Team India produced another superb display against a sorry Sri Lankan side on the second day of the third Test in Pallekele. Virat Kpohli and Co. are just nine wickets away from a complete a 3-0 whitewash of the Islanders.
Indian bowlers took 11 Lanka wickets in the day as SL still trail India by 333 run at stumps on day two after Kohli decided to enforce the follow on after bowling them out for 135 in the first innings.
Earlier in the day, India kept up pressure on hosts after gaining the upper hand with 487 runs in their first innings thanks to brilliant ton by all-rounder Hardik Pandya (108). Resuming the day at 329 for 6, Wriddhiman Saha (16), who was batting with Pandya, failed to respond to the pressure situation and was dismissed by Vishwa Fernando early.
New batsman Kuldeep Yadav (26) forged a 62-run stand with Pandya and helped India to cross 400-run mark. Soon, Kuldeep was sent packing by Lakshan Sandakan. Mohammad Shami (8) tried to pace up the innings with Pandya but failed to do so.
With nine wickets down, Pandya started thrashing the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. Umpires also extended the morning session. In the process, Pandya completed his century.
Pandya’s innings finally came to an end on the second ball after lunch when he was caught out in the deep off the bowling of Sandakan, who ended the innings with a five-wicket haul.
Sri Lankan innings were blown away by the pace of Mohammed Shami early on in the innings, as the seamer got rid of both their openers in quick time. Shami sent back Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne in no time and Lankans were facing an uphill task from there.
Kusal Mendis tried to steady the ship along with skipper Dinesh Chandimal but the former was run-out in comical manner. Pandya then got rid of Angelo Mathews as the hosts went into tea at 61/4.
Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella added 63-run stand for the fourth wicket but Kuldeep removed the latter for 29. Dilruwan Perera became Kuldeep’s second scalp and soon Chandimal fell to Ashwin. The final three wickets fell inside a span of 10 runs and India took 352 first innings lead. Lanka were all-out for a paltry 135 runs.
Kuldeep Yadav was pick of the bowlers with four wickets while Shami and Ashwin picked up two wicket a piece.
Kohli decided to enforce the follow-on and despite a cautious start in the second innings, Tharanga once again lost his wicket cheaply to Umesh Yadav for 7.
Karunaratne and night-watchman Pushpakumara then ensured that the hosts went till stumps on Day 2 without any more hiccups.
(With inputs from IANS)