HAP­LESS SRI LANKA

Pandya, Kuldeep put In­dia on top in Third Test

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ABLAZING cen­tury from all-rounder Hardik Pandya and four wick­ets from spin­ner Kuldeep Ya­dav left In­dia in to­tal com­mand of the third and fi­nal Test against Sri Lanka on Sun­day.

Kuldeep led an in­spired bowl­ing dis­play with his left-arm wrist spin to help dis­miss Sri Lanka for 135 in re­sponse to In­dia’s 487, be­fore the vis­i­tors en­forced the fol­low-on in Pallekele in search of a se­ries white­wash.

The hosts were 19-1 at stumps on day two, still trail­ing In­dia by 333 runs. Dimuth Karunaratne on 12 and night­watch­man Malinda Push­paku­mara on nought were at the crease.

Pace­man Umesh Ya­dav had opener Upul Tha­ranga trudg­ing back to the pav­il­ion for seven af­ter the left-handed bats­man dragged a de­liv­ery which was go­ing away onto his stumps.

But it was Kuldeep who flat­tened the Sri Lankan bat­ting in the hosts’ first in­nings, re­turn­ing im­pres­sive fig­ures of 4-40 in just his sec­ond Test.

He turned on the heat to rat­tle the mid­dle or­der and com­bined with fel­low spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win to wipe out the tail in the fi­nal ses­sion.

Off-spin­ner Ash­win took two wick­ets in­clud­ing the prized scalp of skip­per Di­nesh Chandi­mal, who top-scored with a gritty 87-ball 48.

Pace spear­head Mo­hammed Shami also con­trib­uted two wick­ets, re­mov­ing the Sri Lankan open­ers in the first five overs of the in­nings.

The 23-year-old Pandya also chipped in with his pace bowl­ing to have for­mer cap­tain An­gelo Mathews lbw for nought.

Pandya, play­ing his third Test, was the star of the day with his 96-ball 108 that lifted In­dia to a com­mand­ing first in­nings to­tal af­ter the vis­i­tors re­sumed on 329-6.

Pandya was fi­nally out to spin­ner Lak­shan San­dakan, who claimed his first five-wicket Test haul, on the third ball of the sec­ond ses­sion as In­dia’s in­nings ended with­out adding to the lunch to­tal.

In­dia are eye­ing their first-ever se­ries sweep in Sri Lanka af­ter tak­ing an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in Colombo. AFP

AFP PIC

In­dia’s Hardik Pandya raises his bat and hel­met in cel­e­bra­tion af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury dur­ing the sec­ond day of the Third Test against Sri Lanka yes­ter­day.

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