Sri Lanka’s batting powerhouse finally came good against India in the last test match at Delhi. The visitors played some good cricket to save the final test match yesterday.

The 3rd test match at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla was drawn but India wins the 3 match test series 1-0.

It was a good batting performance from Sri Lanka that saved this match, after being bundled out in the 2nd test match at Nagpur one expected that Sri Lanka will again struggle to save this game as India were the favorites to win the series 2-0.

In the final test of this grand home season, India won the toss and chose to bat first.

Dhawan was back in the side, he and Vijay opened the innings for India and they had a decent start to their innings.

Unfortunately for India Dhawan could only score 23 runs, Dilruwan Perera picked up his wicket.

Then Cheteshwar Pujara started his innings from where he left in the Nagpur test match. The combination of Vijay and Pujara started to take control of the proceedings just like the 2nd test match.

Things were going well, just then Pujara was caught by Dhananjaya at an unusual position. Dasun Gamage picked up Pujara for 23 runs. It was good captaincy  by Skipper Chandimal to get rid of reliable Pujara.

 Skipper Kohli joined Vijay, Kohli was an awesome touch as he looked to continue his great batting and Sri Lankans were left fuming again.

 The bowlers tried hard but they couldn’t stop King Kohli and Vijay from scoring runs.  

At the end of day 1, India were  in good position. They only lost 4 wickets. But over 300 runs were scored. Kohli and Vijay smashed the Lankans like they did in Nagpur.

Kohli and Vijay scored their centuries on day 1. Vijay scored his 11th century and his 2nd in this series. It was a great comeback by the Tamil Nadu batsman.

 But Sri Lanka had something to cheer in the final session of day 1 as Vijay was stumped by Niroshan Dickwella, after his magnificent knock of 155 runs.

 Ajinkya Rahane continued his poor run, his form is still a huge concern for India ahead of South Africa tour. Rahane could score only a single as Dickwella was again brilliant behind the stumps.  

 India end their day at 371 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.

The day 2 belonged to Kohli; he smashed his 6th double hundred and broke the record of most double tons by a captain. West Indies legend Brian Lara had this record; he had scored 5 double hundreds as captain. Now Kohli scored his 6th double ton.

He also became the first player to score 3 double hundreds in 2 seasons. Skipper Kohli had scored 3 200s in 2016 and 3 in 2017.

He also smashed his highest test score and scored the highest score by an Indian captain in test cricket. Kohli went pass his own record of 235 runs which he scored against England last year at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Now King Kohli has scored 243 runs in this match this is the highest score by an Indian captain.

The Sri Lankans were in total pain to see the Indian batting; Kohli had shared a partnership of 283 with Murali Vijay after the fall of two quick wickets he controlled the Indian innings with another partnership with Rohit Sharma. Rohit and Kohli shared 139 run stand to see India through to score 500 plus runs.

Rohit Sharma seized his opportunity, after scoring a hundred in his comeback test match Rohit followed it with a good innings of 65 runs.

The Indian batsmen were going so well, despite of the pollution and fog that Sri Lankan players complained about. Many Sri Lankan players left the field and it seemed that Gamage had vomited. Many of their bowlers couldn’t complete the quota of overs and the play was stopped because the visitors couldn’t adjust to these conditions.

Sri Lanka made a good use of this stoppage of play, they picked up the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin in quick succession. Rohit scored 65 runs and Ashwin only scored 5 runs.  

Angry Virat Kohli finally perished after hitting a shot in anger, he departed after scoring wonderful 243 runs.

After Kohli’s dismissal, Saha and Jadeja batted for little time and again Sri Lankan stopped the play due to breathing issues. Finally, skipper Kohli took a brave decision and declared the Indian innings at 536 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.

Struggle for the Lankans bowlers, all them went for plenty of runs. Lakshan Sandakan took 4 wickets, Gamage picked up 2 and Dilruwan Perera picked up 1 wicket.

Sri Lanka’s 1st innings was only about their two senior pros, former skipper Angelo Mathews and current skipper Dinesh Chandimal.

Their top order failed yet again as Sri Lankan batsmen couldn’t go past the Indian total of 536 runs.

Sri Lanka was 75 for 3 when Mathews and Chandimal stretched a partnership to rebuild their innings. Sri Lanka was in decent position at the end of day 2. The visitors scored 131 runs for the loss of 3 wickets with Mathews scored his fifty, he was batting on 57 and Chandimal continued his batting form from the Nagpur test match. He was unbeaten on 25 runs.      

Sri Lanka was good on day 4 as well, on a flat Delhi pitch the Indian bowlers found hard to pick up the wicket of set batsmen. Poor slip catching also helped Sri Lanka to pile on the runs.

Angelo Mathews made full use of his drop chances, he scored his century after the gap of 2 years. Dinesh Chandimal who batted well in both the innings of Nagpur test was also amongst runs. He played a captain’s knock.

Both the players were solid in facing the India quicks and the spinners.

Dinesh Chandimal also scored his century, he was unbeaten on day 3. India had some respite in the last session. Ashwin picked up the centurion Mathews for 111 runs.

Sri Lanka had lost 6 wickets at the end of day 3, only Samarawickrama scored in double digits. Sri Lanka was going well till that stage but Indian bowlers came back strongly.

On the 4th day, India had to pick up only 1 wicket, and they did it quickly. Skipper Chandimal was finally out to Ishant Sharma for well made 164 runs.

It was gusty knock from senior players from Sri Lanka which allowed them to go pass 370 run mark and escape the follow-on.

Indian bowlers bowled well but the fielding wasn’t up to the mark. Slip fielders dropped Angelo Mathews, India tried many fielders at that slip position but none of them could hold to a single catch.

This might be a major issue as India will travel overseas in 2018. India should have specialist slip fielders just like heydays of Indian cricket. Dravid Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar were India’s good fielders at slip. After their retirement, India has been struggling to find a safe fielder at that position.

The bowlers bowled their heart out on a flat deck, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 3 wickets each and Ravindra Jadeja and Mohd Shami picked up 2 wickets each. Indian bowlers kept Sri Lanka on 373 runs in their 1st innings.

Indian had a lead of 163, they batted again. Murali Vijay fell early for 9 and Ajinkya Rahane again disappoints despite promoting him ahead of Kohli. Rahane could score only 10 runs.

But the fifties from Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma allowed India to post 246 runs in their 2nd innings. Cheteshwar Pujara also batted well but missed his half-century just 1 run. Pujara scored quick 49 runs.

India had set a huge target of 410 for Sri Lanka to draw the series.

Again their top order failed to deliver, India were in winning ways at end of day 4 as Sri Lanka scored only 31 runs but lost 3 quick wickets.

India had to take the remaining 7 wickets on the last day. But the hosts only picked up 2 of those. As Jadeja couldn’t create a magic on his birthday, he had Chandimal before lunch on day 5 but that was a no ball.

Dinesh Chandimal made full use of this opportunity. He helped the 26-year-old Dhananjaya De Silva to build the innings.

De Sliva and Chandimal batted for long, they were in right mood to save the game. De Sliva brought up his hundred and India kept searching for more chances that didn’t come their way.

Chandimal was finally bowled by Ashwin for 36, but Roshen Sliva batted beautifully in his debut test match.

The 2 youngsters played an important knock to save the game for Sri Lanka. In the 1st innings two seniors pros batted well and in the 2nd innings, two young guns of Sri Lanka did the impossible job for their country.

Dhananjaya De Silva was retired hurt for 119 runs, despite that India couldn’t force a win, largely because of Roshen Sliva and wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella.

Dickwella scored fine 44 runs and Roshen Sliva was unbeaten on 74 runs. After 103 overs match was drawn.

Sri Lanka scored their highest fourth innings total in India and against India. They scored 299 for the loss of 5 wickets.

India won the 1-0.  This is India’s 9th series win in succession. India hasn’t lost at Feroz Shah Kotla since 1988.

Virat Kohli was awarded man of the match and man of the series. He has scored 610 runs with 1 hundred, 1 fifty and 2 consecutive double hundreds.

Next Match – 1st One Day International on Sunday 10th December 2017 at Dharamshala.


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