August 13, 2017 / 11:15 AM / 4 months ago

Shami double strike leaves Sri Lanka reeling

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - India seamers made early inroads into the Sri Lanka top order after the touring side had posted 487 in their first innings on the second day of the third test on Sunday.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's captain Dinesh Chandimal. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Mohammed Shami dismissed both openers as the hosts reached 61 for four at tea, trailing India by 426 runs and looking well on target to be swept 3-0 in the series.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten on 13 with wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella 14 not out at the interval.

The home side’s reply go off to a disastrous start when Upul Tharanga edged Shami to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for five and inexplicably called for a review after consultation with opening partner Dimuth Karunaratne.

Replays showed a clear edge and Karunaratne soon joined his departed colleague back in the dressing room after falling in similar fashion for four.

Kusal Mendis (18) was then run out after a mix-up with Chandimal before former captain Angelo Mathews fell leg before to medium-pace bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya without scoring.

Pandya had earlier smashed his maiden test hundred off just 86 deliveries before he was the last batsman out for India.

Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan picked up his maiden five-wicket test haul as a whitewash-chasing India were all out in the first over after lunch.

The century was also a maiden first-class ton for the 23-year-old right-hander, who hit eight boundaries and seven sixes in his knock.

India resumed on 329-6 but suffered an early blow when they lost Saha for 16 in the second over of the day after the keeper guided seamer Vishwa Fernando’s left-arm delivery straight into the hands of the gully fielder.

Kuldeep Yadav showed he was a more than capable lower-order batsman with a well-crafted 26, more importantly adding 62 in an eighth-wicket stand that dampened Sri Lanka’s hopes of restricting the touring side to under 400.

Kuldeep fell to his wrist-spinning counterpart Sandakan, who also dismissed Shami for eight.

That brought Pandya, unbeaten on one overnight, and Umesh together for the last wicket, allowing the former a license to free his bat in search of quick runs.

The clean-hitting Pandya soon tore into the Sri Lanka attack and blasted 26 in one over from Malinda Pushpakumara, hitting the left-arm spinner for two fours and three sixes in five deliveries.

He reached three figures with a straight punch for four off paceman Lahiru Kumara.

India lead the three-match series 2-0 after big wins in Galle and Colombo.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O'Brien

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