By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
India required just two balls after lunch on the fifth and final day to capture the last Sri Lankan wicket and win the second Test by a convincing margin of 278 runs to square the three-match series one-all at the P Sara Oval.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra needed only two balls from his uncompleted over prior to lunch to dismiss Sri Lanka’s no. 11 Dushmantha Chameera trapping him lbw for four after the batsman had pulled him to midwicket for a boundary the previous ball. Rangana Herath was left not out on four as the Indian team celebrated their victory on the field.
It was a fine comeback by India who had dominated the first Test at Galle for the first three and half days but had it taken away from them by Dinesh Chandimal’s extraordinary century.
On this occasion India made certain they didn’t leave room for any late surprising revivals by firmly closing the door shut on the Lankans as they resumed the fifth and final day at 72-2.
Any chance Sri Lanka had of saving the match went out of the window from the first ball of the day when Umesh Yadav had the Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews on whose shoulders lay a heavy burden if the team was to avoid defeat – caught behind off an edge for 23.
That early setback had an overall effect on the rest of the batting for they crumbled without a fight surrendering their wickets meekly to the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin and Mishra who between them took eight wickets.
Ashwin’s 13th five-for took his tally of wickets in the series to 17, making him the most successful bowler from either side.
It seems that the Lankan batsmen are averse to playing any kind of spin. They batted poorly against the leg-spin of Yasir Shah in the series against Pakistan where the spinner went onto take 22 wickets, and now the off-spin of Ashwin is troubling them.
Lokesh Rahul was named man of the match for his century in the Indian first innings.
The third and final Test commences at the SSC on August 28.
INDIA 1ST INNINGS 393
SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS 306
INDIA 2ND INNINGS 325-8 decl
SRI LANKA 2ND INNINGS
K Silva c Binny b Ashwin 1
D Karunaratne b Ashwin 46
K Sangakkara c Vijay b Ashwin 18
A Mathews c Rahul b Yadav 23
D Chandimal b Mishra 15
L Thirimanne c sub (Pujara) b Ashwin 11
J Mubarak c Kohli b I Sharma 0
D Prasad c Mishra b Ashwin 0
R Herath not out 4
T Kaushal lbw b Mishra 5
D Chameera lbw b Mishra 4
Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-1) 7
Total (all out, 43.4 overs) 134
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Silva), 2-33 (Sangakkara), 3-72 (Mathews), 4-91 (Chandimal), 5-106 (Thirimanne), 6-111 (Mubarak), 7-114 (Prasad), 8-123 (Karunaratne), 9-128 (Kaushal), 10-134 (Chameera).
Bowling: Ashwin 16-6-42-5, Yadav 7-1-18-1, I Sharma 11-2-41-1 (w1, nb2), Mishra 9.4-3-29-3.