Sri Lanka has registered a history victory over India after being down and out in the Test match. The hosts defeated the Indians by 63 runs. Indians began day 4 with 21/1 and collapsed miserably with spinners Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal doing the damage. Indians got out for a total of 112 which is their lowest total against Sri Lankans. Rangana Herath claimed 7 wickets for 48 runs and bowled Sri Lanka to victory. Rahane ended up being the top scorer for India with 36 runs.
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli in the post-match press conference said that “We got no one to blame, but ourselves”. He credited the Sri Lankan team for their tremendous turn around and praised Rangana Herath as a world class bowler. Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews was absolutely elated with the turnaround and went on to say that he is speechless. He said it was an absolute turn around by the whole team after the poor show in the first innings.
What went wrong for the Indian side in day 3 and day 4?
India was off to a blistering start on day 3 with picking up the crucial wickets of Sangakkara Matthews early and failed to capitalise on the momentum they had. They didn’t attack the duo of Chandimal and Thirimanne which allowed them to counter-attack. There were certain poor umpiring decisions from the umpires but Indians have themselves to blame as the BCCI are against the decision review system. Chandimal later went on to make a massive century putting on excellent partnerships with Thirimanne and Mubarak. Sri Lanka were finally all out for 367 setting up a target of 175 for the Indians. Although it wasn’t a huge target it was a tricky one on a fourth-day pitch. India wasn’t off to a good start losing KL Rahul early once again.
Indian batsman on the fourth day chasing a relatively smallest target didn’t show any resistance at the crease and ended up losing their wickets by playing poor shots. All the hard work put on early went in vain as none of the batsmen got settled in the crease. Dhawan who has been struggling with a hard injury was struggling at the crease and couldn’t even rotate the strike. He got out playing poor shot followed by Kohli and Saha. Indians failed to attack the spinners early on and allowed them to settle which was the main root cause for the defeat. Chasing a modest total of 175 India found themselves in the shell instead of being aggressive and ended up losing the Test match from jaws of victory.
This loss will surely hurt the Indian players in the dressing room and it takes some character to level the series in the next Match. Sri Lanka, on the contrary, will be immensely happy with this turnaround and would look to carry on the momentum and in the second Test Match and give a fitting farewell to their cricketing great Kumar Sangakkara.