Kolkata: Skipper Virat Kohli scored his 50th international century on Monday as India gave Sri Lanka a major scare before the first Test ended in a nerve-racking draw.
Sri Lanka were reduced to 75-7 — with paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking four wickets — as they chased 231 for victory.
Under intense pressure, Dasun Shanaka (six not out) and Rangana Herath (0) nervously played out the final few deliveries before bad light at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens came to the rescue.
Kohli’s 119-ball 104 not out had put India on top and allowed them to declare their second innings on 352-8. The captain hit 12 fours and two sixes as he flayed the bowling.
“Feels good,” Kohli said of his 18th Test century, to add to his 32 one-day centuries for India.
“My journey hasn’t been long but I want to continue contributing, especially in situations like these,” the 29-year-old captain said.
Kumar struck in the very first over when Sadeera Samarawickrama chopped a delivery onto his stumps and was out for 0.
Mohammed Shami then had left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne bowled for one as the visitors slipped to 2-2 in 3.3 overs.
Umesh Yadav, India’s third seamer, joined in by trapping former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews lbw for 12. The match became even more tense when Shami bowled current skipper Dinesh Chandimal for 20 and Kumar, who returned impressive match figures of 8-96, trapped Niroshan Dickwella lbw for 27.
Praise for Kumar – “He’s grabbing his chances and is a massive contender to start every Test match for India. He’ll do us good in overseas conditions and not just in home conditions,” Kohli said of India’s man of the match.
The second of the three Tests start in Nagpur on Friday. — AFP
India first innings: 172
Sri Lanka first innings: 294
India second innings (O/n: 171/1):
L Rahul b Lakmal79
S Dhawan c Dickwella b Shanaka94
C Pujara c Perera b Lakmal22
V Kohli (not out)104
A Rahane lbw Lakmal0
R Jadeja c Thirimanne b Perera9
R Ashwin b Shanaka7
W Sahac Samarawickrama b Shanaka5
B Kumar c Perera b Gamage8
M Shami (not out)12
Extras (B-7, LB-1, NB-1, W-3)12
Total (For 8 wkts dec, 88.4 overs)352
Fall of wickets: 1-166, 2-192, 3-213, 4-213, 5-249, 6-269, 7-281, 8-321.
Bowling: Lakmal 24.4-4-93-3, Gamage 23-2-97-1, Shanaka 22-1-76-3, Perera 13-2-49-1, Herath 6-1-29-0
Sri Lanka second innings
S Samarawickrama b Kumar0
D Karunaratne b Shami1
L Thirimanne c Rahane b Kumar7
A Mathews lbw Yadav12
D Chandimal b Shami20
N Dickwella lbw Kumar27
D Shanaka (not out)6
D Perera b Kumar0
R Herath (not out)0
Extras (LB-1, NB-1)2
Total (for 7 wkts, 26.3 overs)75
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-14, 4-22, 5-69, 6-69, 7-75.
Bowling: Kumar 11-8-8-4, Shami 9.3-4-34-2, Yadav 5-0-25-1, Jadeja 1-0-7-0.