NAGPUR: A ninth-wicket partnership delayed the inevitable, only for a little while. India wrapped the Sri Lankan innings shortly after lunch on Day 4 to complete an innings and 239-run win in the second Test. It equalled their biggest victory batting only once, after the innings and 239-run verdict against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2007.
The thrashing gave Virat Kolhi’s team a 1-0 lead heading to the third and final Test starting in Delhi on December 2. After batting milestones a day earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest to register 300 Test wickets in the game's history. Australia’s Dennis Lillee held the previous record of completing the feat in 56 Tests. Ashwin got there in 54 Tests.
Nobody expected Sri Lanka to stonewall the Indian bowlers when play started in on Monday morning and they didn’t even try to make a match of it. Specialist batsmen slashing at wide ones, hitting the ball in the air and getting out slogging — there were shots not normally associated with Test cricket in the visiting team’s tale of capitulation. Barring the ninth-wicket stand worth 58 between skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Suranga Lakmal, there was no resistance.
Resuming at 21/1 needing 384 more to make India bat again, Sri Lanka lost Dimuth Karunaratne in the six over of the day. This was not a reckless shot, as the left-hander’s firm push off Ravindra Jadeja got stuck in Murali Vijay’s hands at the forward short-leg. But what followed summed up the mental state of the Sri Lankan team.
Lahiru Thirimanne threw his bat at a wide one from Umesh Yadav to be caught at point, Angelo Mathews hit Ravindra Jadeja to mid-off, Dasun Shanaka got out trying to hit Ashwin out of the ground. Ishant Sharma pulverised the batsmen in between by exploiting the variable bounce. There was no respite for Sri Lanka.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 205 & 166 (Chandimal 61, Ashwin 4/63, Jadeja 2/28, Umesh 2/30, Ishant 2/43). India 610/6 decl. India won by innings and 239 runs.