Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis hit gritty centuries but it was to no avail as Sri Lanka succumbed to an innings and 53 run defeat at the hands of India in the 2nd Test at the SSC. With the win, India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 match Test series.
World No. 1 Test bowler Ravindra Jadeja did the bulk of the damage for the visitors, taking 5/152.
Sri Lanka started off on the overnight score of 209/2 with Dimuth Karunaratne and night-watchman Malinda Pushpakumara at the crease. They suffered and early scare when Karunaratne played the ball in the air at KL Rahul, who was at short leg. Fortunately for him, although Rahul managed to get a hand to the ball, he could not hold on and Karunaratne eventually went on to make his 6th Test century with a trademark on-drive to the boundary a few overs later.
Pushpakumara and Karunaratne had managed to frustrate the Indian bowlers to great effect, putting on 40 runs in just over 17 overs. There seemed to be no great demons in the pitch and even Pushpakumara didn’t look too troubled in the middle. That is until he decided to premeditate a reverse sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner saw him shape up for the shot and fired the ball flat and fast at the stumps. Unable to get down to play the shot, Pushpakumara was left in two minds and was ultimately bowled playing an awful stroke.
The moment of madness by Pushpakumara was worsened by the fact that Skipper Dinesh Chandimal lasted just 6 deliveries, going at the ball with hard hands and handing a catch to Ajinkya Rahane at slip off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
Angelo Mathews and Karunaratne steadied the innings with a 59 run partnership for the 5th wicket before Karunaratne was done in by a delivery that spat up off the pitch to take his gloves and lob up for an easy catch to Rahane at slip for a brilliant 141. Mathews soon followed and Sri Lanka were once again in shambles.
The hosts soon went from 310/4 to 321/7 to eventually 386 all out.
Despite a good opening session, Sri Lanka returned to the pattern of play we saw last morning and the wickets came for the Indians, thick and fast. Their cause was not aided by the pitch, which seemed to crumble considerably during the day and rash shots brought about the downfall of many a batsman.
Sri Lanka were fortunate to get to the score they did in the end as there were quite a few instances where the ball went in the air through the slip cordon, with Jadeja in particular the unlucky bowler on a couple of occasions.