Kandy Test: India seals historic series victory over Sri Lanka
Kandy: India registered an emphatic victory in third and final Test against Sri Lanka to complete its first ever clean sweep over the hosts in history.
Lankans fell 171 runs short while following on, as after being wrapped up for mere 135 runs in the first inning in reply to India's huge total of 487 runs, they could only manage 181 runs in the second inning.
Interestingly, it was for the very first time in 85-year-long history of the sport in the country that India has completed a 3-0 series whitewash on foreign soil.
Beginning the third day of the match from 19/1, the half of the hosts' side was back into the pavilion at just 104 runs. After being wrapped up for 135 runs in the first inning, Sri Lanka was already 352 runs behind, which inspired Indian captain Virat Kohli to impose follow-on.
Sri Lanka had no options left but to stay at the crease as long as possible, as the match was still only in its second day. Their batsmen failed in the second inning as well as none of them could touch the 50-run mark when their team required a huge effort.
Wicket-keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka in the second inning as he managed 41 runs off 52 balls with 5 fours and a six. After losing four wickets for just 39 runs, skipper Dinesh Chandimal (36 off 89) and Angelo Mathews (35 off 96) tried to consolidate but could not add anything more than 65 runs.
Once their partnership was broken, the Lankan batting collapsed miserably and was finally wrapped up for 181 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker for India in the second inning as he bagged four wickets for 68 runs, while Mohammed Shami took three wickets for 32 runs. Umesh Yadav managed two scalps while Kuldeep Yadav took one.
Earlier, India won the toss and chose to bat. With the help of tremendous tons by Shikhar Dhawan (119 off 123) and Hardik Pandya (108 off 96), the visiting team managed to post 487 runs in the first inning. Lokesh Rahul was also a major contributor as he added 85 runs off 135 balls. Virat Kohli was looking on song but fell after scoring 42 runs.
In reply, Sri Lankan batting collapsed and could only post 135 runs in the first inning. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 4 wickets, while Mohammed Shami and Ashwin took two wickets each. Hardik Pandya also got a wicket in the first inning.
As the hosts already lagged 352 runs behind, Kohli imposed the follow-on and the bowlers did the rest by wrapping up Sri Lankan side for a paltry 181 in the second inning as well.
With this victory, India has sealed the three match series 3-0, its first ever whitewash against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka would now be hoping to avenge the humiliating defeat at the home turf in the five-match ODI series scheduled to begin from August 20, followed by one-off Twenty20 International on September 6.