For the first time in the series, hosts Sri Lanka gave a tough competition to their Indian counterparts after disastrous first innings. Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunartne played a terrific brand of cricket to keep the Indian bowlers at bay in their second innings. The Indian bowlers were all over the Sri Lankan batsmen during their first essay but after following on, the hosts batted with purpose and a counter attacking brand of cricket especially from Kusal Mendis has helped the hosts save their face.
So with the 3rd day’s play done and dusted let us have a look at 5 Talking Points from the game:
Ravichandran Ashwin bags yet another 5 wicket haul
The off-spinner bagged another 5 wicket haul and made life difficult for the Sri Lankan batsmen in the 1st essay. After bagging the wickets of Upul Tharanga and Dimuth Karunaratne he added 3 more to his tally today morning and finished with impressive figures of 5/69 in 16.4 overs.
He bagged the prized wicket of former captain Angelo Mathews with a well-flighted delivery and added two more with the wickets of Dilruwan Perera and Nuwan Pradeep.
Niroshan Dickwella smashed a quick fire half-century
The hard hitting wicket-keeper batsman continued his good form and smashed another half-century in less than run a ball. He took on the attack from the word go and it paid off. The hosts were sliding down the barrel when the swashbuckling southpaw gave them some impetus. His innings of 51 came in just 48 deliveries, striking 7 fours and a solitary six during his brief stay.
He was eventually castled by Mohammad Shami with a well-directed inswinger. It came back sharply and disturbed the timbers by going through is defence.
Umesh Yadav gives India the perfect start in the 2nd essay
The Sri Lankans conceded a massive lead of 439 runs and it looked like the match would end today itself. It became more evident when Umesh Yadav removed Upul Tharanga with a scorching delivery. He was yet to get his eyes in when Umesh bowled a perfect delivery which came back sharply and Tharanga didn’t had any clue what so ever. It was a brilliant delivery which reduced the hosts to 7/1.
Kusal Mendis shines with a brilliant counter-attacking innings
One of the mainstays in the Sri Lankan batting order especially in the longest format, Kusal Mendis proved yet again why he is held in the highest esteem by former Sri Lankan greats. He got a lucky reprieve on 1 and from there on Mendis made full use of the opportunity and went on to smash the Indian bowlers all around the park.
He kept on sweeping Ravindra Jadeja from the off stump which is definitely a tough prospect given the fact that the pitch has offered a lot to the spinners. He kept on unleashing his attacking shots against all the bowlers which forced to change their lines and the youngster made merry. Mendis was eventually dismissed on 110 of 135 deliveries by Hardik Pandya which happens to be his 2nd Test wicket.
Dimuth Karunaratne continues his good work
The hard working southpaw defied the Indian bowlers for yet another time in the series after scoring a 97 in the 2nd innings of the opening Test. After Tharanga’s dismissal, a partnership was the order of the day for the hosts and they did exactly with a marathon partnership between Mendis and Karunaratne.
The southpaw was cautious through out the innings but in the process also executed some gorgeous shots and struck 12 fours during his unbeaten knock of 92 of 200 deliveries. He will definitely look to continue his good work tomorrow and get to a Test match century.
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