Dinesh Chandimal, played a fabulous counterattacking innings, to get Sri Lanka back into the hunt. Sri Lanka began the day reeling at 5-2, with Kumar Sangakkara still out there. Soon, Prasad, the night watchman was dismissed by Varun Aaron. Skipper Mathews then got along with Sangakkara to stage a mini recovery for the hosts. Sangakkara though, was dismissed for 40 as Ajinkya Rahane took a blinder on the bowling of Ashwin.
But the man who stole the show was Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal. Chandimal made his intentions clear from his arrival itself, as he looked aggressive from the word go. The third day though, was marred by controversies, as the umpiring was simply dismal. To add to that, the sportsmanship of Thirimanne too was a poor sign.
In the afternoon session, Chandimal and Thirimanne counterattacked and ensured that the Sri Lankan bowlers had a decent total to bowl at. Even as the wickets kept on falling at the other end, Chandimal carried on, and didn’t change his approach one bit. He soon got to his ton, and the celebrations were evident about what the ton meant to him.
Harbhajan Singh finally struck to remove the resilient Jehan Mubarak. The Sri Lankan innings ended with the second innings lead of 175. The Indians lost opener KL Rahul early as he remained stuck on the backfoot on the bowling of Herath. The day ended with the visitors still needing 153 to win the game with 9 wickets intact.
Below, are the statistical highlights from the third day’s play of the 1st Test between Sri Lanka and India –
1. Ajinkya Rahane made a world record for the most catches by a fielder in a test match. He took 8 catches.
2. This was Chandimal’s first test century against any team other than Bangladesh.
3. This was just the 3rd instance for Sri Lanka, when they lost their first 3 wickets for a score of 5 or less.
4. The innings of 49 by Jehan Mubarak was his highest test score. Despite playing 21 test innings, Mubarak is without a half century to his name.
5. R. Ashwin took his 3rd 10 wicket haul in a match in this test. He has three 10 wickets in a game in 26 test matches.