Pink Ball Test: Karunaratne reaches fifty but India strike back with three wickets
Bengaluru, March 14, 2022
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne reached his half-century but India struck back with three wickets on day three of the second Test, a day-night affair, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.
At tea, Sri Lanka were 151/4 in 39 overs and trail by 296 runs, with Karunaratne unbeaten at 67.
The afternoon was a good one for Sri Lanka as they showed some fight in an absorbing session of play. Karunaratne used his feet straightaway to take two boundaries off Ravindra Jadeja through the off-side. Runs began to flow for the visitors as Kusal Mendis glanced and lofted Ravichandran Ashwin for boundaries.
Sri Lanka's aggressive and positive play continued as Mendis swept Jadeja through deep square leg while Karunaratne was lucky in surviving an inner edge off Ashwin. The positivity and decisive attitude in play resulted in Mendis reaching his 12th Test half-century off 57 balls.
The 97-run partnership, highest for Sri Lanka in this series, was broken by Ashwin as Mendis was foxed by drift and dip from round the wicket angle. Mendis danced down the pitch to counter the delivery but the ball went past the outer edge and was stumped from behind by Rishabh Pant.
One brought two for India as Jadeja bowled a quicker delivery to hit Angelo Mathews' stumps through the gate. Ashwin then claimed his second wicket of the session as Dhananjaya de Silva was caught at forward short leg, enabling the off-spinner to go past Dale Steyn in the list of leading wicket-takers in Test cricket.
Amidst the wheels coming off Sri Lanka's resistance, Karunaratne stood tall and brought up his fifty in 92 balls. He then welcomed Mohammed Shami with a four whipped through mid-wicket and danced down the pitch to flick Axar Patel through the same region.
Supporting him was Niroshan Dickwella, who has managed to hold fort against a relentless India bowling attack.
India 252 and 303/9 d in 68.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 67; Praveen Jayawickrama 4/78) lead Sri Lanka 109 and 151/4 in 39 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne 67 not out; Kusal Mendis 54; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/40, Jasprit Bumrah 1/15) by 296 runs.