Pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s historic eighth five-wicket haul (5/24) followed by brilliant half-centuries by Shreyas Iyer (67) and Rishabh Pant (50) helped India tighten their grip over Sri Lanka on the action-packed second day of the second and final Test (pink ball game) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Sunday.
Sri Lanka were 28/1 at stumps on Day 2, with Kusal Mendis (16) and Dimuth Karunaratne (10) unbeaten at the crease. They need 419 more runs to beat India with three days remaining in the match. Overall, a total of 14 wickets fell and 354 runs were scored on a thrilling day.
Chasing a target of 447 runs to win, Sri Lanka’s second innings got off to a disastrous start when Jasprit Bumrah struck in the first over of the innings. With a huge in-swinging delivery, Bumrah wrapped Lahiru Thirimanne on the pads to dismiss the opener for a duck.
However, Karunaratne and Mendis saw it through to the close, and Sri Lanka will return on day three with a huge task in front of them if they are to avoid defeat by a huge margin.
Earlier, resuming the day at 86/6, Sri Lanka could add only 23 runs more to their overnight score as Bumrah took a historic five-for (5/24) to help India bowl out the visitors for 109 in their first innings. It was Sri Lanka’s second-lowest total (109) in Tests against India, with the previous low being 82 all out in Chandigarh in 1990.
Spinner Embuldeniya was the first one to get dismissed. Bumrah bowled a good bouncer, which angled into the left-hander as Embuldeniya, while playing a pull shot, top-edged the ball straight to the wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.
Suranga Lakmal (5), who came to bat next, hit Ashwin for a boundary but Ashwin had the last laugh. Thereafter, Bumrah bowled another bouncer and Dickwella got some glove on the way to the wicket-keeper, giving the Indian pacer his first five-wicket haul at home in Test cricket.
Fernando was the last man to depart. Ashwin spun his web again, outfoxing Fernando and Pant did the rest by stumping him as Sri Lanka were all out for 109 and India took a massive first-innings lead of 143 runs.
After ending Sri Lanka’s first innings inside the half-hour of play in the first session, India got off to a good start as Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal began the second innings on a strong note. Mayank, especially, was the most aggressive between the two and hit five boundaries during his innings. Sri Lanka also dropped Rohit when he was on 18 as India’s openers went about building the lead with ease.
Mayank had a 42-run opening stand with Rohit, before falling prey to Embuldeniya for 22. However, Hanuma Vihari, who came to bat at No 3 and Rohit continued to pile on the runs and ensured that the hosts didn’t lose any more wickets. They extended the lead to 204 runs at tea and kept India in the driver’s seat.
Rohit and Vihari continued to bat in the same vein after tea. Sharma looked set to get to his first fifty as captain but it wasn’t to be as he fell on 46 after being caught by Angelo Mathews in the deep on the bowling of Dhananjaya. Soon after, Vihari was cleaned up by Jayawickrama, who returned after having had left the field earlier with a foot injury.
Rishabh Pant came in and unleashed fireworks straight away but watched Kohli depart from the other end. The former India captain was done in by a similar dismissal as the first innings where the ball kept low and struck him plumb in front.
However, Pant took the pitch out of the equation with an attacking approach and demoralised the Sri Lankan bowlers. He went on to smash the fastest Test 50 by an Indian, off 28 balls, before being removed by Jayawickrama. Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer then remained unbeaten to take India to 199/5 at the dinner break.
India’s domination continued after the dinner break, with Shreyas Iyer taking the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers. He kept finding boundaries with regularity and soon brought up his second fifty of the match. There was some reason to cheer for Sri Lanka as Ravindra Jadeja played on to his own stumps off the bowling of Vishwa Fernando.
But Ravichandran Ashwin and Iyer kept building the lead, which passed well beyond 400 by the time the pair fell in the space of four deliveries. Ashwin was the first to go, edging behind off the excellent Jayawickrama, with Iyer joining him back in the pavilion at the start of the next over when he was trapped in front by Embuldeniya.
A late flurry from Mohammad Shami, who smashed 16 not out off just eight deliveries, helped score some quick runs. But when Axar Patel was bowled by Embuldeniya, India opted to declare with their scorecard reading 303-9 and setting a target of 447 runs for Sri Lanka to win.
Brief scores: India 252 & 303-9 decl in 68.5 overs (Rishabh Pant 50, Shreyas Iyer 67; Rohit Sharma 46; Praveen Jayawickrama 4/78, Lasith Embuldeniya 3/87) vs Sri Lanka 109 & 28/1 in 7 overs (Kusal Mendis 16 not out, Dimuth Karunaratne 10 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 1/9) lead by 419 runs.