India have their noses ahead despite Mathews century
India 393 & 70-1 (Vijay 39no) v
Sri Lanka 306 (Mathews 102)
Second Test, Colombo, day three
Amit Mishra took four wickets as Sri Lanka collapsed from a position of strength after a century from Angelo Mathews to concede a first innings lead of 87 which India extended to 157 runs by stumps on day three of the second Test in Colombo.
Sri Lanka started the day after an inexplicable three-minute rain delay on 140 for three. Lahiru Thirimanne (62) was troubled early on by Ishant Sharma (2-68).
Stuart Binny (1-44) started from the other end instead of Umesh Yadav (1-67) and was hit for two fours by Mathews (102) after which he was taken out of the attack.
Mathews brought up his fifty in the 69th over and Thirimanne brought his up in the 76th over as the two batsmen showed positive intent without taking too many risks.
India took the new ball as soon as it was available, which was an over before lunch; Sri Lanka went into lunch on 224 for three after 81 overs without losing a single wicket.
They added 84 runs as well in the 28 overs India bowled at good clip in the morning session.
India started off with Ravichandran Ashwin (2-76) in the post-lunch session with a brand new ball.
After a brief break caused game by rain, Mathews hit Sharma for three consecutive fours, all from poor short bowling.
However, the eventual breakthrough did come in the 85th over when Sharma got Thirimanne driving off a full delivery.
The batsman didn’t look happy at being given out even though there was some noise heard.
There was another half-hour rain delay again before the sun came out allowing the game to proceed.
Sharma got India the next wicket as well, Dinesh Chandimal (11) edging a fuller delivery to first slip, where Lokesh Rahul took it at the second attempt.
Binny bowled a brilliant over without much luck troubling both batsmen. In the next over from Ashwin, the 98th, Mathews brought up his fifth Test century as captain and sixth overall with a reverse sweep for a four.
In the very next over, Binny got his maiden Test wicket as Mathews edged a lovely delivery to Murali Vijay at first slip who was also in charge in the absence of Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper tending to an injury.
Mishra (4-43) was brought back to trouble the lower order and he did exactly that by getting Dhammika Prasad (5) with a sharp leg break that was edged to slip.
Sri Lanka went into tea on 298 for seven after 103 overs, India winning the session giving away 74 runs and taking four wickets.
It didn’t take long for India to take the remaining wickets after tea, starting when Mishra got Jehan Mubarak (22) with a stunning delivery that beat his bat to rock the off stump.
Sri Lanka were eventually all out for 306 in 108 overs, conceding a lead of 87 runs.
They collapsed from 241 for three in the 85th over losing seven wickets for just 65 runs in 23 overs. Mishra was easily the pick of the bowlers.
India had a poor start to their second innings, when Prasad (1-12) got an in-dipper to move sharply, take the inside edge from Rahul (2) and uproot his leg stump.
Ajinkya Rahane (28 not out) and Murali Vijay (39 not out) survived some nervous moments, a lot of them off the bowling of Herath (0-23), who troubled both of them.
They rotated the strike wisely though, in spite of some tight bowling bringing up the fifty-run partnership in the 19th over.
In fading light, India meandered along past some more tight appeals to end the day on 70 for one after 29.2 overs, stretching their lead to 157 runs with nine wickets in hand.
© Cricket World 2015