India wins Test series in Sri Lanka by huge margins

 

 

By Kersi Meher-Homji

To follow her 304 run win in the first Test at Galle India repeated her triumphant way by winning the second Test in Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.

These victories enabled India to win the series 2-0 with the final Test in Pallekelle to start on 12th August.

This is India’s 8th series win in a row; starting from 2015. Her series wins have come twice in Sri Lanka, five times in India and once in New Zealand.

Only England and Australia have won Test series more often in succession, nine times each; England (from 1884 to 1892) and Australia (from 2005 to 2008).

However, India can go ahead of them if they win the next two series.

India totalled 600 runs in successive Tests in this series. Following her total of 600 runs last week in Galle, India declared at 9 for 622 with Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132) adding 217 runs for the fourth wicket.

Ravichandran Ashwin (54), Wriddhiman (67) and Ravindra Jadeja (70 not out) continued with the onslaught.

The pitch suddenly started taking spin and the hosts Sri Lanka was dismissed for 183, Niroshan Dickwella was the only one to show some resistance with a dashing unbeaten 51. Ashwin was the main destroyer with a 5 for 69 spell.

Forced to follow on, Sri Lanka lost her first wicket at 7 and we thought India will win easily on day-3. But cometh the hour and cometh the heroes! Sri Lanka’s gallant opener Dimuth Karunaratne (141) and daredevil batsman Kusal Mendis (110) batted magnificently to add 191 for the second wicket.

But once they fell, Jadeja started his spin magic with a five wicket spell and Sri Lanka was dismissed for 386 and India won by an innings and 53 runs and the series 2-0.

For the first time two Indian players, Ashwin and Jadeja, had scored 50 plus runs and took five wickets in the same Test.

It was a paradoxical Test for Jadeja. For his unbeaten 70 and 5 for 152, he was made Man of the Match. He also reached the milestone of 150 Test wickets in quickest time for a left-arm bowler.

On the negative side, he is suspended to play in the final Test next week for throwing ball “in a dangerous manner” at Sri Lankan batsman Malinda Pushpakumara in the second innings.

As they say cricket is a funny game!

 

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