Smog drama from Lankans deny Kohli his maiden triple ton at Kotla

[caption id="attachment_59112" align="alignnone" width="580"]FE4G9995 Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal (with mask) discussing with manager Ashanka Gurusinha at Kotla. Image Source: Xtra Time[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Delhi: Famous Delhi smog made its first appearance today at Kotla as it forced the stoppage of play thrice on the second day of the third test match between India and Sri Lanka. This was the first instance where an international team showed its grievance about the pollution-mired national capital.

The stoppage of play was enough to frustrate the Indian captain as he missed what would have been his maiden triple ton at his home-ground. Kohli missed a straight one from Lakshan Sandakan to be dismissed for 243 runs.

The Lankans were seen wearing anti-pollution masks during the post-lunch session at Kotla. The play was first halted for 17 minutes (between 12:32 pm to 12:49 pm) after which the umpires and match referee David Boon convinced them to continue.
However, there was another stoppage of play in the 127th over for 5 minutes when Lakmal walked off the field after bowling the fifth ball. The umpires once again got together, chatting with Chandimal and Angelo Mathews. Sri Lanka manager Asanka Gurusinha and India coach Ravi Shastri also joined in.
Dilruwan Perera finished the over and Sandakan bowled the next before Chandimal stopped play because there were only 10 Sri Lankans on the field. The Sri Lankan Coach Nic Pothas walked into the field as a mark of protest.

The final stoppage was for 4 minutes (between 1:24 pm to 1:28pm) following which Kohli deciding to declare India's first innings at 536/7d in 127.5 overs.

India's capital has been blanketed by thick smog in recent weeks as pollution levels have risen to historically high levels.

This is not the first instance where a cricket match was forced to be stopped due to smog. In November last year, a Ranji Trophy first-class match between Bengal and Gujarat was called off at the same Delhi venue due to overwhelming levels of air pollution.


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