Massive win for India
Ashwin, Jadeja wrap up 304-run victory in Galle; Skipper Kohli slams his 17th Test century
Galle, Sri Lanka - R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each as India wrapped up a 304-run win – its biggest runs margin away - halfway through the final session of day four.
With finger injuries leaving Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne unavailable to bat, India only needed to take eight second-innings wickets. It completed the task in 76.5 overs, with Dimuth Karunaratne and Niroshan Dickwella proving the only real roadblocks.
Karunaratne enhanced his reputation as a specialist in the second innings - where he now averages 42.14 as against 27.32 in the first - with 97, while Dickwella contributed a skittish 67 to a fifth-wicket stand of 101.
Otherwise, India didn't have to work too hard for wickets on a firmer-than-usual Galle pitch that offered consistent bounce and only occasionally sharp turn, after setting Sri Lanka the task of surviving the best part of two full days or chasing an improbable 550.
Both Karunaratne and Dickwella were out sweeping Ashwin. The latter fell in the fifth over after tea, undone by bounce and sending a thin edge to the keeper, and Karunaratne followed him 11.3 overs later, dragging a bottom-edge onto his stumps when he was in sight of a sixth Test hundred.
Nuwan Pradeep then fell for a two-ball duck, stretching out and failing to get to the pitch of an Ashwin off-break that grabbed inside-edge on its way to a diving catch at leg slip. Lahiru Kumara was last to go, top-edging a slog-sweep off Jadeja and holing out to mid-off.
The new-ball bowlers took an early wicket each after India declared early in the morning.
Mohammed Shami struck the first blow, going around the wicket, hitting the seam, and getting the ball to bounce disconcertingly at Upul Tharanga. First, the ball seamed away just a touch after angling in, and Tharanga, poking away from his body, edged to second slip, where Kohli shelled a sitter. No worries for Shami.
One ball later, he produced another peach, this one coming back in, lifting, and cramping the left-hander for room. All he could do was play on to his stumps.
Then, in the sixth over of Sri Lanka's innings, Danushka Gunathilaka fell to a loose shot for the second time on Test debut as Umesh Yadav had him caught by Cheteshwar Pujara stationed at square leg.
Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (36) took Sri Lanka to lunch with a half-century stand for the third wicket.
In the seventh over after the break, a tendency to play away from his body at Jadeja consumed Mendis. Three-anda-half-overs later, Angelo Mathews fell to an ill-advised shot, jumping out and looking to hit over mid-on. But Jadeja beat the batsman in the air, and found sharp turn. Nowhere near the pitch, Mathews sent an ballooning to backward point.
India declared 6.3 overs into the morning, having clattered 51 in that time, with Virat Kohli, who resumed on 76, bringing up his 17th Test hundred and tenth as captain.
Kohli (103 n.o.) and Ajinkya Rahane (23) hit only two fours and a six in that time, but scored off all but seven balls they faced.
India’s R Ashwin (left) shakes hands with skipper Virat Kohli as teammates join to celebrate Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep’s dismissal during the fourth day of the first Test in Galle on Saturday
India’s Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after dismissing Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis in Galle, Sri Lanka, on Saturday