Sri Lanka vs India 2nd Test Day 3: Mendis, Karunaratne fight after Sri Lanka forced to follow-on

Mendis celebrates after scoring his third Test century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Despite India asking them to follow-on, Sri Lanka finally displayed some of the fighting spirit they had been lacking as Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne made 110 and 92 not out respectively on the third day of the second Test in Colombo.

Starting off the day on 50/2, Sri Lanka lost captain Dinesh Chandimal early on as he was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja for 10 runs.

Umesh Yadav got rid of Mendis shortly after, but Sri Lanka temporarily kept India at bay through Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella’s 53-run partnership.

Once Ashwin took out Mathews for 26, Sri Lanka began to lose wickets in a hurry, including that of Dickwella, who made 51 off 48 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.

With Ashwin ripping through Sri Lanka’s tail, the hosts ended up being skittled out for 183, which gave India a 439-run lead.

Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Jadeja and Mohammed Shami snapped up two wickets apiece. Yadav, meanwhile, chipped in with one.

With his 26th five-wicket haul, Ashwin surpassed Harbhajan Singh, who took five wickets on 25 occasions, to become the Indian bowler with the second-most five-fors in Test history.

As for Jadeja, he became the quickest left-arm bowler to take 150 Test wickets as he did so in 32 Tests. The previous record belonged to Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson, who needed 34 Tests to complete the feat.

Jadeja is also the second-fastest Indian bowler to accomplish the milestone, with the fastest being Ashwin, who reached 150 Test wickets in just 29 Tests.

Instead of batting again, India decided to enforce the follow-on, which proved to work in their favour as Yadav clean bowled Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga for two runs in the third over.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Mendis made up for the loss of Tharanga with a 191-run partnership, during which Mendis brought up his hundred and Karunaratne his fifty.

Karunaratne struck 12 boundaries during his unbeaten knock of 92

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With Sri Lanka in cruise control, India had to wait until the 55th over to get the breakthrough they sorely needed as Mendis was caught behind off the bowling of Hardik Pandya for 110, which came off 135 balls and included 17 boundaries.

Karunaratne and debutant Malinda Pushpakumara, who was sent in as the nightwatchman, guided Sri Lanka safely to stumps as they amassed an unbeaten 11-run partnership.

Karunaratne finished on 92 off 200 balls, which included 12 boundaries, while Pushpakumara remained undefeated on two.

Yadav and Pandya claimed one wicket each.

Sri Lanka ended day three on 209/2 and will continue batting on Sunday at 10:00 local time or 04:30 GMT.

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