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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ruthless India destroy Sri Lanka in Nagpur Test

Ruthless India destroy Sri Lanka in Nagpur Test

November 27, 2017 15:38 IST

Team India

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin gets a hug from captain Virat Kohli as Team India celebrate winning the second Test in Nagpur. Photograph: BCCI

A ruthless India equalled their biggest victory margin, decimating a lacklustre Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, in Nagpur on Monday.

The victory margin is identical to India's Test win over Bangladesh at Mirpur in 2007 when Rahul Dravid was captain.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (4/63) completed a coveted personal milestone of fastest to 300 wickets in Test cricket as he reached the landmark in 54 games, beating Dennis Lillee's previous record of 56 matches. He took the last wicket, that of Lahiru Gamage, who were dismissed for a paltry 166 in their second innings.

 

Ashwin is ahead of some of the illustrious names, who had completed the milestone in quick time. Among them are Muttiah Muralitharan (58 Tests), Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn (61 Tests each).

The off-spinner, who had a match-haul of 8 for 130, bowled Gamage with a doosra to bring down curtains on one of the most lop-sided Test matches in recent times.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal (61) was the only Sri Lankan batsman to show some resistance as others never matched upto what is required to play highest level of international cricket.

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin, left, celebrates after taking the wicket of Dasun Shanaka. Photograph: BCCI

The manner of abject surrender in this Test match would certainly hurt the island nation, which till few years back was a force to reckon in international cricket. Just like the Test matches in Sri Lanka, which India won 3-0, they lost the Nagpur Test match well inside three and a half days.

Ishant Sharma (2/43) looked menacing as he bowled short and quick while Ravindra Jadeja (2/28) was the beneficiary of some sharp fielding from Murali Vijay and indiscretion from the part of opposition batsmen. Umesh Yadav (2/30) had a chance of completing his 100 wickets in Test but fell one short.

Dimuth Karunaratne (18) was the first wicket to fall on Day 2 when he tried to flick Jadeja and Murali Vijay standing at short leg had the ball jam into him. The Tamil Nadu player showed good reflexes to hold on to the catch to give India the early breakthrough.

Lahiru Thirimanne (23) stunned one and all when he chased a wide delivery from Umesh Yadav to hand Jadeja at point the simplest of catches.

Former captain Angelo Mathews (10) was expected to show some responsibility while batting alongside Chandimal but his choice of shot also left a lot to be desired. Having hit Jadeja for a six over long-on, he tried the same shot over long-off but failed to clear Rohit Sharma at mid-off.

Team India

IMAGE: India's players celebrate the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella. Photograph: BCCI

Niroshan Dickwella (4) got a snorter from Ishant which he awkwardly fended off to Virat Kohli at second slip, who gobbled it on the second attempt.

It was then Ashwin, who joined the party after Shanaka hit him across the line for a boundary and a six. But it was an act of desperation that was for a brief period of time before he was holed out at long-on by KL Rahul giving the off-spinner his 297th victim.

Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath were then dismissed in quick succession before Ashwin cleaned up Gamage for his record 300th Test wicket.

The rain-hit first Test in Kolkata had finished in a draw, while the third and final Test will be played in New Delhi from Saturday, December 2.

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