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Ashwin’s five-wicket haul helps India level Test series 1-1 against Sri Lanka

Colombo:India have levelled the three-match Test series after claiming a emphatic 278-run over Sri Lanka in the second match in Colombo on Monday, thanks to Ravichandran Ashwin’s destructive spell and Ajinkya Rahane’s splendid century.

Resuming on the overnight score of 72-2, Sri Lanka stuttered from start of their innings and eventually wilted under pressure before being bundled out for mere 134.

Off-spinner Ashwin turned out to be the destroyer-in-chief of the hosts as he returned figures of 5-42, including of retiring cricketing great Kumar Sangakkara.

Sangakkara made 18 in his final international innings as Ashwin dismissed him for the fourth time in four innings.

Chasing a huge target of 413, captain Angelo Mathews (23) and Dinesh Chandimal (15) failed to provide any resistance, while Dimuth Karunaratne was the top scorer with 46.

Rain also disrupted India’s path to a series- leveling win at the P Sara Oval, 12 minutes from the scheduled break with Sri Lanka’s last pair at the crease.

Amit Mishra claimed three wickets to finish the match with overall seven scalps, while pacemen Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav took one wicket each.

The victory also saw Virat Kohli earn his first win as Test captain.

India had earlier declared their second innings at 325 for 8, setting a target of 413 for Sri Lanka to win this penultimate Test.

Ajinkya Rahane made 126, while Murali Vijay was the second highest scorer with 82.

Vijay and wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha have been ruled out of the remainder of the series due to hamstring injuries. Naman Ojha and Karun Nair have been named as their replacements.

The final Test will be played at Colombo from August 28.