Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Karunaratne ton fuels Sri Lanka's fight against India

Karunaratne ton fuels Sri Lanka's fight against India

Both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahaneplayed outstanding innings against Sri Lanka in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.

"As a unit we fought back well and I am really happy how the boys played in the second innings".

A solid effort from Karunaratne and Malinda Pushpakumara helped Sri Lanka extend their spirited fightback as they kept the Indian bowlers at bay for a major portion of the first hour.

The hosts were 209 for two at close, still trailing India by 230 runs in their second innings.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Kohli admitted that the hosts came out with a brilliant batting performance in the second innings, adding that it was good for the team. You can tell now (in hindsight, could you have played another seamer?). It was high quality batting and you expect that to happen at the Test level. Edges aren't carrying, so that means we will have to stick to our guns and try to prise a few wickets out.

The duo nearly batted till stumps until Hardik Pandya proved why Kohli considered him as a wicket taking option and removed the centurion Mendis with an off-cutter on 110. The new ball was shared by Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, and later Jadeja and Ashwin, but it was negotiated without any harm. "After the first innings we had a different approach and that paid off for us", Dickwella said.

India won the toss and opted to bat first, India finished day 1 at 344/3 in 90 overs.

"It's obviously nice to win this series again", Kohli told reporters.

"We were surprised as well because the pitch started turning more than we thought - more than it was in the first one-and-a-half days", Chandimal said. Test cricket is the most important thing for us. "It was a long meeting during the lunch break and we executed those plans very well", Dickwella said at the post-match press conference.

India were reduced to 133/3 at one stage, but Pujara and Rahane rescued them by scoring contrasting hundreds.

His patient innings of 134 balls included four boundaries and a six.Saha's departure prompted Jadeja to up the ante and the Gujarat all-rounder brought up his half-century in style, flicking a Herath delivery off his pads for a boundary.

Jadeja's splendid all round performance in the second Test will not be repeated in the third Test as he has been suspended for the final Test after being found guilty of breaching article 2.2.8 of the player's code of conduct which deals with "throwing a ball (or any other item of cricket equipment such as a water bottle) at or near a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee or any other third person in an inappropriate and/or unsafe manner during an International Match". We had sweep shot as one of our options.

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