India’s stronghold maintained despite Mathews, Chandimal tons

Ind vs SL: Sri Lanka bundled out for 373 in 1st innings

Ind vs SL: Sri Lanka bundled out for 373 in 1st innings

New Delhi: And yet again bad light forced early stumps on Day 3 with Sri Lanka still 180 runs behind first innings total of India in the final Test of the three-match Test series at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here on Monday.

Despite the tons of Mathews and skipper Chandimal, India maintained its stronghold putting Islanders to struggle with a single wicket in hand. SL was 356/9 at stumps with Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten 147.

Overnight batsmen Dinesh Chandimal (147 not out) and Angelo Mathews (111) dominated India for most of the first two sessions.

It was Mathews’s first century after two years and 37 innings while Chandimal celebrated his tenth overall. Thing turned ugly for Lankans after R Ashwin broke the 181-run stand between the duo. Following the loss of Mathews, Lankans lost its last five wickets for just 26 runs.

Also read: Ind vs SL, 3rd Test: Smog or India’s stronghold pained Lankans?

R Ashwin proved most hazardous for Sri Lanka who gave major breakthroughs to India when it needed it the most.

It turned out to be another typical Ferozeshah Kotla wicket where the ball started doing the trick, thanks to the foot-marks outside the crease helping Ashwin to get rid of dangerman Mathews (111), debutant Roshen Silva and stumper Niroshan Dickwella for ducks.

Ishant and Shami added to the woes by picking the wickets of Sadeera Samarawickrama (33) and Suranga Lakmal (5) respectively, the credit for which also goes to stumper Wriddhiman Saha’s brilliant dives.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also joined the party by trapping Lahiru Gamage (1) as the visitors found themselves tottering at 343/9.

Earlier, resuming the day at 131/3, Mathews and Chandimal battled the hazy conditions to add 61 runs and deny India any luck in the morning session which saw the Sri Lankans going in to the lunch interval at 192/3.

Coming back, Mathews made the most of the two lifelines — dropped on Sunday in single digits and then on Monday dropped at 98 by Rohit Sharma at second slip off Ishant Sharma — to bring up his 8th Test ton in style.

Mathews’ 268-ball marathon effort, consisting of 14 boundaries and 2 sixes, was however, ended just at the stroke of tea when he edged one to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha off Ashwin,

The 181-run partnership between Mathews and Chandimal came off 477 balls — the most balls faced by any pair against India since the 738-ball stonewalling by Brendon McCullum and B.J. Watling in Wellington in February 2014.

Chandimal at the other end, continued to put pressure on the home bowlers as he completed his 10th Test ton just after the tea break with Samarawickrama in company.

Samarawickrama, the opening batsman, who was hit on the helmet grill on the opening day while fielding at short leg, came in to bat at the unusual No.5 spot.

Ashwin turned the tide in favour of the home side during the final hour of play with two quick wickets before Ishant, Shami and Jadeja joined the Tamil Nadu off-spinner to make life difficult for the tourists on a day which saw the floodlights switched on post the lunch session.

The early close of play on Monday will result in the addition of a couple of overs to the fourth day’s play on Tuesday.

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