India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test, Day 4 Highlights: Ishant Sharma Leaves Hosts Reeling, India Close in on Rare Overseas Series Win
Ishant Sharma stole the show today with a magnificent exhibition of bowling. Earlier, fifties from Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin set Sri Lanka a record target. Relive all the highlights here.
India just needed to press home the advantage after gaining a 111-run lead. Rohit Sharma did that and his fifty gave India a solid base. There were contributions from Naman Ojha, Stuart Binny and Amit Mishra. R Ashwin's fifty ensured that India were in a safe position. However, Ishant Sharma, who had a heated confrontation with the Sri Lankan players, blew away the top order with a splendid display. Thanks to this performance, India are on the cusp of a rare series win. Relive all the moments here. (SCORECARD | PHOTOS | VIDEOS | NEWS)
17:42 hrs IST: That will be stumps on day four and India are firmly on top. Ishant Sharma was at his aggressive best and he sent back Tharanga and Chandimal cheaply. Umesh Yadav joined in the fun but since then, Mathews and Silva have put together a solid stand. Sri Lanka are 67/3, needing another 319 runs more for an improbable but not impossible victory. India are on the cusp of a series win and Virat Kohli will be desperate to achieve it tomorrow.
17:38 hrs IST: The Sri Lankan spinners were finding it difficult to generate spin from this wicket but Amit Mishra has generated far more turn. His legbreak nearly accounted for Mathews in his previous over.
17: 27 hrs IST: Mathews and Silva are batting confidently. Suddenly, the pitch has eased out and batting looks a lot easier.
17:15 hrs IST: Mathews gets into his groove by hitting two consecutive fours off Umesh Yadav. He has gone for some runs despite picking up the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne. His figures read 5-1-32-1.
17:08 hrs IST: Kaushal Silva is trying to minimise the damage as he spanks two fours off Umesh Yadav. The rain, which normally arrives at this time, has not come and this will mean that play will go on until 17:30 IST.
16:57 hrs IST: Indian speedster Ishant Sharma was again involved in an altercation with some Sri Lankan players during the visiting team's second innings on the fourth day of the third cricket Test. Read about the story in this link.
16:51 hrs IST: Chandimal goes and Ishant continues to whack his head like a madman. There is tension out there and there could be some reprimands after the end of the match. Chandimal c Kohli b Ishant 18 (17).
Full ball outside off, Chandimal pushes at it and the edge flies to Rahul at second slip. The ball pops out of his hand but Kohli at first slip is alert and he takes the catch. Ishant celebrates wildly. Remember, Ishant had a confrontation with Chandimal while he was batting. The situation is very tense and Angelo Mathews is having a word with Ishant, who is still angry.
16:45 hrs IST: Chandimal breaks the shackles by smashing a hat-trick of boundaries from Umesh Yadav. However, Sri Lanka are well behind the match.
16:33 hrs IST: Just short of third slip. Ishant is bowling with venom out there. Short ball and it rears up outside off, Chandimal angles the bat and looks to dab it down but the edge falls just short of third slip.
16:31 hrs IST: Sri Lanka are in tatters and India are on top. This could get over today itself. Karunaratne c Naman Ojha b Umesh Yadav 0 (7).
Umesh into the act now. Back of a length delivery and this one seams away as well, Karunaratne wafts at it and Ojha gets his second catch in this innings.
16:17 hrs IST: Ishant is all fired up and he gets rid of Upul Tharanga cheaply in this match. Upul Tharanga c Naman Ojha b Ishant 0 (7).
Ishant angles this back of a length delivery across outside off, it darts away off the seam and Tharanga looks to get behind the line, the ball goes past the edge and the umpire gives it out. Ishant gives Tharanga a send-off and that has gotten the umpires to have a word with Virat Kohli to calm the situation down. It has been a tense last 30 minutes.
16:07 hrs IST: Ishant Sharma is treading on thin ice at the moment. In the previous Test, he was fined 15 percent of his match fee for sending off Lahiru Thirimanne. Now, following this exchange with Dhammika Prasad, he could be in line for a suspension.
16:02 hrs IST: India have batted themselves into a great position and their bowlers will be buoyed by this performance. Rohit Sharma scored a vital fifty and there were contributions all-around from Stuart Binny, Naman Ojha and Amit Mishra. However, R Ashwin took the game with a wonderful fifty and this puts India in the driver's seat. Can Sri Lanka bat out time or will India seal the series? The quest begins now
16:00 hrs IST: Prasad ends with four wickets and Ashwin departs for a magnificent 58 as he feathers an outside edge. He races off the field and Sri Lanka's target will be 386.
15:52 hrs IST: Oh boy, plenty of tension out there! Dhammika and Ishant are having a go at each other. Ishant and Dhammika exchanged glares in the previous delivery and in the next, Ishant said a word or two and he hit his helmet, indicating that Dhammika should try and hit his helmet. This infuriated Dhammika and they are having a go at each other. Next ball to Ishant, he bowls another bouncer and there is another stare. The umpires are having a tough time controlling the situation.
15:47 hrs IST: Nuwan Pradeep gets his fourth wicket and Umesh Yadav departs for 4. Good catch by Herath at fine leg. Umesh Yadav c Herath b Pradeep 4 (19).
Pradeep comes round the wicket and targets the body of Umesh Yadav with this short delivery, Umesh walks across and heaves it to fine leg. Unfortunately, it is a top edge and he cannot get enough power and Herath takes a smart catch just inside the ropes at fine leg.
15:37 hrs IST: Ashwin has scored his fifth Test fifty and India are just hurting Sri Lanka here. These runs will deflate Sri Lanka totally.
15:28 hrs IST: R Ashwin has helped India's lead past 350. India are just cementing their advantage and are making sure that there is no hope for Sri Lanka.
15:22 hrs IST: News just in: All India versus South Africa bilateral series will now be called Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela Series. India and South Africa will contest for the Freedom Trophy during the four-match Test series in Nov-Dec 2015.
15:19 hrs IST: Ishant Sharma is padded up. So, it does not look like there will be a declaration. With the threat of rain looming, it might be a bad idea to play on. However, for the moment, India are content at extending the lead.
15:05 hrs IST: Thanks to his exploits in this Test, Amit Mishra is now the fifth highest run scorer for India in this series. He has scored 98 runs in this Test, taking his tally to 157 runs in six innings at an average of 26.16.
15:01 hrs IST: India have cemented their advantage at tea as the lead has grown to 345. Amit Mishra, like he did in the first innings, has contributed at a crucial time for India and they are in a great position. Sri Lanka just went through the motions and their bowlers looked listless as the session wore on. Will India declare after the Tea break or will they bat on?
14:56 hrs IST: Mishra falls at the stroke of tea. Some smart work from the bowler and he is run-out for 39. Amit Mishra run out 39 (62).
Mishra comes down the track and flicks it to short leg where Kaushal Silva stays low and flicks the throw back at the striker's end . Mishra cannot make it despite the dive and India have ended the session on 234/8, a lead of 345.
14:46 hrs IST: Both Mishra and Ashwin are taking their time as India make slow progress. The lead has gone past 330 but it does not look like India are declaring anytime soon.
14:30 hrs IST: Mishra is once again contributing at a vital time. His fifty and his partnership with Pujara in the first innings helped India get out of a precarious position.
14:18 hrs IST: Almost a run-out! Mishra works it to fine leg and there is plenty of hesitation between Ashwin and Mishra. What can one expect when you have Ashwin, a laggard at the other end? Mishra just about makes it as the throw from the fielder was a bit too high. India 198/7, leading by 309 runs.
14:05 hrs IST: The lead has reached 300 and Virat Kohli applauds from the dressing room. Guess India will make a move on from this point.
14:00 hrs IST: Coming back to that successful chase of 1998, Sri Lanka had conceded a 26-run lead and they were set this target of 325. However, they had quality in the form of Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga at their disposal. Looking at the current Sri Lankan team, it looks hard for them to replicate the feat. However, stranger things have happened.
13:48 hrs IST: WICKET! Naman Ojha goes in the quest for quick runs. Naman Ojha c Karunaratne b Herath 35 (63).
Flighted delivery from Herath on leg stump and it spins away, Ojha looks to slog it to deep midwicket but ends up getting a leading edge that is taken at cover. India are 180/7, leading by 291 runs.
13:40 hrs IST: STAT FACT! The highest successful chase in the fourth innings of the Test at the SSC is 326/5, which was achieved by Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in 1998. Aravinda de Silva was the star of that match with an unbeaten 143.
13:36 hrs IST: Edged but just short! Prasad is the unlucky bowler and Mishra gets a life. The bowler floats this delivery full outside off and Mishra goes for the drive, the ball takes the outside edge and it lands just in front of Jehan Mubarak at gully.
13:15 hrs IST: Tragedy for Binny as he misses his fifty. Dhammika Prasad has gotten lucky. Binny c Tharanga b Prasad 49 (62).
Superb ball from Prasad. He gets this delivery to nip away late outside off and Binny is slightly squared up. The edge flies to Tharanga at first slip who moves to his left to take the catch. However, the umpires check for the no-ball and it seems Prasad's foot is on the line. Just like Ishant in Sri Lanka's innings, it seems that there is no part of the foot behind the line and thus it looks like a no-ball. However, the umpire gives him his marching orders and Binny is very disappointed.
13:00 hrs IST: Both Naman Ojha and Binny are making smooth progress as the Sri Lanka bowlers struggle for penetration after the lunch break. The lead has gone past 250 and once India get a lead over 300, Virat Kohli might be looking to declare.
12:00 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma's fourth Test fifty and his partnerships with Virat Kohli and Stuart Binny have put India in a decent position. They scored 111 runs in the first session as the Sri Lankan bowlers toiled away. India will be aiming to score some quick runs after this session and extend the lead past 300.
11:47 hrs IST: Rohit falls after a good knock. Rohit Sharma c Nuwan Pradeep b Dhammika Prasad 50 (72).
Prasad bowls this short delivery on the hips of Rohit who pulls it hard to fine leg. Normally, it is a shot he plays well but this time he finds Pradeep who is stationed on the boundary and he takes the catch over his head. However, he has played a good knock under pressure.
11:41 hrs IST: Crucial fifty for Rohit Sharma. This is his fourth Test fifty and his second against Sri Lanka. This is a solid contribution and has shown his ability to contribute under pressure. India are 118/4, leading by 229 runs.
11:38 hrs IST: Another crucial fifty partnership for India. This time it is between Rohit and Binny. Rohit is nearing a fifty while Binny is on 35 off 35 balls.
11:31 hrs IST: It is hot, the humidity is sapping, a bowler has a injured finger and a sore neck. All these factors can deflate a person. Not Dhammika Prasad. Even now, with all these mentioned factors, he runs and clangs Binny on a helmet with a bouncer that rears up sharply. He is bowling with pace and hostility on this deck. Hats off to Dhammika.
11:25 hrs IST: Missed stumping and Sri Lanka will be ruing this chance. Herath gets this delivery to drift in sharply as Binny dances down the track and looks to launch it to mid wicket. He misses it but Kusal Perera fails to collect the ball cleanly. Binny would have been miles out.
11:20 hrs IST: India's lead has gone past 200. Rohit is looking good on 43* while Binny is striking some confident boundaries. Sri Lanka have to strike now in order to minimise the damage. Meanwhile, Binny flashes hard and the edge just flies over Dimuth Karunaratne at gully for another boundary. He is taking his chances and they are paying off for the moment.
11:03 hrs IST: Rohit Sharma has decided to attack after the fall of Virat Kohli. He smashes two boundaries off Pradeep as the bowler concedes 13 runs in his seventh over. The lead is approaching the 200-run mark.
10:51 hrs IST: That is a massive wicket and Sri Lanka will be boosted. Virat Kohli c Tharanga b Pradeep 21(63).
Pradeep has been impressive in this innings and he gets the big fish. Fuller delivery that is floated wide outside off, Kohli pushes at it with an angled bat and the edge flies to Upul Tharanga at first slip who takes the catch.
10:45 hrs IST: The game is slowly slipping away from Sri Lanka. Rohit strikes two boundaries off Prasad as the lead extends to 175. Worried looks on the face of the Sri Lankan players.
10:36 hrs IST: The fifty-run partnership is up between Kohli and Rohit. India are slowly progressing towards safety. They are currently 58/3, leading by 169 runs.
10:29 hrs IST: Close call for Rohit Sharma as he survives an LBW shout against Mathews. The Sri Lankan skipper gets this delivery to jag back in and it traps Rohit on the crease. Sri Lanka appeal but that was possibly going over the stumps. Next ball, Rohit gets the edge and it flies past the gap at slip and gully for a boundary to leave Mathews frustrated. The lead has now gone past 150.
10:23 hrs IST: Both batsmen are settling in nicely. One feels that Mathews may have introduced spin a bit too early. When India were bowling, they did not introduce the spinners until the 24th over when R Ashwin was brought into the attack.
10:08 hrs IST: Kohli strikes the first boundary off the day. A rare loose ball from Prasad. Bowls it full and on the pads and Kohli flicks it to deep backward square leg to ease the pressure slightly. Spin at the other end with Herath coming into the attack but there is no spin for him.
09:58 hrs IST: Loud appeal for an LBW from Prasad but umpire Rod Tucker is unmoved. He gets this delivery to cut back in from a good length just outside off and Rohit plonks his front foot forward. The bat is close to the pad and it hits the pad first. Maybe the impact was just outside off. Prasad is wide-eyed with disbelief. Ends a good over though from him. He is bowling the right channels and getting some seam movement.
09:53 hrs IST: India are 135 runs ahead. Sri Lanka need seven wickets. Both teams will have to capitalise on the first session today. This is the view according to former India batsman VVS Laxman who tweeted
09:48 hrs IST: Prasad is down on speed as he completes the first over of the day. One must remember though, he is having a sore neck and got injured on the left hand when he fended awkwardly at a bouncer from Ishant Sharma.
09:25 hrs IST: Heading into day four of the third and final Test between Sri Lanka and India at the SSC, the match is evenly poised. India managed to take a lead of 111 runs but they were rattled by some excellent bowling from Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep. The onus will be on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to ensure that India set Sri Lanka a big target. The weather is currently sunny but there is a chance of some showers later in the day.
It was vintage Test cricket on display at the Sinhalese Cricket Club on Saturday. As many as 15 wickets fell on the third day of the deciding match and five of them went to Ishant Sharma, who bowled with pace and aggression to bowl Sri Lanka out for 201, handing India a 111-run first innings lead. Back at the crease after his unbeaten 145, Cheteshwar Pujara was done in by a peach from Dhamika Prasad, and perished for a duck. Nuwan Pradeep then cleaned up KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane as India were reduced to 21/3 with an overall lead of 132 runs.
But Sunil Gavaskar chose to ignore the second innings score and said India were looking good to win the Test and seal a rare series win in Sri Lanka, thanks to the effort of their bowlers. He did say however that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the two overnight batsmen would need to weather the early storm and be prepared to test their skills in the most trying circumstances.
It won't be easy for India, who are now looking to add valuable second innings runs. They have been remarkable this series after losing the first match from a position of strength. Can Kohli lead from the front and show the way? Will Rohit justify the faith of the team management and play the innings of his life? Or will Prasad and Rangana Herath stir the bowlers and produce something special on Monday?
Day Three Recap
The decisive third and final Test between India and Sri Lanka hung on a knife edge after 15 wickets fell during a dramatic third day's play in Colombo on Sunday. Play ended with India on 21-3 in their second innings, an overall lead of 132 with seven wickets in hand on a seaming pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club. (Read more here)
Ishant Sharma Happy to Bowl With New Ball on Green Wicket
On a high after claiming a five-for, pace spearhead Ishant Sharma said that he enjoyed bowling on a "green wicket" with a red kookaburra which "seams and swings a bit" causing trouble for the batsmen. "We are pretty happy with a green wicket to bowl on. I have shortened my run-up just a little bit but not too much. I think I am enjoying bowling with the new ball. Especially, with the red kookaburra ball as it seams and swings a bit. So I am enjoying a lot," Ishant told mediapersons at the end of the day's play. (Read more here)
Kusal Perera Believes It's Anyone's Game Now
Having hit a defiant fifty to help Sri Lanka claw back into the game, wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera on Sunday said the match was evenly poised after India's top-order was rattled in the second innings on Day 3 of the third and final Test. On a dramatic day which saw fortune fluctuating from one team to the other, India had the game firmly in control by taking a decent 111-run first-innings lead which could have been much bigger but for some audacious counter attack by debutant Perera (55) and Rangana Herath (49). (Read more here)