Dhananjaya helps Sri Lanka salvage a draw
3rd Test: India vs Sri Lanka at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, Dec 02 - 06, 2017, Cricket highlights
Riding on the back of an unbeaten 119 from Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka denied India a win as they managed to draw the third Test. There were other valuable contributions from debutant Roshen Silva (74*) and Niroshan Dickwella (44*), as the visitors batted with great determination and temperament to salvage a draw for their team.
A lot was expected from the Indian bowlers, but they managed to pick up only two wickets on a Day 5 pitch. To be fair to them, there was not much assistance off the track and it was still very good for batting. And a lot of credit should also be given to the Sri Lankan batsmen for their improved performance with the bat in both the innings.
Dhananjaya de Silva, who failed in the first innings, didn’t disappoint in the second as he lived up to his team’s expectations and scored a fighting century. Although the pitch didn’t turn much, it’s always a challenge to bat against the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja. He handled both the spinners really well and batted with good, positive intent right throughout his innings. He was well supported by Dinesh Chandimal from the other end, who continued his fine form with the bat, as the pair added 112 runs for the fifth wicket.
India could have got the breakthrough minutes before the Lunch break when Jadeja got one past Chandimal’s defence to clean him up. But the on-field umpire asked the third umpire to check for the no-ball and replays showed that the left-arm spinner did overstepped. The Sri Lankan captain, as a result, received a reprieve.
With two more sessions to go, India still had ample time to pick up 6 wickets. They also started off the second session pretty well, as Chandimal was clean bowled – for the second time around – by R. Ashwin. Only this time, it was not a no-ball. In the very next over, de Silva was beaten outside the off-stump on the bowling of Jadeja, but he survived and then went on to register his third Test ton.
Chandimal’s dismissal meant the lower-order was exposed in front of the Indian spin-duo. Out came the debutant Roshen Silva, who was out for a duck in the first innings. But just like Dhananjaya, he changed his fortunes this time around and showed everyone why he has got tons of runs under his belt in first-class cricket. The pair stitched a fine partnership of 58 runs, before de Silva had to retire himself out due to tightness in his Gluteal muscle.
With 4 wickets still to get, India needed some miracle to happen in the final session. They did manage to pick up five wickets in the thrilling last session at Kolkata, but the pitch there was responsive. Not here. Even the new ball didn’t help India’s cause as they failed to pick up a single wicket. Roshen Silva and Niroshan Dickwella survived for 23 more overs, as they ensured a draw for their team.
India will be disappointed with the result, but they still managed to win the series 1-0. In doing so, they equalled Australia’s record of winning 9 consecutive series. For scoring tons of runs in the match and the series, Virat Kohli was awarded with both the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards.