Jadeja's fifer spins India to innings-win in Colombo Test

Monday, 07 Aug, 2017

Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne dominated the third session as Sri Lanka posted 209/2 in their second innings to trail by 230 runs after being forced to follow on by India at the end of the third day of the second Test here on Saturday. However, it was his fighting 141 in the second innings for which Karunaratne deserves all the plaudits. He took the attack to Jadeja, who has now conceded nearly 200 runs in the match for three wickets. "I still feel that everyone fought very hard but we kept losing wickets". Pulled off a stunner at gully to send Matthews packing in the first innings. He clinched two wickets in the second innings, including a crucial wicket of Kusal Mendis. Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal again failed to score in the second innings after being dismissed on two runs.

The former skipper of the side got decent starts twice but failed to convert them into big scores when it really counted. The wickets continued to tumble as Jadeja went on to castle Dhananjaya de Silva (0), which was also the 150th wicket for the left-arm spinner.

India will now need to start afresh, though they still are in a commanding position to take the remaining 8 wickets and surge towards a series victory at Colombo. Thankfully for Sri Lanka, none barring those two did. He perished shortly afterwards, bowled off Shami (2-13) in the 42nd over, scooping the ball back onto his stumps. This week, he returned to the venue having established himself as the backbone of India's batting with seven centuries in two years.

Sri Lanka had resumed the fourth day on 209-2 at the Sinhalese Sports Cricket Ground with Karunaratne continuing his grim battle with the Indian bowlers. Though they were risky shots, he played a lot of sweeps and cross-batted strokes to good effect on a slow turner.

Kohli praised the batsmen for their impressive performances over the last few Tests and says the high morale in the dressing room could help the team continue their winning streak. We beat the bat pretty often even in the sessions we didn't get wickets.

"We tried our best whatever we could but they were too good yesterday for sure". Since then, he has gone on to become ICC's No I ranked Test bowler with 14 wickets against New Zealand, 26 versus England, six versus Bangaldesh, 25 versus Australia, and in this series he already has 13. "It is not going to be easy work tomorrow for sure", said Ashwin. "He's a very valuable cricketer for us".

Coping with the sweep: The best option is vary the pace and try and find the top edge (when the batsman sweeps).