It was a sensational performance by the Islanders on the final day of the 3rd Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi as they lost only two wickets all through the day and managed to draw the match and end the series 1-0 in India’s favour. It was an exceptional effort by the Sri Lankans who was not given any chance at the start of the day. Dhananjaya de Silva applied himself brilliantly and scored a magnificent century and was well supported by debutant Roshen Silva who returned with a golden duck in the 1st innings.
The attitude of the hosts wasn’t ideal for the final two days. Firstly it was a pretty conservative declaration and then when it mattered India failed to put pressure on Sri Lanka as the duo of Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshen Silva shared a brilliant partnership. De Silva had to leave the field for getting cramps eventually. He was struggling, and there was no option left for him.
Wicket-keeper Nirsohan Dickwella came in the middle to give support to Roshen Silva, and the duo was hardly troubled by the Indian bowlers. They applied themselves and was determined to eke out a draw for their team. Dickwella struck six fours during his unbeaten knock of 44 as Sri Lanka finished on 299/5 when stumps were taken.
Earlier in the day, it was Ravindra Jadeja who provided India with the initial breakthrough of Angelo Mathews. The ball turned after pitching as Mathews edged it straight to Ajinkya Rahane stationed in the slip cordon. Chandimal joined Dhananjaya in the middle, and the duo looked in good touch. Chandimal carried on from where he left in the 1st innings but just when Sri Lanka was getting a hold of the match, Ashwin castled Chandimal with a well tossed up delivery. The Lankan skipper came dancing the down the track but missed it altogether which disturbed his timbers.
Earlier in the match, it was a brilliant double century from the blade of Indian skipper Virat Kohli and yet another century from opener Murali Vijay India posted a mammoth 536 on the board. They would have added some more, but the Sri Lankan players were making a huge fuss of the air pollution on Day 2 and hence and animated Kohli called back the team and signalled that they would get on with the match and bowl.
Centuries from Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal saw Sri Lanka register a competitive 373 on the board but were still trailing India by 162 runs. Opener Shikhar Dhawan and captain Kohli scored the fifties as India reached 246 before declaring the innings. Rohit Sharma also chipped in with a fifty, but Kohli should have made the declaration a bit earlier.
India will now look to carry their rich vein of form to South Africa and clinch their maiden series victory in the rainbow nation.