Sun, Aug 16, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Herath takes seven as Sri Lanka undo India’s dominance

Reuters, GALLE, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka off-spinner Rangana Herath, front, and teammate Dimuth Karunaratne celebrate after Herath dismissed India’s Ajinkya Rahane on day 4 of the first Test in Galle, Sri Lanka, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Rangana Herath picked up seven wickets in a sublime display of left-arm spin bowling to power Sri Lanka to a spectacular comeback win by 63 runs against India on the fourth day of the opening Test in Galle yesterday.

Trailing for most of the match after being all out on the opening day for 183, the hosts scythed through the India order with 37-year-old Herath adding six wickets to his overnight dismissal of opening batsman Lokesh Rahul for his 22nd five-wicket haul in Tests.

Off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal, who took five wickets in the first innings, provided superb support by picking up three more in the second innings as India, who resumed the day on 23-1, were shot out for 112 an hour after lunch.

Ajinkya Rahane (36) was the only India batsman to provide some resistance, but he too fell to Herath, edging the wily spinner to home captain Angelo Mathews at slip.

Sri Lanka looked dead and buried on 95-5 on Friday after conceding a first-innings lead of 192, but Dinesh Chandimal’s swashbuckling unbeaten 162 allowed them to stage a fightback and set India a victory target of 176.

“What an absolute turnaround it was,” Mathews said at the presentation ceremony. “I thought Chandimal was outstanding. He singlehandedly got us a fighting score.”

“We were down and out for past three-and-half days and we had to give it our best shot,” he said.

The hosts, who lost their previous Test series to Pakistan, put immense pressure on India with tight bowling and some smart catches in the first session yesterday.

India failed to find scoring opportunities, with first-innings centurion Shikhar Dhawan, unbeaten on 13 overnight, taking 36 deliveries to score his first run in the morning.

Herath, who has been off form lately and went wicketless in the first innings, struck with his first ball of the day, sending back nightwatchman Ishant Sharma LBW.

He also accounted for the wickets of Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin, while Kaushal picked up India captain Virat Kohli and Dhawan.

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