So, that's it from us in this game! Although rain dominated the first couple of days in the match, a good contest between bat and ball ensued later on. That it had such a close finish adds weightage to the adage that in cricket, it isn't over till it's really over. There is not much time to regroup as both these sides clash for the second Test in Nagpur on 24th November, 2017. Join us at 0930 local time (0400 GMT) then. Till then, it's a goodbye from us.
BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR is the Man of the Match. He says that as the surface was drier, it was difficult to bowl in the second innings than the first. There was reverse swing available, he reckons. On changing from being just a swing bowler to having those extra yards of pace, he opines that he always wanted to improve on that. Ends saying that the mindset was that of playing in overseas conditions and hence they could never afford to relax.
VIRAT KOHLI states that it was important to make a game of this in whatever time was available. Opines that although the conditions changed drastically after the first couple of days, it was important for them to not let the opposition get far ahead in the game. Towards the end, he says that more than Sri Lanka's batting collapses, he relied on his team's strengths as given the position that the opposition were in, mistakes from the batsmen would have been hard to come by. Bowling in the right areas was the aim, he further states. About Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he says that with his abilities, he could be a regular starter in the coming games as he bowls in the right areas at a good pace. About his knock he states that after Saha departed, he and Bhuvneshwar decided to have some fun. The new ball made it easier to score runs quickly and with a positive intent, luck too favoured them. Although it feels good to score 50 international tons even though the journey hasn't been a long one, he ends saying that his mindset isn't about personal milestones but to help his side win.
DINESH CHANDIMAL says that winning the toss helps in such conditions. States that they fought and played well till the very end as a team. He is happy as they competed well. States that Lakmal has been doing well for them in the past couple of years and is trustworthy at any point of time. Feels great for Herath who scored his third Test fifty although there was very little for him to do with the ball. Reckons that even in the series against Pakistan, batting in the second innings was the key and his side needs to learn how to do so and that is the key going forward.
In a way, both sides were pushed to their limits and then came back well to end in the middle of the equilibrium. Looking at the way they played, the draw seems to be the best result in the end. Stay tuned as we get to you the captains' view.
MOHAMMED SHAMI says that the bowlers had to put those extra efforts to pick up wickets towards the end. Observes that even the crowd enjoyed that passage of play. States that they were trying 100 percent to bowl in the right areas and get a win. Being a local lad, he knew that sun would come out after the second day for play to take place. He made his debut on this ground and the experience gained by playing along with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar always helps, he reckons. Ends saying that he carries that confidence even today.
Dickwella combined with his skipper Chandimal to forge a 47-run stand that just took the hosts by surprise. Add to that, Dickwella getting under the Indian player's skin only aided their cause. They were made to waste the 'precious' match time as the threat of bad light and hence an early stumps always loomed. It was a gutsy knock but Kumar helped India make further inroads after making the early strikes. As much as India would have liked to have carried on, the umpires carried them off, eventually having to settle for a draw.
Lakmal and Shanaka picked up three wickets apiece, though a target of 231 was always a bit too much considering the conditions and the time available. Both of them were really good even without much assistance off the track. They got off to a horrid start with the bat though. Having been 22/4, chances of a defeat increased. Then came the moment, which you can say, saved them to a great extent.
India were off to a reasonably flying start as Dhawan and Rahul laid a solid platform of 166 runs. Both of them missed out on their respective tons. The southpaw would deem himself unlucky as he looked in command before his mind and bad light got the better of him. But then India were caught in a quandary as to whether play for being safe or go for the kill, i.e., get quick runs and set Sri Lanka a target that they would look to get. India did get to the latter plan but it was a bit too late in hindsight. Kohli was in front of all this. He played an innings that we are so used to see from him in white-ball cricket. That made the Lankans seem flat on the field.
However, India were saved the blushes by Pujara in the first innings, who played another characteristic knock of his to help them post what looked then a decent total on the board. He was helped from some useful cameos from lower down the order. It's easy to say that the highlight of the Sri Lankan batting lay in Herath's 3rd Test fifty. It helped them take a 122-run lead over the hosts. That wouldn't have counted for anything though if not for some good fighting half centuries from Mathews and Thirimanne. Dickwella too got a start but didn't carry on. Then came the second innings, that changed the course of the game.
Sri Lanka can give themselves a pat on the back for more than one reason. Firstly, they quashed all those talks that pointed to another whitewash or a domination by India, by starting exceedingly well with the ball. Lakmal was just outstanding with the assistance that he got from up as well as down. In overcast conditions on a green track, he was menacing to say the least.
Hush! What an hour of play towards the end we have had! What looked like a tame draw at most points of time turned out to be a draw albeit a thrilling one. The Indian seamers gave their all to pick 7 Sri Lankan wickets. Kumar was just magnificent with the ball as figures of 11-8-8-4 seldom lie. He got good support from Shami from the other end as well. As much as their efforts should have reaped rewards, they'd feel hard done by the fading light.
The umpires get together once again. Signs do not look promising for India, who have one foot on the win. The umpires talk to each other, check the light meters and decide that the light is poor to continue. Kohli has a talk with the umpires and then is seen shaking hands with the Sri Lankan batsmen. Yes, IT IS A DRAW, but an interesting one towards the end.
Mohammed Shami to Dasun Shanaka
Fuller around off, Dasun presents the full face of the bat to defend that.
The batsman shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot.
Shami steams in and lands it around off. Shanaka blocks it with a straight bat.
The Sri Lankan physio was seen rushing out. Not sure who asked for it, but the umpires know the game of cricket and have sent him off immediately.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Rangana Herath
Brilliantly bowled! Kumar nails a yorker in line of the stumps, Herath does extremely well to dig it out.
The umpires have got the light meters out. The longer the pacers operate, the more will be the frequency of their checking.
On the pads, flicked away towards mid-wicket.