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Sri Lanka bowled out for 205 v India's 11/1 in Nagpur Test

Sri Lanka bowled out for 205 v India's 11/1 in Nagpur Test
Sri Lanka bowled out for just 205 before home side ends the first day of the second Test on 11/1.

Ishant Sharma

After being reduced to mere spectators in the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were at their best as the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium pitch in Nagpur facilitated their wizardry on Friday (November 24), the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

With turn and bounce on offer from the second session itself, India’s spin duo made the most of the pressure built by disciplined bowling from Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav early and picked up seven wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka out for 205 from 79.1 overs.

In reply, India lost KL Rahul (seven) playing away from the body and chopping one on to the stumps off Lahiru Gamage, but M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara saw off the remaining overs to carry India to 11 for 1 from eight overs. Both batsmen had scored two runs and India trailed the visiting side by 194 runs.

The Indians put in an all-round show with the ball. Ishant, back in the XI as Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s replacement, picked up three wickets and conceded 37 runs in 14 overs. Umesh fired in 16 wicketless overs, conceding 43 runs. Ashwin bagged four wickets giving away 67 runs in 28.1 overs, while Jadeja finished with three wickets for 56 runs from 21 overs.

A bulk of Sri Lanka’s runs came through the half-centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal, the captain.

R Ashwin was the star bowler for India, finishing with figures of 67 for 4.
R Ashwin was the star bowler for India, finishing with figures of 67 for 4.

At the start of the day, Chandimal would not have expected as short a stint with the bat for his team. Having opted to bat, he must have expected the pitch, though green on the face of it, to play true, and it did for most of the first session. The ball came on to the bat nicely and there was none of the movement witnessed during the first Test. But because Ishant and Umesh hit all the right areas, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s openers, were forced to remain cautious.

With Mohammed Shami ruled out with a niggle and Bhuvneshwar not available for the Test due to personal commitments, India’s bowling looked thin on paper. Besides, they brought in Rohit Sharma instead of giving Vijay Shankar, the uncapped all-rounder, his debut as the team’s third paceman.

The lack of an extra pacer, however, wasn’t a concern because the spinners came into the picture early and dictated proceedings. 

Ashwin came on soon after the first drinks break and Jadeja was brought on with less than ten minutes left for lunch. By then, Sri Lanka had already lost Samarawickrama, who wafted at a full ball from Ishant in the fifth over and nicked to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip.

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Day 1 of the 2nd  Test belonged to the bowlers, as India bowled Sri Lanka out for 205, before reaching Stumps on 11/1.

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The pressure was on Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne, and they slipped into a defensive mindset. But Thirimanne had enough of the dead-bat stuff and went after Ashwin with a sweep, allowing the ball to hit off stump just before lunch, which Sri Lanka took at 47 for 2 in 27 overs.

The subsequent Karunaratne-Angelo Mathews alliance didn’t last too long either with the former skipper trapped in front by Jadeja. 

Karunaratne and Chandimal, however, allayed fears of a collapse with plenty of grit and some luck. After being dropped on 15, Karunaratne was stumped on 21 by Wriddhiman Saha off Jadeja, but it was off a no-ball. In the second session, the ball beat the outside edge on many occasions, but Karunaratne kept his wits about him and brought up a half-century. In the process, he also became only the second batsman to make at least 1000 runs in 2017 after Dean Elgar.

After a long spell, Jadeja was given a break and Ishant was brought on to use the reversing ball. Bowling from over the wicket to the left-hander, he got the ball to land on leg stump and shape away to catch Karunaratne in front of the stumps for 51.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal shared a crucial 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal shared a crucial 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Niroshan Dickwella joined Chandimal at the middle and played some good strokes on his way to 24, but a heave cost him his wicket as he top-edged Jadeja to Ishant at mid-off.

With the spinners bowling in tandem from the 61st over, Dilruwan Perera looked to play the late cut to a quicker ball from Jadeja and was rapped on the pads to be adjudged out. Then came an awkward reverse-sweep from Chandimal that gave Ashwin his third scalp after the captain had scored 57.

With the new ball due soon, Ishant returned to the attack and struck immediately as he got Suranga Lakmal to nick to Saha. Virat Kohli persisted with Ashwin at the other end and he rewarded his skipper’s faith with the wicket of Rangana Herath to call curtains on Sri Lanka’s innings.

Just as loose as Samarawickrama’s waft was Rahul’s push at a wide delivery from Gamage in the fourth over of the Indian innings. Rahul was playing at plenty of deliveries well outside the off stump, but this time he played the wrong line and watched the stumps come off.

Vijay and Pujara, however, left most things outside the off stump and watchfully carried India to stumps.

Posted on 2017-11-24 18:18:07
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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