Sri Lanka was asked to follow-on after they were bowled out for a paltry 135 after tea in reply to India’s 487 on Day two of the final test in Pallekele, a first-innings deficit of 352.
The Lankans looked very cautious in the 2nd innings, yet they lost a solitary wicket of Upul Tharanga, picked by Umesh Yadav. In the 1st innings, Kuldeep Yadav finished with 4-40. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 48 as the hosts were bundled out in 37.4 overs – their shortest-ever innings against India.
Earlier, fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya blew away Sri Lanka’s top-order to leave the hosts tottering at 61-4 at tea. Pace spearhead Shami struck early to get openers Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind for 4 and 5 respectively in the first five overs of the innings.
Kusal Mendis, who tried to stem the rot with some attacking play, was run out by a direct throw at the non-strikers end by Kuldeep Yadav. He made 18 with the help of four boundaries. Sri Lanka slipped further to 38-4 as Pandya, who smashed his maiden test century in the morning session, struck with the ball to get former captain Angelo Mathews trapped lbw for nought.
All-rounder Pandya remained the star of the day so far with his 96-ball 108 that propelled India to a challenging first innings total after the visitors resumed on 329-6.
Pandya was out to spinner Lakshan Sandakan on the third ball of the second session as India’s innings ended without adding to the lunch total.
The left-arm unorthodox bowler recorded his first five-wicket haul in tests while fellow spinner Malinda Pushpakumara took three wickets. The Lankans still trail by 333 runs in their follow-on. India and Virat Kohli will look to win the Test and whitewash the series tomorrow.
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