Pink ball Test, Day 2: India extend lead to 342 at dinner after Pant’s attacking fifty (Ld)

India reached 199/5 in their second innings at the dinner break and extended their lead to 342 runs against Sri Lanka after Rishabh Pant hit an attacking fifty (50 off 31) on the second day of the second and final Test (pink ball game) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Sunday.

Resuming their second innings from 61-1, India added 138 more runs in 29 overs at a rate of 4.76 and lost the wickets of Rohit Sharma (46), Hanuma Vihari (35), Virat Kohli (13), Rishabh Pant (50) in the second session of Day 2.

Rohit and Vihari, who were holding the fort for India at tea, continued to bat in the same vein. 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 (10) and Shreyas Iyer (18) then remained unbeaten to take India to 199/5 at the dinner break.

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka could add only 23 runs more to their overnight score as Jasprit 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 being 82 all out in Chandigarh in 1990.

Angelo Mathews (43) and Niroshan Dickwella (21) were the top scorers for the visitors. On the other hand, apart from Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin (2/30), Mohammed Shami (2/18) and Axar Patel (1/21) were the other wicket-takers for India.

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 baller 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. The veteran off-spinner pitched the ball in line and it turned away sharply to beat Lakmal’s bat and rattle the stumps. 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.

On the opening day, Shreyas Iyer had played a counter-attacking knock of 92 runs and propelled the hosts to 252 in their first innings.

Brief scores: India 252 all out in 59.1 overs and 199-5 in 47 overs (Rishabh Pant 50, Rohit Sharma 46; Praveen Jayawickrama 3/50) vs Sri Lanka 109 all out in 35.5 overs (Angelo Mathews 43; Jasprit Bumrah 5/24, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/30) lead by 342 runs.

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