India levels series; Denies grand farewell to Sanga

RSTV Bureau

Cricket-Sanga-farewellIndia notched up a series-leveling 278-run victory on Tuesday in the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka after Ravichandran Ashwin ran through the Lankan side, denying legendary Kumar Sangakkara a fairy-tale farewell from the game. Ashwin clutched five wickets for 42 runs as Sri Lanka were all out for 134 chasing a mammoth 413.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra to partnered Ashwin and chipped in with three wickets, giving Virat Kohli his first win as a captain. This was Kohli’s fifth Test as a captain after he took over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni early this year.

It was a commendable show by the Indians, who pressed on with the momentum right from the first day, making up for their embarrassing defeat in the first test at Galle. Team India had lost the test match despite being in the driver’s seat for most part of the game.

However, it was a disappointing end to Sangakkara’s stellar career as he not only failed with the bat in both the innings but had to deal with the added misery of seeing his team go down with embarrassing ease. Nobody expected the game to end so quickly as Sri Lanka lost last 7 wickets for 58 runs at lunch break, which was taken early owing to a rain interruption.

India took five deliveries after lunch to wrap up the proceedings and bring themselves back in the series.

KL Rahul was awarded with the Man of the match for his second Test ton that set the game up in the first innings of the Match. Ajankya Rahane too contributed with 126 in the second innings of the match.

For the home team, opener Dimuth Karunaratne provided a semblance of resistance with a gritty 46-run knock, which came off 103 balls. None of the other top-order batsmen could hang around for long, making the job easier for the rampaging Indians.

The two teams will now face off for the series-decider from August 28 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

Earlier in the day, Lankans started off poorly as they lost a wicket off the first ball of the morning. Starting at their overnight score of 72/2, skipper Angelo Mathews (23) was caught behind off Umesh Yadav (1-18) in the 22nd over and almost immediately the slide began for the hosts.

Ishant Sharma (1-41) opened the bowling from the other end, but the spinners got into their act soon after. Amit Mishra first bowled Dinesh Chandimal (15) with a wonder-ball around his legs in the 28th over.

The hosts somehow managed to cross the 100-mark in the 30th over and were placed at 106/4 after the first hour’s play.

(With inputs from the PTI)