India cruises to 384-run lead over Sri Lanka in 2nd test
NAGPUR, India (AP) — Sri Lanka faces an uphill struggle after reaching 21-1 and still 384 runs behind at the close of play on day three of the second test against India in Nagpur on Sunday.
The tourists started their second innings after Virat Kohli (213) scored his fifth test double hundred while Rohit Sharma (102 not out) scored a third century as India declared their first innings at 610-6.
Kohli and Sharma increased their fifth-wicket partnership to 173 runs. They came out and attacked the bowling, scoring 76 runs in less than an hour after tea.
In the process, Kohli reached his double hundred off 259 balls. Overall, he batted for 387 minutes, facing 267 balls, in a knock that included 17 fours and two sixes.
Sharma then reached his milestone off 160 balls and India declared their innings with a 405-run lead.
Earlier in the day, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 143 runs after a mammoth 502 minutes, when he faced 362 balls and hit 14 fours. He was the only wicket to fall in the morning session, bowled off a Dasun Shanaka (1-62) yorker.
Pujara passed 3000 test runs in his 53rd innings, becoming the quickest Indian batsman to do so. He added 183 runs for the third wicket.
“Virat is the kind of player who plays the same way in all formats. The way he started off, he kept the momentum through the innings and I don’t think anyone else could have played those shots in the way he did,” said Pujara after the day’s play.
“For me, it was difficult to score on this wicket. Earlier on day two, the boundaries weren’t coming easily and we had to rotate the strike as well,” he added, recalling his 209-run partnership with Murali Vijay.
Dilruwan Perera (3-202) was the visitors’ most successful bowler, picking up the wickets of Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin (5) and Ajinkya Rahane earlier.
“The target is to get 20 wickets. We have not been able to do that against India this year. We have slowed down their pace of scoring a bit, but that is not a compliment in our minds. We now need to take this game into the fifth day,” said Sri Lankan bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake.
With nine overs remaining, Sri Lanka made a poor start to their second innings when Sadeera Samarawickrama (0) was bowled off Ishant Sharma (1-15) early.
At stumps, Lahiru Thirimmane (9 not out) and Dimuth Karunaratne (11 not out) were holding the fort but have a long way to go to save the test.