By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
The decisive third and final Test became intriguing by the minute as Sri Lanka after conceding a first innings lead of 111 runs hit back hard to capture three Indian wickets for 21 runs before rain brought an early finish to the third day at the SSC grounds.
India led overall by 132 runs with seven second innings wickets in hand on a day where 15 wickets fell, 11 of them to the fast bowlers.
As in the first innings Dhammika Prasad provided Sri Lanka with an early breakthrough in the first over with a peach of a delivery bowling first innings centurion Cheteswar Pujara for a second ball duck.
Nuwan Pradeep followed with the wicket of Lokesh Rahul who was out for the second time in the match leaving the ball and having his off stump disturbed after making two.
When Ajinkya Rahane fell lbw to Pradeeo for four India were three down for seven runs.
Virat Kohli (1) and Rohit Sharma (14) survived the next 14 minutes before the rain put an end to the day with 22.5 overs remaining.
Sri Lanka’s last two wickets added 26 runs after the tea break before they were dismissed for 201.
Ishant Sharma who had bowled impressively throughout the day finished with figures of five for 54, the seventh time he had achieved a five-for in his career.
Rangana Herath who scored a defiant 49 off 84 balls (8 fours) became his fifth victim when he edged a catch behind the wicket.
Amit Mishra finished off the Lankan innings by having Prasad stumped by Ojha for 27 leaving Pradeep unbeaten on two. Mishra ended with two wickets for 25.
|India 1st innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|KL Rahul||b Prasad||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|CA Pujara||not out||135||277||13||0||48.73
|AM Rahane||lbw b Pradeep||8||13||2||0||61.53|
|V Kohli*||c †Perera b Mathews||18||60||3||0||30.00|
|RG Sharma||c Tharanga b Prasad||26||65||3||1||40.00|
|STR Binny||lbw b Prasad||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|NV Ojha†||c Tharanga b Kaushal||21||54||3||0||38.88|
|R Ashwin||c †Perera b Prasad||5||14||1||0||35.71|
|A Mishra||st †Perera b Herath||59||87||7||0||67.81
|I Sharma||b Herath||6||9||0||1||66.66
|UT Yadav||b Herath||4||14||0||0||28.57|
|Extras||(lb 2, w 3, nb 6, pen 5)||18|
|Total||(lb 2, w 4, nb 7, pen 5)||312|
|(3.11 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-2 (Rahul, 0.2 ov), 2-14 (Rahane, 3.4 ov), 3-64 (Kohli, 23.3 ov), 4-119 (RG Sharma, 45.5 ov), 5-119 (Binny, 45.6 ov), 6-173 (Ojha, 60.6 ov), 7-180 (Ashwin, 65.1 ov), 8-284 (Mishra, 92.2 ov), 9-298 (I Sharma, 96.6 ov), 10-312 (Yadav, 100.1 ov)
|KTGD Prasad||26||4||100||4||3.84||115||13||0||(4nb, 1w)|
|Sri Lanka 1st innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|WU Tharanga||c Rahul b I Sharma||4||23||1||0||17.39
|JK Silva||b Yadav||3||11||13||0||27.27
|FDM Karunaratne||c Rahul b Binny||11||37||0||0||29.72
|LD Chandimal||lbw b Binny||23||27||5||0||85.18
|AD Mathews*||c †Ojha b I Sharma||1||9||0||0||11.11
|HDRL Thirimanne||c Rahul b I Sharma||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|MDKJ Perera†||c Kohli b I Sharma||55||56||9||0||98.21
|KTGD Prasad||st †Ojha b Mishra||27||23||4||0||117.39
|HMRKB Herath||c †Ojha b I Sharma||49||84||8||0||58.33|
|PHT Kaushal||lbw b Mishra||16||39||3||0||41.02
|N Pradeep||not out||2||5||0||0||40.00|
|Extras||(lb 1, w 2, nb 7)||9|
|Total||(10 wickets; 52.2 overs)||201|
|(3.84 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-11 (Tharanga, 4.5 ov), 2-11 (Silva, 5.2 ov), 3-40 (Chandimal, 11.5 ov), 4-45 (Mathews, 16.1 ov), 5-47 (Karunaratne, 17.6 ov), 6-47 (Thirimanne, 18.2 ov), 6-48* (Prasad, retired not out, 18.3 ov), 7-127 (Perera, 33.4 ov), 8-156 (Kaushal, 44.4 ov), 9-183 (Herath, 49.5 ov), 10-201 (Prasad, 52.2 ov)
|I Sharma||15||2||54||5||3.60||68||7||0||(6nb, 1w)|
|India 2nd innings||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|CA Pujara||b Prasad||0||2||0||0||0.00
|KL Rahul||b Pradeep||2||8||0||0||25.00|
|AM Rahane||lbw b Pradeep||4||17||1||0||23.52|
|V Kohli*||not out||1||12||0||0||8.33|
|RG Sharma||not out||14||10||0||1||140.00|
|Total||(3 wickets; 8.1 overs)||21|
|(2.57 runs per over)|
Fall of wickets : 1-0 (Pujara, 0.2 ov), 2-2 (Rahul, 3.2 ov), 3-7 (Rahane, 5.2 ov)
To bat : NV Ojha†, STR Binny, R Ashwin, A Mishra, I Sharma, UT Yadav