By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
India completed a comprehensive 117 runs win over Sri Lanka 26 minutes after tea on the fifth and final day to win the third and final Test and with it take the three-match series 2-1.
It was India’s first series win on Sri Lankan soil after 22 years. The last time they won a series was in 1993 when Mohammad Azharuddin’s side achieved a 1-0 result.
The second new ball taken immediately after the tea break brought a swift end to the Sri Lankan innings when they resumed at 249-6.
Skipper Angelo Mathews who had defied the Indian bowling for the first two sessions fell to the third ball after tea when he was trapped lbw by Ishant Sharma for without any addition to his score of 110 to give the bowler his 200th wicket in Test cricket.
Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra took the remaining three wickets with Ashwin having Rangana Herath lbw for 11 and Dhammika Prasad caught at mid off for six to finish with figures of four for 69.
Mishra picked up the last wicket having Nuwan Pradeep lbw for a duck leaving Tharindu Kaushal unbeaten on one.
Off-spinner Ashwin with 21 wickets in the series was named Man of the Series while Cheteswar Pujara was named man of the match for his brilliant 145 not out in the Indian first innings.
Sri Lanka began the day at 67-3 and soon lost Kaushal Silva for 21 to a poor pull shot to be 64-4. Mathews and Kusal Perera kept India at bay for the best part of 154 minutes raising a stand of 135 before Perera gifted his wicket to India playing a reverse sweep 12 minutes to the tea break. Prior to his dismissal he had become only the second Sri Lankan batsman to score twin fifties on a Test debut the first being Dinesh Chandimal in South Africa in 2011.
India armed with the second new ball after tea quickly polished off the rest of the Sri Lanka innings to take home the CricketBuzz trophy which was on offer for the series.
INDIA 1ST INNINGS 312
SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS 201
INDIA 2ND INNINGS 274
SRI LANKA 2ND INNINGS
U Tharanga c Ojha b I Sharma 0
K Silva c Pujara b Yadav 27
D Karunaratne c Ojha b Yadav 0
D Chandimal c Kohli b I Sharma 18
A Mathews lbw b I Sharma 110
L Thirimanne c Rahul b Ashwin 12
K Perera c R Sharma b Ashwin 70
R Herath lbw b Ashwin 11
T Kaushal not out 1
D Prasad c Binny b Ashwin 6
N Pradeep lbw b Mishra 0
Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-7) 13
Total (all out, 85 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Tharanga), 2-2 (Karunaratne), 3-21 (Chandimal), 4-74 (Silva), 5-107 (Thirimanne), 6-242 (Perera), 7-249 (Mathews), 8-257 (Herath), 9-263 (Prasad), 10-268 (Pradeep).
Bowling: I Sharma 19-5-32-3 (nb4), Yadav 15-3-65-2, Binny 13-3-49-0, Mishra 18-1-47-1 (nb3), Ashwin 20-2-69-4.