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Toss: Sri Lanka, Test debuts: India - Arun Lal, R.S.Shukla.
Mendis celebrated his country's first Test match against India with a century in each innings, a feat achieved previously against India only by Sir Donald Bradman and Everton Weekes. On a true pitch batsmen dominated the match, with Sri Lanka exhibiting the more positive approach. The match, which provided excellent entertainment (347 runs were scored on the fourth day), deserved a much better attendance than the 45,000 who watched it.
Deprived of their opening batsman, Wettimuny, owing to illness, Sri Lanka, who won the toss, were soon 11 for two. But Dias, missed at the wicket off Kapil Dev before he had scored, and Mendis retrieved the situation in the grand manner, adding 153 in 140 minutes. Shortly before falling leg-before to Doshi, Mendis reached his 100 with a 6 to long-on. He batted for 179 minutes and 123 balls, hitting one 6 and seventeen 4s. Doshi, who took his 100th Test wicket when he dismissed Ranatunga, reduced Sri Lanka to 204 for six before they rallied to reach 346.
By the close of the second day India were strongly placed at 251 for one, Gavaskar, who was going well, having reached his 25th Test century and added 156 with his new opening partner, Arun Lal. Next day India had 329 on the board before losing their second wicket, this after the resumption had been delayed for 165 minutes. Vengsarkar scored 90 (199 minutes, eight 4s) before being run out. Gavaskar's 155 came in 399 minutes off 293 balls and included one 6 and 24 4s. India declared on the fourth afternoon after Patil had completed a hard-hit century in 216 minutes.
Sri Lanka, 220 behind, started their second innings as badly as their first, Kapil Dev dismissing both opening batsmen for 6 runs each. But as on the opening day Dias and Mendis enterprisingly retrieved the position. Dias scattered the Indian attack, reaching his 50 in 53 minutes with twelve 4s. Although he slowed down as he neared his 100, his 97 took only 117 minutes and contained eighteen 4s. Having added 110 in better than even time with Dias, Mendis went on to complete his second century of the match (105 in 236 minutes) in the company of Ranasinghe, who made an aggressive 77.
With the two De Silvas and De Mel all scoring useful runs late in the Sri Lankan innings, India were left to make 175 to win in 53 minutes plus the mandatory twenty overs. Their hopes of getting them were high while Patil and Kapil Dev were together for the third wicket, but the attempt fizzled out after these two went in quick succession. The match aggregate of 1,441 runs was a new record for a Test in India.
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