The Indian cricket team, on Tuesday, registered a historic Test series win on Sri Lankan soil after a gap of 22 years. The 117-run triumph was also Virat Kohli’s maiden series win as captain of the national side. India lost the match Test in Galle but bounced back to win at P. Sara Oval and at Sinhalese Cricket Club, Colombo.(Match Report | Scorecard | Highlights)
Needing 319 more to win the Test, Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother right from the start of the final day’s play at the SSC. The hosts were three wickets down and desperately needed a solid knock from the middle-order. It did not help Sri Lanka’s cause when Kaushal Silva (27) fell early to Umesh Yadav’s pace – guilty of a horrible pull shot.
Just when it looked like the Indians would look to steamroll the opposition, in walked captain Angelo Mathews.
Mathews (110) partnered Kusal Perera (70) and the two put on 135 runs for the sixth wicket to leave Indians frustrated. Even the wily spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra could not get a breakthrough for close to two session of play.
The final session of play brought enormous relief to the Indians though. Armed with the second new ball, Ashwin finally managed to get the breakthrough by dismissing Perara for 70. Mathews then departed about four overs later – trapped LBW by the fiery Ishant Sharma (3/32) to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 249/7.
The remaining batsmen could hardly continue the fight. Ashwin (4/69) dislodged Rangana Herath and Dhammika Prasad while Mishra got the final wicket to gift India a memorable win.