Rohit Sharma’s captaincy tenure in the longest format of the game kicked off with India’s remarkable win in Mohali. Finishing off the first Test inside three days, the hosts defeated Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs, taking a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series.
After bundling out Sri Lanka for 174, India decided to enforce follow on as the tourists trailed by 400 runs. The visitors put in all their efforts to save the Test match, especially wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella who scored an unbeaten 51 in his team’s second essay. But his knock wasn’t enough to change the course of the game.
The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ran through the Sri Lankan batting line-up, sharing a total of 8 wickets among each other to bowl out the opponents for 178. (IND vs SL, 1st Test, Day 3 Highlights)
Jadeja had a dream outing in the game as he bagged a 9-wicket match haul after scoring a magnificent 175 that put India in the driver’s seat on Saturday. After bagging his 10th five-wicket haul on his Test career, the left-hand all-rounder replicated the same in the second innings. Out of the 9 dismissals, Suranga Lakmal was the only batter who fell prey to Jadeja in both innings.
Ashwin, on the other hand, surpassed legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev’s haul of 434 wickets to leave Sri Lanka reeling. He achieved the milestone after dismissing Charith Asalanka in the post-tea session on Sunday. He bagged the wickets of Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva in the first innings, registering figures of 2/49. The list of his victims in the second innings consisted the likes of Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka and Asalanka.
Earlier, the start of the third day wasn’t rosy for the hosts as Nissanka and Asalanka frustrated the India bowling attack. While Asalanka’s catch was shelved by Rohit Sharma at short cover, Shreyas Iyer at deep mid-wicket dropped a chance from Nissanka.
After imposing the follow-on over Sri Lanka, Ravichandran Ashwin took out Lahiru Thirimanne for duck as the visitors limped to 10/1 in four overs at lunch, still trailing by 390 runs.
The 58-run partnership between Nissanka and Asalanka came to an end when Jasprit Bumrah’s slower ball from round the wicket deceived the latter, trapping him lbw. From there onwards, Sri Lanka’s batting went downhill as Jadeja ran through the lower order.
Two overs after Asalanka fell, Jadeja struck twice in the same over, taking out Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal by luring them to play rash shots.
Shami removed Lasith Embuldeniya with a bouncer which took the edge of the bat to short leg. Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara were undone by Jadeja on back-to-back balls as the all-rounder complete a five-wicket haul.
In Sri Lanka’s second essay, Ashwin struck first as Thirimanne was caught by Sharma at first slip to increase India’s domination in the match in a session which yielded seven wickets for 76 runs.
(With Agency Inputs)