Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting Galle
GALLE: Sri Lanka’s top order collapsed sensationally on the opening morning of the first Test against India losing half the side for 65 at the Galle International Stadium.
After choosing to bat first Sri Lanka failed to make use of the opportunity to put a respectable total on the board when the batting crumbled initially to the pace of Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron and then to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who in an unchanged spell of six overs broke the back of the Lankan batting with three wickets for 15 runs.
Skipper Angelo Mathews was left unbeaten on 26 with Dinesh Chandimal, the last of the recognized batsmen on five not out.
Indian bowlers excelled on a dry pitch which produced bounce and turn in the first session to have Sri Lanka down on their knees.
Against a consistently probing attack that tested the Lankan batsmen’s skills, they were found wanting very badly.
The Indian catching was exceptional with the exception of a dropped catch at first slip by Shikhar Dhawan who put down a dolly offered by Silva off Varun Aaron.
Silva however failed to make use of the lapse when he out to the same combination a run later.
Both openers were undone by the sharp rising ball with Dimuth Karunaratne being caught off the bat shoulder at gully.
Lahiru Thirimanne promoted to Kumar Sangakkara’s position at 3 scratched around for 66 minutes for 13 before falling to Ashwin who started the collapse by getting Sangakkara caught off a reflex catch at silly point for five.
Jehan Mubarak picked ahead of Upul Tharanga lasted just seven balls before Ashwin picked him for a duck caught off bat-pad.
Overall it was a poor batting display by Sri Lanka’s top order that hardly showed any fight against the turning ball.
Scores: Sri Lanka 65-5 at lunch (Angelo Mathews 26 n.o., Ravichandran Ashwin 3/15) v India.