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Saturday, February 4, 2023

India brush off Sri Lanka despite Karunarathne’s batting heroics  – The Morning

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A bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah helped India thrash Sri Lanka by 238 runs inside three days at Bangalore’s pink-ball Test to sweep the series 2-0 yesterday (14). Chasing 447 for victory, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 208 in the second session after skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s valiant 107, on a pitch that turned from day one. Fast bowler Bumrah ended Karunaratne’s spell and got one more to take his match tally to eight wickets while spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took four over the day.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant scored 67 and 50 in India’s 303-9 declared on day two to play key roles in an emphatic victory that left the hosts unbeaten in all three of their home day-night Tests.

India also won the opening Test in three days and this win gives new all-format captain Rohit Sharma a winning start to his Test leadership.

Left-handed Karunaratne made a second-wicket stand of 97 before Ashwin broke through for the stumping of the captain’s overnight partner Kusal Mendis, who recorded his 12th Test half-century.

Karunaratne, though, went on to wage a lone battle and raised his century – the sole hundred for a Sri Lankan batsman in this Test series – with a boundary off Bumrah.

India, who gained crucial Test championship points in the whitewash, remained dominant from day one after Iyer hit 92 and lifted the team from a precarious 86-4 to 252 all out.

Bumrah then returned figures of 5-24 for his maiden five-wicket haul at home to dismiss Sri Lanka for 109.

The series will be remembered as marking Virat Kohli’s 100th Test in the opening game in Mohali, though the star batsman scored just 45, 23, and 13 in the three Indian innings.

The former captain twice fell leg before wicket (lbw) in this Test to take his average down to below 50 for the first time since 2017, but the crowd at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium gave him a rousing reception.

Brief scores: India: 252 and 303 for nine declared.  Sri Lanka: 109 and 208  (Dimuth Karunaratne 107, Kusal Mendis 54; R. Ashwin 4/55).

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