Mas­sive win for In­dia

Ash­win, Jadeja wrap up 304-run vic­tory in Galle; Skip­per Kohli slams his 17th Test cen­tury

Muscat Daily - - PRESS RELEASES -

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

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