India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 4: India beat Sri Lanka by 304 runs to take 1-0 lead

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New Delhi: The end was swift for Sri Lanka as India razed their lower order in the final session to register a massive 304-run win on Day 4 of the Galle Test and take 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Needing 550 runs to win, Sri Lanka were all out for 245 with two batsmen absent-hurt.
India recorded their biggest away win, in terms of run-margin, while it’s Sri Lanka’s biggest defeat at home.
With Dimuth Karunaratne (97) and Niroshan Dickwella (67), Sri Lanka would have hoped for taking the Test in to the final day after being 192/4 at tea-break. But Ravichandran Ashwin (3/65) ended his wait for a first wicket in the second innings by inducing an edge from Dickwella and then cleaned up a well-settled Karunaratne, who was nearing a deserved century, to bring India on the brink of wrapping the Test on the penultimate day. He added one more scalp to his name before Ravindra Jadeja (3/71) removed the last man Lahiru Kumara to end Sri Lanka’s ordeal.
Each team dominated one-half of the first two sessions. India picked two wickets in the first half of both the sessions while Sri Lanka resisting in the latter. Opener Karunaratne kept defying India, first with Kusal Mendis (36) and then with Dickwella.
India tasted success with the new ball with the pace duo of Mohammed Shamiand Umesh Yadav removing Upul Tharanga and Danusha Gunathilaka respectively.
Jadeja took both the wickets that fell post lunch. He first removed Mendis who feathered an edge to wicketkeeper and then Angelo Mathews (2), who played a loose shot to offer a leading edge.
Like in the morning, Sri Lanka lost two wickets quickly in quick succession. And then were carried through the sessions safely, without further damage. Ashwin tried hard and kept planting seeds of doubts in the batsmen’s mind but had to wait long for a wicket despite bowling unchanged for 15 overs either side of the lunch break at one stage. During that phase, Ashwin beat Mendis once, induced an edge that fell safe but it was eventually Jadeja who tasted success.
That the pitch lacked venom was evident from the way Karunaratne stonewalled the Indian attack for the better part of the day. He wasn’t too adventurous, relying on his defense and playing the ball on the merit. But that didn’t imply he was overly defensive as was evident from the nine fours that he collected during his knock.
Sri Lanka were left to chase a mammoth total after India captain Virat Kohli (103*) hit his 17th Test century – 10th as captain – with the visitors declaring at 240/3 and thus accumulating a huge 549-run lead.
Brief Scores: India 600 and 240/3d beat Sri Lanka 291 and 245 by 304 runs

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