Cricket

Lanka saved from the blushes owing to brilliance from youngsters despite India's series win

[caption id="attachment_59275" align="aligncenter" width="580"]DQW1ZO8X4AAcMM5 India wins the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0. Image Source: ICC[/caption]

Internet Desk: The young brigade of Sri Lanka, led by Dhananjaya De Silva helped the visitors to draw the third Test against the World No.1 side India as the nations key spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja failed to capitalize the day 5 wicket of Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi today. Virat Kohli & Co. have won the series 1-0 to complete their ninth successive series win and equaled the record of Australia & England.

With a massive target of 410 set by the hosts, it was pretty sure that the Lanakans won’t dare to chase the target. But after the departure of experienced Angelo Mathews (1) and skipper Dinesh Chandimal (36), young Dhananjaya de Silva played a knock of 119 runs before getting retd hurt. Towards the end, he started hobbling due to the cramps, having played 219 balls. It was his third Test ton.

His innings was studded with 15 boundaries and a six off Ashwin. The Lankans scored 299 for five in 102 overs in the second innings and after that both the teams decided to shake hands for a draw.

En route his third Test hundred, De Silva battled severe muscle stiffness before retiring hurt on 119, but he instilled the self belief in debutant Roshen Silva (74 not out) and the maverick Niroshan Dickwella (44 not out), who displayed enormous determination while playing out the final session of the match.

The Roshen-Dickwella pair added invaluable 94 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand as India did not get a single wicket in the final session.

Wriddhiman Saha bungled an easy stumping chance of Dickwella off Ravindra Jadeja (3/81 in 38 overs) in the final session and that, effectively, was the end of India's hopes to win the Test match.

The Test match once again proved that Indian spinners especially Ravichandran Ashwin (1/126 in 35 overs), is not same bowler when there isn't much help in the wicket. The Kotla track didn't show any wear and tear throughout the five days, rendering Ashwin ineffective in the second innings.

He tried a lot of doosras, carom balls and altered the speed of his deliveries, but they were of no use. The trio of De Silva, Roshen and Dickwella used Ashwin's pace picked up runs easily. His stock delivery, which is the conventional off-break, never came into use save once when he had bowled rival captain Dinesh Chandimal.

If not getting turn was Ashwin's bane, Jadeja was at his restrictive best but again the 'x-factor' in his bowling, when there is some turn and grip on the surface, was missing. He was quicker through the air, hardly flighted the ball, depending on deliveries that straightened as batsmen played for turn.

During the first session, Jadeja endured mixed luck with a couple of no-balls. The first one accounted for Angelo Mathews (1), with the umpires missing it altogether, while the second was a brilliant delivery to clean up Chandimal but the umpires were more cautious and promptly called him for overstepping.

First-innings centurion Mathews was dismissed when he edged one off Jadeja to the slips. But the left-arm spinner was lucky as he was not called for a no-ball even as replays showed that no part of his foot was behind the popping crease.

However, Jadeja was not so lucky when he bowled a classic left-armer's delivery that had Chandimal beaten all ends up.

This time umpire Joel Wilson checked for the no-ball and the Sri Lanka captain got a reprieve.

It was a day when the Feroz Shah Kotla was bathed in bright sunshine, cutting through the haze that had forced the visiting players to don anti-pollution masks till yesterday.

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