Colombo [Sri Lanka]: India registered a comprehensive win against Sri Lanka in the Colombo Test on Sunday and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Virat Kohli’s men, who posted 622-9 declared in their first innings, won the Test by an innings and 53 runs after enforcing following-on.
The hosts, who displayed a shambolic batting performance in the first innings and got for 183, put up their best batting show in the series so far in their second innings at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC). However, they were bowled-out for 386 despite twin centuries from opener Dimuth Karunaratne (141) and No 3 batsman Kusal Mendis (110) and handed over the visitors another comprehensive victory.
Ravindra Jadeja, (5/152 in 39 overs) after an indifferent final two sessions on the third day, found his rhythm and more importantly length back to inflict maximum damage.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Kohli admitted that the hosts came out with a brilliant batting performance in the second innings, adding that it was good for the team.
“You have to give credit to the batters as well to play like that on a pitch like that. It was high quality batting and you expect that to happen at the Test level. We just hope as a team that we have to embrace this all sessions that we are going to play won’t go our way,” said Kohli.
“We tried our best whatever we could but they were too good yesterday for sure.”
The Indian skipper also heaped praise on his bowlers, saying, “Our bowlers did an outstanding job today off pulling things back and keeping it simple and that’s what happens in Test cricket, sessions go away from you and then you have to pull it back to win a Test match.”
Jadeja, the no. 1 ranked bowler and all-rounder in the world, was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he scalped yet another five-wicket ball. He was well supported by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-132), Hardik Pandya (2-31). Umesh Yadav also chipped in with a wicket.
The left-hander was adjudged Man of the Match for his match figures of 7-236 in 61 overs apart from unbeaten 70 with the bat in the first innings.
India have now won back-to-back Test series’ in the island nation, having clinched the previous edition in 2015 2-1. It was also the eighth consecutive series win for Kohli.
“I think it was very good for us, from a team’s point of view that we were up against a challenge in the last four sessions that we played yesterday and today. And we managed to turn things around. You always feel good as a team when you have to comeback from a difficult situation and win the Test match,” said Kohli.
Earlier in the game, India continued their dominance over the host on the first two days of the second Test after registering a historic win at Galle.
The visitors posted a gigantic first-innings score of 622/9 declared, courtesy centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132). Apart from the two, Ashwin (54), Wriddhiman Saha (67), Lokesh Rahul (57) and Jadeja (70*) contributed to the score.
The two teams will now play the final Test beginning August 12 before starting off with the five-match ODI series and a lone T20.
And considering the quality, or the lack of it, of the Sri Lankan team, the visitors will look to complete a clean sweep in Pallekele (Kandy), where the third Test will be played. (ANI)