Coming on the back of a thumping victory in Galle, the Indian team impressed once again, notching up their eighth successive Test series win in a row. This victory also saw Virat Kohli become the first Indian captain to register two series wins in the island nation.
Luck favoured India once again with the visitors deciding to bat first with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul getting them off to a brisk start. After Dhawan’s dismissal, last match’s centurion Cheteshwar Pujara joined Rahul in the middle and the duo took India past 100. Rahul completed his half-century soon enough and joined an elite club.
Only three Indians scored six consecutive 50+ scores in Test Cricket:
KL Rahul#SLvINDAugust 3, 2017
These Karnataka batsmen are delight to watch! Legacy continued by KL Rahul. #SLvIND— Savi (@Savi_S9) August 3, 2017
However, Rahul’s celebration was short lived as a mix up while running between the wickets led to his downfall. Ajinkya Rahane joined Pujara in the middle for a fascinating partnership that sent India marching ahead.
I feel Pujara and Rahane play like Dravid or Laxman alternately. As they feel like on that day. Very difficult to say which is which one.— Vinit Raichandani (@Fundoo_Maharaj) August 4, 2017
Pujara and Rahane soon reached their respective centuries as India ended the first day on 344/3 with the visitors comprehensively outplaying their opponents.
The Sri Lankan team sniffed a comeback early on the second day as both Pujara (133) and Rahane (132) were dismissed in the first session after a mammoth partnership that comprised two splendid knocks.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha joined the fun as India’s tally crossed 450 with Ashwin completing a well compiled half-century.
Ravichandran Ashwin brings up his FIFTY with a six. Goes past 2000 Test runs as well. #SLvIND— @iViraT_oFFiciaL?? (@iViraT_oFFiciaL) August 4, 2017
Ravichandran Ashwin become fourth Indian to cross 2000 runs and 200 wickets in Test Cricket..— Vardhan™ (@VardhanVelaga) August 4, 2017
Towards the tail end of the innings, Ravindra Jadeja and Saha took center stage and carried India’s score past 550. The wicketkeeper showed why he’s valued a lot by the team by adding 67 crucial runs.
Wriddhiman Saha is like those Bollywood movies which get more critical acclaim than commercial success. Well played. #SLvIND— Sandipan Banerjee (@im_sandipan) August 4, 2017
Post Saha’s dismissal, Jadeja upped the ante and with the tail-enders took India’s total to 622; enough for Kohli to declare the innings. The middle order and lower middle order made invaluable contributions as Jadeja remained unbeaten on 70.
@RavindraJadeja_ sir AAP sahi sir jadeja HAI AAP jaisa best all-rounder kahi nahi aaj APNE Jo 70 run banae vo jabardast the maja AA gaya— ALOK SHARMA (@ALOKSHA61137389) August 4, 2017
Sri Lanka had faced a similar situation in the previous Test, succumbing under the pressure. To make matters worse, the pitch started assisting the spinners. Ashwin got into the act straightaway, sending Upul Tharanga back in his very first over. The off spinner bagged another before the end of Day 2 with only 50 runs on board for the hosts.
Day 3 began well for the visitors as Jadeja spun his web and dismissed the Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal for 10. Next over, Umesh Yadav picked up Kusal Mendis’ wicket. The hosts looked in a spot of bother at 64/4. Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella then took them past 100 and Ashwin struck once again to dismiss the former captain.
India’s spin twins, Ashwin and Jadeja, used the conditions perfectly and kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. They crossed their respective milestones too as Jadeja raced to 150 wickets in Test cricket while Ashwin completed his five-wicket haul.
183 all out Sri Lanka. Ashwin... 26th 5 wicket haul. Follow on imposed. #indvssl2ndtest— Soumitra (@saumitramg) August 5, 2017
Fastest left-arm bowlers to 150 Test wkts
34 M Johnson
35 B Johnston#SLvIND— Sudhansu Sahoo???? (@sudhansusahoo13) August 5, 2017
A comeback looked like a distant dream for the hosts as India enforced the follow-on.
Sri Lanka came out with a different approach in the second innings though. While Tharanga failed once again, Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne showed immense determination and grit against India’s spinners and took the attack to the opposition.
Karunaratne, Mendis hold fort after India enforce follow-on— Yash (@AficionadoYash) August 5, 2017
Mendis' half century and team century together. Dimuth's half century and century partnership together.— Arjun (@_WellOfCourse) August 5, 2017
The Indian skipper tried all the tricks in the book but failed to go past the duo’s defence. His team was playing while following on, but that didn’t stop Mendis from playing his shots and registering a fantastic century to keep his team’s hopes alive in the match.
What an incredible century by Kushal Mendis. Seriously he is a special talent— Monish Prabhakar (@Monish_P) August 5, 2017
Kusal Mendis become first Sri Lankan to score century against India post follow on fantastic innings...— lovelysingh (@singhlovely6) August 5, 2017
The 191-run stand between Mendis and Karunaratne was eventually broken by Hardik Pandya but the partnership had infused confidence in the hosts. It was still advantage India at stumps on Day 3.
After the 1st Innings debacle, SL stood firm in 2nd Innings. 110 Mendis and 92* Karunaratne had kept game afloat without wickets. #IndvsSL— Shail Ghoda (@shailghoda269) August 5, 2017
While wickets kept falling from the other end, Karunaratne continued his fightback and took Sri Lanka past 300 while completing a terrific century.
No Centuries for Sri Lanka in first three innings now they have two centuries post follow on well played Karunaratne..— Ahmad khan (@AboAafia) August 6, 2017
Jadeja ended Karunaratne’s resistance which in turn ended the hopes of a miraculous turnaround for the hosts. His relentless pressure bamboozled the other Sri Lankan batsmen and the wily spinner ended up with a five-fer to his name.
Congratulations to @imjadeja For it's 9th 5 wickets haul for India !August 6, 2017
Sri Lanka managed 386 in their second innings and ended up 53 runs short of India’s first innings tally. Nevertheless, the intent shown by the hosts after being down and out in the first innings was commendable.
All went good for srilanka until the end of fighting innings from Karunaratne! Just then they lost three quick wickets. #SLvsIND— Balaji.DV (@Balaji_DV_) August 6, 2017
The No. 1 Test team were tested a bit in the second innings but they showed patience and came out on top to bring up a historic series win over the hosts.
Leading Wicket Taker In 2017,August 6, 2017