Jadeja bowls India to series-clinching victory

COLOMBO, (Reuters) – Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the back of Sri Lanka’s resistance after lunch to secure India’s series-clinching victory by an innings and 53 runs in the second test yesterday.

The all-rounder claimed his ninth five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka, forced to follow on after being shot out for 183 in the first innings, made 386 in the second before collapsing minutes before the tea break on the penultimate day.

It was a first victory by an innings or more for India in Sri Lanka and, following their biggest victory by runs in Galle last week, ensured an eighth straight series triumph under Virat Kohli.

“We said this morning that even if we don’t get wickets early on, we are going to enjoy the tough times because they really improve you as a side and you need those tough times to improve as cricketers,” the India captain said.

India’s Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne.(Reuters photo)

“We were very happy that we went through that difficult phase as well, for you never want to get complacent as a side.”

Kohli will fancy equalling Australia’s modern era record of nine consecutive test series wins when India host Sri Lanka for three matches later this year.

Sri Lanka will take a modicom of confidence into that series from a second innings resurgence that was built around the 191-run stand between Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis, who fell for 110 on Saturday.

Lefthander Karunaratne’s gallant 141 merely delayed the inevitable on Sunday, though, as Jadeja (5-152) and spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-132) tormented Sri Lanka on a worn-out track where the ball spun alarmingly and often kicked off.

Sri Lanka had resumed the fourth day on 209-2 at the Sinhalese Sports Cricket Ground with Karunaratne continuing his grim battle with the Indian bowlers.

Nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara threw away his wicket, attempting a bizarre reverse slog against Jadeja who dismissed Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal for two in his next over.

Karunaratne and former captain Angelo Mathews resistedIndia for a while during a 69-run stand but Jadeja returned to wreck Sri Lanka after the lunch break.

Karunaratne’s defiant knock, which included 16 boundaries, came to a cruel end when he was presented with an unplayable delivery that reared up, hit his gloves and ballooned into the air for Ajinkya Rahane to catch behind the wicketkeeper.

Mathews followed next, edging Jadeja to perish caught behind for 36 and Hardik Pandya claimed a couple of late wickets to hasten Sri Lanka’s collapse.

“We were outplayed in the first innings both with bat and ball,” Chandimal said after his team lost a test inside four days for the second time in the series.

“Credit goes to them, they batted brilliantly in the first innings and put us under huge pressure. I’m really happy the way guys played in the second innings.”

Jadeja, who smashed 70 not out and claimed seven wickets from the test, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Rahane was the bright exception in India’s otherwise poor catching display, grabbing four in Sri Lanka’s second innings alone.

Wriddhiman Saha also shone behind the stumps, taking a couple of spectacular catches, effecting a stumping and conceding only four byes on a pitch where the ball frequently misbehaved.

Pallekele hosts the dead rubber third and final test from Saturday.




India 1st innings 622 for 9 decl (C. Pujara 133, A. Rahane 132, R. Jadeja 70 no, W. Saha 67, L. Rahul 57, R. Ashwin 54; R. Herath 4-154)

Sri Lanka 1st innings 183 (N. Dickwella 51; R. Ashwin 5-69)

Sri Lanka 2nd innings (Overnight: 209-2)

Dimuth Karunaratne c Rahane b Jadeja                   141

Upul Tharanga b U. Yadav                                        2

Kusal Mendis c Saha b H. Pandya                             110

Malinda Pushpakumara b R. Ashwin                         16

Dinesh Chandimal c Rahane b Jadeja                        2

Angelo Mathews c Saha b Jadeja                              36

Niroshan Dickwella c Rahane b H. Pandya               31

Dilruwan Perera st Saha b Jadeja                             4

Dhananjaya de Silva c Rahane b Jadeja                   17

Rangana Herath not out                                          17

Nuwan Pradeep c S. Dhawan b R. Ashwin               1

Extras (lb-5 nb-2 w-2)                                              9

Total (all out, 116.5 overs)                                      386

Fall of wickets: 1-7 U. Tharanga,2-198 K. Mendis,3-238 M. Pushpakumara,4-241 D. Chandimal,5-310 D. Karunaratne,6-315 A. Mathews,7-321 D. Perera,8-343 D. de Silva,9-384 N. Dickwella,10-386 N. Pradeep

Bowling U. Yadav 13 – 2 – 39 – 1 R. Ashwin 37.5 – 7 – 132 – 2 M. Shami 12 – 3 – 27 – 0 R. Jadeja 39 – 5 – 152 – 5 H. Pandya 15 – 2 – 31 – 2(nb-2 w-2) Referees Umpire: Bruce Oxenford Umpire: Rod Tucker TV umpire: Richard Illingworth Match referee: Richie Richardson Result: India won by an innings and 53 runs



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