Monday, 24 August 2015

India spoil Sangakkara's farewell party!

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed five second innings wickets as India beat Sri Lanka by 278 runs in the second Test for a series-levelling victory at the P Sara Oval on Monday.

Chasing an improbable 413-run victory target in home hero Kumar Sangakkara's farewell Test, Sri Lanka resumed on 72-2 but Ashwin and leg-spinner Amit Mishra (3-29) combined to bowl them out for 134 in the second over after an early lunch.  

Sri Lanka's day had started badly when they lost their skipper Angelo Mathews to the first delivery of the morning with Umesh Yadav inducing an edge and India's stand-in wicketkeeper Lokesh Rahul taking a diving catch.

Mathews' exit unhinged the Sri Lankan side who struggled against Ashwin's turn and bounce before collapsing in 43.4 overs.

Resuming the day at 72/2, chasing a massive target of 413 runs, Sri Lanka suffered an early set back as Umesh Yadav struck with the very first ball of the final day inducing an edge from Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews (23).  

Makeshift wicket-keeper Lokesh Rahul, who replaced the injured Wriddhiman Saha, took a brilliant catch diving to his right.

After a brief 19-run partnership between Dinesh Chandimal (15) and overnight batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka were jolted again.  Chandimal perished trying to sweep Mishra, as a fine leg-break crashed into his citadel.

With Sri Lanka tottering at 91/4, Indian skipper Virat Kohli applied more pressure with a few men clustered around the bat.

Lahiru Thirimanne (11) tried to break the shackles by hitting a six and then tried replicating the shot again against Ravichandran Ashwin but only managed to poke it till silly point.

Middle-order bat Jehan Mubarak (0) and Dhammika Prasad (0) soon followed Thirimanne into the pavilion as the hosts were reduced to 114-7.  

After adding just nine more runs to the total, Karunaratne (46) who looked well settled went back to hit an arm-ball from Ashwin but the delivery managed to sneak through his bat and pad and crashed onto his stumps. 

The last wicket to fall in the first session was that of Tharindu Kaushal as Mishra trapped him leg before wicket. 

After lunch, which had to be taken early due to rain, Dushmantha Chameera (4) could not pick a Mishra googly and was caught in front of the stumps.

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