Dominant India crush Sri Lanka to take series lead

The Indians outplayed Rangana Herath and his boys in all the departments at Galle to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. "We would have been 540-550 in the first innings". Compared to the general wicket prepared at the venue over the years, this one was more suited to the batsmen. But Ashwin and Jadeja ensured that the resistance was finally broken in the 77th over as Jadeja sent back Lahiru Kumara for a duck to ensure a winning start for India. After restricting Sri Lanka for 291 in the first innings, India added 240 runs in their second innings with Abhinav Mukund playing a crucial knock of 81 and setting up a formidable partnership with captain Kohli of 133 runs for the third wicket.

Worse was to follow as debutant Danushka Gunathilaka fell for two, failing to deal with an Umesh Yadav delivery and picking out Cheteshwar Pujara at short square leg three overs later.

Indeed, it was a clinical performance and India would be happy with runs flowing from the skipper's willow.

"We have scored enough runs and we've got five wickets today", Pujara said.

Joining forces in the post-lunch session after the quick dismissals of Kusal Mendis (36) and Angelo Mathews (2), Karunaratne and Dickwella steadied the Sri Lankan ship to take them to 192/4 by tea. In fact two of Sri Lanka's top-three defeats have come this year.

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Niroshan Dickwella (67) was unusually restrained but Ashwin would account for him to expose the lower order.

304 - This was the biggest loss for Sri Lanka in terms of margin of runs (304).

Shikhar Dhawan was named the player of the match for his splendid knock of 190 in the first innings that set up India's victory. But Karunaratne paid the price for a rare rash shot and was bowled by Ashwin, who is now on 275 Test wickets. And once Karunaratne had been dismissed, it was all a matter of time before India sealed the deal.

Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli slammed his 17th century as India declared at 240/3. He has been scoring lot of runs in the last few months. I don't need any extra motivation as far as Cricket is concerned In the second innings, Kohli was not going to repeat his mistake and went about his business in ruthless fashion.

Speaking to the media after the first Test here on Saturday, Herath lauded the Indian team and conceded that his side had failed.

  • Tabitha Byrd