Team India has been ruling the roost for the majority of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Galle and it was no different on Friday morning.
Despite valiant efforts from former captain Angelo Mathews and all-rounder Dilruwan Perera, Sri Lanka conceded a huge lead of 308 runs. With such a huge lead and the Pacers not bowling too much during the 1st innings, it was expected that the hosts will enforce the follow on but it wasn’t to be.
The hosts began the day on 154/5 and overnight batsmen Angelo Mathews and Dilruwan Perera looked in good touch from the outset. They applied themselves well and didn’t allow the Indian bowlers to run away with the game. The duo played some delightful shots and shared a crucial partnership of 62 runs to help Sri Lanka get past the 200-mark.
But just when the duo was looking to set a platform for them, Virat Kohli brought back Ravindra Jadeja and the left-arm spinner responded almost immediately. It was a flat delivery which went with the arms. Mathews stepped down the track and attempted to hit it over Virat Kohli stationed in the short cover region.
It was a well-timed shot but Kohli jumped at the exact time and grabbed it both hands. It was a much-needed breakthrough for the visitors and it was him who helped them break the partnership. His innings ended on 83 which was constructed with 11 fours and a solitary six. Dilruwan Perera continued to wage a lone battle and struck some exceptional blows to keep the scoreboard ticking.
He stepped down the track to Ashwin and Jadeja on a consistent basis and struck some meaty blows which helped the scoreboard move forward. He was eventually denied a maiden Test century when the last man Lahiru Kumara was castled by Jadeja keeping him stranded on 92. India didn’t enforce the follow on and came out to bat in their 2nd essay and when the article was written they were on 36/1 with Abhinav Mukund and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease.