COLOMBO (Balochistan Times) – Despite spinning a web around the Indian batting line-up in the first innings and producing a gritty knock of 42* in the second innings, Dunith Wellalage’s contributions fell flat as his side failed to defend 214 on the tricky Colombo pitch.
After winning the toss, captain Rohit Sharma opted to bat first. The 80-run-stand between the openers started off India on the right note. However, Sri Lanka countered it aptly with Wellalage’s spin-bowling who got the three prized wickets of Rohit, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli.
A partnership of 63 runs between Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul helped bring back some stability to the innings. Once that was broken, the Rohit-led side lost a flurry of wickets. Mohammad Siraj was the last man standing, as India was bowled out for 213 in the final over of the innings. Wellalage, who had five wickets to his name, was immensely helped by Charith Asalanka, who got four wickets as well.
Despite the tricky conditions, Sri Lanka were ahead of the game at the start of the second innings as they stepped out to chase mere 214 runs. Their top three fell victim to the Indian pace attack. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav contributed aptly and got Sadeera Samarawickrama and Asalanka out.
With five wickets lost at 73 runs, Sri Lanka found themselves in a spot of bother. However, they were rescued by Dhananjaya de Silva, who successively stitched partnerships with Dasun Shanaka and Wellalage to bring his team closer to the goal.
As soon as this partnership was broken, India were able to seize control of the game. The Shanaka-led team was bowled out for 172, unable to stand their ground on the turning pitch. Wellalage, who had a five-wicket haul in the first innings, was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka – standing unbeaten at 42, when the game ended.
Scores in brief:
India win by 41 runs
India: 213 all out in 49.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 53, KL Rahul 39; Dunith Wellalage 5-40, Charith Asalanka 4-18).
Sri Lanka: 172 all out in 41.3 overs (Dunith Wellalage 42*, Dhananjaya de Silva 41; Kuldeep Yadav 4-43, Jasprit Bumrah 2-30, Hardik Pandya 2-33).
Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma.