Centuries by Sri Lanka’s No 8 Binuka Fernando (100 not out) and No 9 A K Tyronne (123 not out) enabled Sri Lanka force a draw against India in the second 'Youth Test' in Kurunegala on Thursday.
The two-match series ended in a draw, largely due to the 188-run eighth wicket stand between Tyronne and Fernando, which helped Sri Lanka amass 499 in their second innings.
Set an improbable target of 319 in 27 overs, India were 113 for 3 when stumps were drawn.
Starting the day at 245 for five, an overall lead of 64 runs, it soon became 258 for 7 with the two set batsmen, Priyamal Perera (40) and Sadeera Samarawickrama, (63) out in quick succession after a 91-run sixth-wicket stand.
With seven down and the lead only 77 runs, Vijay Zol and company sniffed victory, but Tyronne and Fernando had other plans. The two right-handers attacked the Indian bowling and added the runs in 54.3 overs.
Tyronne was the dominant partner; his 123 came off only 161 balls, inclusive of 17 fours and three sixes.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2-132) bowled nearly 60 overs, while offie Aamir Gani (1-110) rolled his arm over for 45 overs.
The bulk of the bowling during this match-saving eighth-wicket partnership was done by Yadav and Gani, but they failed to get a breakthrough.
Fernando faced 232 deliveries and hit 15 boundaries and a six. By the time, Tyronne was run-out, the match was as good as saved by the Islanders.
In the end, it turned out to be a moral victory for Sri Lankans.
Sri Lanka: 212 & 499 (A K Tyronne 123, Binuka Fernando 100 not out, Kusal Mendis 65, Sadeera Samarawickrama 63, Chama Milind 4-98).
India: 393-8 & 113-3 (Akhil Herwadkar 32).