India beat Sri Lanka by 304 runs in first Test match


Galle: A dominating India on Saturday crushed Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening Test match to bury the ghosts of a humiliating loss at the same venue, exactly two years ago.

India leads the three-match series 1-0.

This was India’s biggest overseas win (in terms of runs) surpassing the 279 run-victory against England at Leeds in 1986.

For Sri Lanka, it was their biggest defeat in the Test match criket (in terms of runs), surpassing their 301-run loss against Pakistan in 1994.

A gigantic victory target of 550 was out of question for the hosts but they fizzled out in the final session of the fourth day to finish on 245 in 76.5 overs–their innings terminated with injured skipper Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne ruled out.

This was after India captain Virat Kohli struck his 17th Test hundred with India declaring their second innings at 240 for three.

The Sri Lankans, especially their opener Dimuth Karunaratne (97) batted gutsily for the first two sessions reaching 192 for 4 at tea.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin (3/65 in 27 overs) ran through the middle-order. Once Karunaratne was dismissed trying to play a paddle sweep, it was all over for the islanders.

After the tea break, India made short work of the proceedings. The breakthrough was achieved in the fifth over after the break. Niroshan Dickwella (67) top-edged off Ashwin with Wriddhiman Saha taking an easy catch.

Two balls later, Virat Kohli took a great catch at leg slip and accounted for Nuwan Pradeep (0) as well. The end came swiftly when Lahiru Kumara (0) skied off Ravindra Jadeja (3/71).

Kohli and Rahane put on 51 runs for the 4th wicket. In doing so, they became the 14th pair to put up 2,000-plus runs in Test cricket for India. Kohli also became the quickest captain to score 1,000 overseas Test runs, reaching the mark in 17 innings. He improved Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 19 innings.

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