Spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each to help India thrash Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening Test and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Galle International Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing a mammoth 550, Sri Lanka, reduced to nine men after skipper Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne were ruled out, failed to put up a fight before being bundled out for 245 in their second innings.
India’s spin duo of Ashwin (3/65) and Jadeja (3/71) dominated with the ball on the penultimate day of the match as opener Dimuth Karunaratne and stumper Niroshan Dickwella provided some resistance before falling on respective scores of 97 and 67.
Brief Scores: India 600, 240/3 (Virat Kohli 103 not out, Abhinav Mukund 81) beat Sri Lanka 291, 245 (Dimuth Karunaratne 97, Niroshan Dickwella 67, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/65, Ravindra Jadeja 3/71) by 304 runs.
Indian captain Virat Kohli scored his 17th Test century in stellar fashion against hosts Sri Lanka in Galle before declaring the Indian Innings on 549. India on the 4th day of the 1st Test played just 6.3 overs smashing 51 runs to post a formidable total for Lanka to chase. Kohli just took 133 balls to reach his hundred, pacing India toward a big score. The visitors added 240 runs for the loss of 3 wickets before inviting Sri Lanka to bat.
Earlier opener Abhinav Mukund played a sensible knock of 81 forming a partnership of 139 runs between him and skipper Virat Kohli to put India in control at Galle. Sri Lankans were bowled for 291 on the 3rd day, set for a follow on assault, but Kohli decided against it and the men in blue came out to bat with an attacking mindset.
The game plan was simple for India, they wanted to post a big total for the Lankans to chase and square off enough time for the Indian bowlers to bowl out the hosts before the end of 5th day’s play. The safe Indian plan will ensure their first victory of the series, if executed well.
Scoreboard on the conclusion of the opening cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium here on Friday.
India 1st innings: 600
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 291/10 (overnight 154/5)
India 2nd Innings: 240/3 (declared)
Shikhar Dhawan c Gunathilaka b Perera 14
Abhinav Mukund lbw b Gunathilaka 81
Cheteshwar Pujara c Mendis b Kumara 15
Virat Kohli not out 103
Ajinkya Rahane 23 not out
Extras 4 (w 2, lb 1)
Total (in 53 Overs) 240/3
Bowling: Nuwan Pradeep 12-2-63-0, Dilruwan Perera 15-0-67-1, Lahiru Kumara 12-1-59-1, Rangana Herath 9-0-34-0, Gunathilaka 5-0-16-1
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Dhawan, 3.6 ov), 2-56 (Pujara, 16.5 ov), 3-189 (Mukund, 46.3 ov).
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings: 245/10
Dimuth Karunaratne b Ashwin 97
Upul Tharanga b Shami 10
Danushka Gunathilaka c Pujara b Umesh 2
Kusal Mendis c Saha b Ravindra Jadeja 36
Angelo Mathews c Hardik Pandya b Ravindra Jadeja 2
Niroshan Dickwella (wk) c Saha b Ashwin 67
Dilruwan Perera not out 21
Nuwan Pradeep c Kohli b Ashwin 0
Lahiru Kumara c Shami b Ravindra Jadeja 0
Rangana Herath (c) retired hurt 0
Asela Gunaratne retired hurt 0
Extras 10 (b 0, lb 3, w 7, nb 0)
Total 245 (10 wkts, 76.5 Ov)
Fall of Wickets: 22-1 (Upul Tharanga, 2.5), 29-2 (Danushka Gunathilaka, 5.4), 108-3 (Kusal Mendis, 30.5), 116-4 (Angelo Mathews, 34.3), 217-5 (Niroshan Dickwella, 61.5), 240-6 (Dimuth Karunaratne, 73.2), 240-7 (Nuwan Pradeep, 73.4), 245-8 (Lahiru Kumara, 76.5)
Mohammed Shami 9-0-43-1
Umesh Yadav 9-0-42-1
Ravindra Jadeja 24.5-4-71-3
Ravichandran Ashwin 27-4-65-3
Hardik Pandya 7-0-21-0
(With inputs from IANS)