WTC: India clean sweep Sri Lanka to end home season on high

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WTC: India clean sweep Sri Lanka to end home season on high. Pic/ICC
WTC: India clean sweep Sri Lanka to end home season on high. Pic/ICC

Bangalore, March 14: Rohit Sharma’s stint as Test captain got off to a perfect start as India completed a 2-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka with a thumping 238-run win in Bengaluru.

The win helped India climb a spot to No.4 in the latest ICC World Test Championship standings, with 77 points and a win percentage of 58.33. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, dropped two spots from No.3 to No.5 after the whitewash.

Ashwin led from the front with a four-for on the final day and was well-supported by the rest of the bowlers as well.

Dimuth Karunaratne was the lone warrior for Sri Lanka with a century and was well supported initially by Kusal Mendis. But the Indian bowlers kept pegging at the wickets and eventually bowled Sri Lanka out for 208.

Coming into day three at an overnight score of 28/1, Sri Lanka showed great intent in the first session of play, something that had been lacking throughout the series.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis took the attack to the bowlers from the get-go, starting with two fours in the first over of the day against Jasprit Bumrah. The opening 13 overs of the day fetched Sri Lanka 70 runs, with boundaries flowing freely from both ends.

Mendis raced to his fifty in just 57 balls before he was beaten in the flight by Ravichandran Ashwin and was out stumped for 54. Angelo Matthews’ stay at the crease was a short one, who played for the spin against Ravindra Jadeja but the ball sneaked through bat and pad and hit the top of leg stump.

Ashwin got his second of the day, inducing a bat-pad off Dhananjaya de Silva into the hands of Hanuma Vihari at short-leg. At the other end, Karunaratne was solid and got to his fifty and with Niroshan Dickwella, took Sri Lanka to lunch at 151/4. Despite losing three wickets, the Islanders added 123 runs in the first session of play on day three.

The break brought a lapse in concentration for Sri Lanka as Dickwella charged Axar Patel, only to miss it completely and for Pant to finish a simple stumping. Charith Asalanka was Axar’s next victim. Beaten by the spin and pace, Charith Asalanka could only nudge the ball into the hands of Rohit Sharma at leg slip.

Karunaratne continued to fight the lone battle and brought up his 14th Test century with a boundary. But once Bumrah cleaned up the skipper for 107, the rest of the batting lineup folded quickly.

Ashwin trapped Lasith Embuldeniya in front of the stumps, with DRS coming to the rescue of the Indian spinner. Suranga Lakmal was undone by a vintage Jasprit Bumrah yorker in the last innings of his international career.

Ashwin got the winning wicket, with Vishwa Fernando swinging wildly, only for Mohammed Shami to gobble a skier at mid-off. With that, India won the match by 238 runs and completed a clean sweep over Sri Lanka.

Courtesy: ICC

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