বাংলা
Thursday 14 December 2017
C

Kohli's unbeaten 243 gives Team India a real edge on the match

Report: Rakesh Sinha
Published : Sunday 03 December, 2017 10:23 PM
Kohli\'s unbeaten 243 gives Team India a real edge on the match

cVirat Kohli brought up his sixth double-hundred and carried on to post his highest Test score, and, following a declaration in bizarre circumstances at 536 for 7, India's bowlers took over, reducing Sri Lanka to 131 for 3 in their reply. An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 56 between Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal raised Sri Lanka's morale towards the end of the day, but they still ended it trailing by 405 runs.

Sri Lanka's fielders came out wearing face masks after lunch, and play was twice held up in smoggy conditions, with the air pollution in the vicinity of the Feroz Shah Kotla going up to "very unhealthy" levels. The two fast bowlers, Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal, went off the field midway through their overs, and eventually, with Sri Lanka struggling to put 11 players on the park, Kohli declared, signalling pointedly that his team was happy to bowl in these conditions.

When Sri Lanka began their innings, it was their offspinning allrounder Dilruwan Perera rather than Sadeera Samarawickrama - who had been off the field since being struck on the helmet at short leg on day one - who walked out to open alongside Dimuth Karunaratne.

India's fast bowlers, with a total of 536 behind them, charged in at full tilt in the half hour that remained before tea, and blasted out two wickets. Karunaratne fell to the first ball of the innings, done in by Mohammed Shami, who angled one into the left-hander from around the wicket, hit the pitch hard on a shortish length, and got it to seam away from him. Forced to play by the angle, he feathered an edge through to the keeper.

Then Ishant Sharma, going wide of the crease, did the No. 3 Dhananjaya de Silva for length. Shuffling across the crease, and neither coming forward nor going back, he jabbed uncertainly at the ball, playing well outside the line, and was struck on the back leg in front of the stumps.

In the first four overs after tea, India dropped two catches at second slip. First, it was Shikhar Dhawan moving in front of Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip, shelling a chest-high chance when Dilruwan drove away from his body at Shami. Then it was Kohli, falling to his left when Mathews poked uncertainly at an Ishant delivery that straightened in the corridor.

Dilruwan, who had looked fairly comfortable since his reprieve, timing his cover drives particularly well, then fell at the end of a 61-run stand with Mathews, sent on his way after India successfully reviewed a not-out lbw decision from Nigel Llong. A straighter one from Ravindra Jadeja struck him in line when he stepped out of the crease, and ball-tracking suggested the ball would have hit the stumps. Dilruwan, however, could have survived had he stretched out a little further; it turned out that the ball had struck his pad 2.99m from the stumps - at 3m, ball-tracking cannot reverse the umpire's decision.

 

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