3rd Test Match – Day 2: Sri Lanka battle back after Kohli double


December 3, 2017

Brief Scorecard: Sri Lanka 131 for 3 (Mathews 57*, Chandimal 25*) trail India 536 for 7 dec (Kohli 243, Vijay 155, Rohit 65, Sandakan 4-167) by 405 runs

Mohammed Shami is ecstatic upon removing Dimuth Karunaratne off the first ball of Sri Lanka's innings – BCCI

December 3, 2017

Brief Scorecard: Sri Lanka 131 for 3 (Mathews 57*, Chandimal 25*) trail India 536 for 7 dec (Kohli 243, Vijay 155, Rohit 65, Sandakan 4-167) by 405 runs

Mohammed Shami is ecstatic upon removing Dimuth Karunaratne off the first ball of Sri Lanka's innings – BCCI

NEW DELHI – The now familiar sight of Virat Kohli scoring a double-century, and the unfamiliar sight of play stopped due to air pollution. The latter nearly overshadowed the former on an eventful day’s play in the third Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Sunday (December 3).

The pollution saga spiced up an otherwise dull rivalry, but what didn’t change was the theme of Indian dominance. By stumps on the second day, Sri Lanka were 131 for 3, still 405 behind, with Angelo Mathews (57) and Dinesh Chandimal (25) battling it out.

Sri Lankan players struggle due to Delhi pollution; wear face masks at Feroz Shah Kotla

The story of the day was the most bizarre and unprecedented phase of play in cricket, with the Sri Lankans complaining of air quality. It resulted in a couple of fast bowlers leaving the field in discomfort, multiple stoppages of play, numerous discussions involving the umpires, the Sri Lankan team management and Ravi Shastri, the Indian head coach.

Ultimately, it resulted in an agitated Kohli declaring India’s innings at 536 for 7 more than halfway through the second session, the Indian captain deciding to stop the farce that threatened to ruin the day. The dramatic turn of events started in the second session when a few Sri Lankan players walked out wearing masks. It’s worth mentioning that even Kuldeep Yadav, the Indian substitute, had walked out donning a mask while delivering drinks in the first session. It’s perhaps also notable that none of the Sri Lankans came out with masks while batting.

First, Lahiru Gamage complained of discomfort while bowling, resulting in a stoppage of play for 16 minutes when the umpires and senior Sri Lankan cricketers discussed events on the field, even as an independent doctor had discussions with David Boon, the match referee. It was decided that play would carry on, and the stoppage resulted in R Ashwin guiding the first ball after the break straight to gully. But there wasn’t much joy for Gamage, who soon went off the field.

December 3, 2017: India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Delhi, 2nd day Play was held up briefly due to the smog in Delhi – BCCI

The distractions, though, worked when Kohli was trapped leg before by Lakshan Sandakan after a brilliant 243, despite a review by the batsman. Soon after Kohli’s exit, Suranga Lakmal too went off the field unable to complete his over, leaving Sri Lanka with just ten fit cricketers. Two members of the Sri Lankan support staff quickly donned borrowed whites to come on as substitutes, but Kohli ended the drama by deciding to call his batsmen in.

All this almost shaded what happened prior to the spectacle, when Kohli dominated the day with his sixth double-ton in Test cricket, the most by a captain. Each of those six double-centuries has come in the last 18 months, indicating his hunger for big runs. That he scored those runs despite a stiff back in the morning showed his determination.

Sri Lanka would have hoped to continue from where they left off the previous evening when Sandakan struck twice. They took the second new ball in the 97th over after India resumed on 371 for 4 but Kohli greeted it by flicking Lakmal through mid-on for four. The harder ball travelled quicker to the ropes, and Kohli utilised the opportunity with glee, with good support from Rohit Sharma.

Battling a stiff back, Kohli slowed down a touch with his running but soon went past his double-century, pulling Lakmal for a couple. Rohit fell in the last over of the first session when he chased and edged Sandakan to the ‘keeper, paving the way for an eventful second session.

Sri Lanka’s reply began with a peach from Mohammed Shami taking Karunaratne’s edge to the keeper off the very first ball. Ishant Sharma soon trapped Dhananjaya de Silva plumb in front, reducing Sri Lanka to 18 for 2 by tea. India could have had a couple more soon after the break but shoddy slip catching denied them success. Shikhar Dhawan put down Dilruwan Perera, who opened in place of Sadeera Samarawickrama, off Shami and then Kohli dropped Angelo Mathews off Ishant.

Samarawickrama had suffered from concussion after a blow on the helmet while fielding. The pace duo was in the midst of a terrific spell and had Mathews in particular jumping around. But the batsmen’s confidence grew after the reprieves, resulting in a few nice shots.

Perera in particular was in an aggressive mood before he fell leg before to Ravindra Jadeja, a decision that came after a successful review by India. Mathews carried on, taking Ashwin for two sixes in his first over to reach his half-century. He then ensured Sri Lanka end the day without further damages, adding an unbeaten 56 with Chandimal.

Courtesy/Source: Wisden india








Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here