Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Jadeja, Shami keep India on course for 2-0

Sri Lanka 373 (Chandimal 164, Mathews 111, Ashwin 3-90, Ishant 3-98) and 31 for 3 (Jadeja 2-5) need another 379 runs to beat India 536 for 7 dec. and 246 for 5 dec. (Dhawan 67, Rohit 50*, Kohli 50, Pujara 49)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja ripped through Sri Lanka's top order after India set them 410 to win the Delhi Test or survive the best part of four sessions to save it. Bad light brought the fourth day to an end with a theoretical 13 overs remaining, with Sri Lanka struggling at 31 for 3.

Sri Lanka came within six balls of going to stumps just one down. Nigel Llong had a long look at his light meter before motioning Jadeja to bowl, and he duly picked up two wickets in what turned out to be the last over of the day. First, Dimuth Karunaratne stretched forward to defend a topspinner that dipped on him, and nicked to the keeper, playing for non-existent turn. Three balls later, the nightwatchman Suranga Lakmal made a mess of his attempt to block a stump-to-stump delivery, cue-ending the ball into the ground and back onto his stumps.

Shami had given India their first breakthrough with an exhibition of searing pace and accuracy. He sent down two bouncers that reared dangerously towards Sadeera Samarawickrama's head. The batsman evaded the first one, falling onto the floor while swaying out of line, but couldn't avoid the second, ball kissing his glove and bouncing off his right shoulder to gully.

The effort of those back-to-back bouncers in the Delhi smog quickly told on Shami; he vomited and went off the field thereafter. Lakmal had shown similar symptoms while bowling in the morning session, when Sri Lanka again came out with a number of their fielders wearing face masks.

There was no such discomfort for India's batsmen in their second innings; three of them scored half-centuries, with the declaration arriving as soon as Rohit Sharma brought up his in the 10th over after tea.

There were two major partnerships in India's innings. Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara added 77 for the third wicket at just under four-and-a-half an over, and Virat Kohli and Rohit added 90 for the fifth at just under a run-a-ball. Kohli and Rohit only hit eight fours between them, but picked up a steady stream of singles and twos against spread-out fields as Sri Lanka waited for a declaration. Kohli holed out in a bid for quick runs, soon after reaching his fifty and passing 600 runs for the series.

Having secured a 163-run first-innings lead in the sixth over of the morning, India came out with clear intent to score quickly. M Vijay, normally so watchful outside off stump, repeatedly looked to drive the new ball on the up, and, having hit two fours in this manner, nicked Lakmal behind on 9.

Instead of Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane walked in at No. 3, having scored 4, 0, 2 and 1 in his four previous innings in the series. Rahane likes the ball coming on to the bat, so perhaps this was an effort to have him face a harder, newer ball than normal. The experiment didn't come off. He struggled to middle the ball in his 37-ball innings, as a control percentage of 64 would suggest, and survived two close lbw shouts before holing out while looking to hit Dilruwan Perera over long-on.

Pujara was the freer-scoring batsman in his third-wicket partnership of 77 with Dhawan. He came out full of urgent intent and was typically twinkle-toed against the spinners, stepping out frequently, working the ball into gaps, often calling "two" loudly as soon as he had hit the ball.

He hit successive fours off Dilruwan early in his innings, an off-drive and a square-cut, and went to lunch batting on 17 off 15 balls. He found the boundary three more times after lunch before he was caught at slip off Dhananjaya de Silva, playing for turn when the ball went on with the around-the-wicket angle.

As in the second innings in Kolkata, Dhawan took his time initially and switched gears effortlessly to reduce the gap between runs and balls. It took him 63 balls to hit his first four, a late-cut off Dilruwan, but the boundaries flowed thereafter, as he stepped out against the quicks, went over the top against the spinners and, as always, scored heavily square of the wicket on the off side. As in Kolkata, he seemed set for a century when he was dismissed, beaten by Sandakan's turn when he danced down the pitch and went for a big hit.

In the morning, Dinesh Chandimal HAD extended his score from an overnight 147 to a career-best 164 before becoming the last man out in Sri Lanka's first innings. He added 30 for the last wicket with Lakshan Sandakan, who ended up unbeaten on 0 off 20 balls. The No. 11 was beaten multiple times by Ishant Sharma and Shami, but defended stoutly when the line was on the stumps.

Chandimal went for his shots, and picked up three fours in the morning, two of them with cuts and uppercuts. That shot, in the end, cost him his wicket, as he sliced Ishant straight to Dhawan at third man.

  • India's record streak of nine consecutive series wins

    Their 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka helped India match Australia's record of nine consecutive series wins from 2005-08, while Dhananjaya de Silva surpassed Viv Richards to score the highest fourth-innings score by a visiting batsman in India

  • India aware of issues in slip cordon - Pujara

    With fitness being on agenda, India players have become better athletes, their ground fielding has improved, but nobody from the camp has been able to say why the same fielders seem to resemble non-stick cookware at slips

  • Dhananjaya, Roshen deny India 2-0

    Dhananjaya de Silva and the debutant Roshen Silva were Sri Lanka's fifth-day heroes as they fought their way to a drawn third Test

  • Dhananjaya and a new dawn for Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka dropped him after throwing him in the firing line in South Africa. He has returned with the highest fourth-innings score by a visiting batsman in India. Young talents like that need better nurturing

  • SL's struggles with Delhi air may be genuine - Dhawan

    After having seen his team-mate Shami vomit on the field, the India opener was more understanding of the visitors' discomfort, but he only went as far as giving them a benefit of doubt

Dhananjaya fights


Previous highest score by visiting batsmen when chasing in India, by Viv Richards at Kotla in 1987. Dhananjaya de Silva has gone past that in this chase.

Kohli's series


Runs by Kohli in this series, the fourth-most for any batsman in a three-match Test series.

Fails again


Runs accumulated by Ajinkya Rahane in this series, in 5 innings. His scores: 4, 0, 2, 1, 10.

Chandimal's best


Previous highest score for Dinesh Chandimal in Test, that came against India in Galle in 2015. He's better it with 164 in this game.

Record ten


No. of SL batsmen to score 10 Test centuries in fewer innings than Chandimal who has done it in 80 innings. Thilan Samaraweera, who took 84 innings, was the previous quickest for SL.

A long show


Balls faced by Mathews and Chandimal in this partnership - the most by any visiting pair in India since 2010. Kallis and Amla had batted 641 balls in Nagpur in Feb 2010.

Record double


No. of double-centuries by Virat Kohli as captain - the most. He went past Brian Lara's five 200s as captain. All other Indian captains combined have only four 200s.

No. 20 for Kohli


Number of batsmen to score 20 Test centuries in fewer innings than Kohli who has got there in his 105th innings. Bradman (55), Gavaskar (93), Hayden (95) and S Smith (99) are the only ones ahead.

Kohli's 5000


No. of India batsmen to get to 5000 Test runs in fewer inns than Kohli who has taken 105 inns. Gavaskar (95), Sehwag (99) and Tendulkar (103) are the three ahead of Kohli.

Perera's milestone


No. of Tests taken by Dilruwan Perera to take 100 wickets - the fastest among 6 Sri Lanka bowlers to the milestone. Muralitharan was the previous fastest in 27 matches.

Victorious venue


India's win-loss record in last 12 Tests at Delhi, before this. The last time they lost there was in 1987 to West Indies.