New Delhi:Sri Lanka’s unheralded youngsters, led by Dhananjaya de Silva (119 retired hurt, 219b, 15×4, 1×6), cashed in on the ineffectiveness of Indian spinners, and helped the visitors to draw the third and final Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla here, Wednesday. However, in spite of the stalemate, the Indians registered a record-equalling ninth Test series win in a row. The feat had earlier been achieved by England and Australia.
While the win in Nagpur ensured a 1-0 series win for India, it was certainly be a moral victory for a beleaguered Sri Lankan team, which also had to endure physical discomfort due to pollution in the national capital.
Sri Lanka were never going to chase 410, but did well enough to bat as many as 103 overs in the second innings, finishing at 299 for five. The captains decided to shake hands after the end of seven mandatory overs.
En route his third Test hundred, De Silva battled severe muscle stiffness before retiring hurt, but he instilled the self belief in debutant Roshen Silva (74 n o, 154b, 11×4) and the maverick Niroshan Dickwella (44 n o, 72b, 6×4), who displayed enormous determination while playing out the final session.
The Roshen-Dickwella pair added an invaluable 94 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket stand as India did not get a single wicket in the final session.
Wriddhiman Saha bungled an easy stumping chance of Dickwella off Ravindra Jadeja (3/81) in the final session and that, effectively, was the end of India’s hopes to win the Test match.
The Test match once again proved that Indian spinners – especially Ravichandran Ashwin (1/126), is not same bowler when there isn’t much help in the wicket.
This is the first time in six Tests this year that the islanders managed to stretch Virat Kohli’s men to the last session of a match, deservingly earning a favourable result after all the mauling in the past few months.
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