who had been dropped in the batting order after a small partnership gloved the ball to leg-slip where Rohit Sharma pouched the catch.
But amid all the destruction, SL captain Karunaratne stood out and with a juicy boundary, he registered his 14th hundred and second century in the day-night affairs. It was such a polished ton from the left-hander on a tough track against a quality bowling attack.
But in the twilight session, he was removed by Jasprit Bumrah on 107 with an inswinging delivery that crushed onto his stumps. Ashwin kept the wicket flow running trapping Embuldeniya before the stumps as India were on the verge of another series victory.
Bumrah, with a fast and furious yorker, uprooted the stumps of Suranga Lakmal for the last time in the latter’s Test career as India’s players shook hands with him to congratulate him for an excellent career with Sri Lanka. Ashwin, with the wicket of Vishwa Fernando, put the final nail in the coffin as India sealed the series 2-0 with a victory by 238 runs in two-and-a-half days.
Since 2016, India have now won 41 Tests, while England, even though have played more games, are at the second position with 33 victories. It’s India’s 15th consecutive series victory at home since losing to England in December 2012. No other home side has won more than 10 straight home series. India also moved up to the number four spot in the WTC points table.
What lies ahead for both teams
India will have their own franchise cricket, Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on March 26 before playing South Africa for a 5-match T20I series at home while Sri Lanka according to their current schedule are slated to host Bangladesh for a Test series at home.
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