Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami gave Sri Lanka a very late scare on Day 5 as they were reduced to 75/7 in 26.3 overs before bad light came to the visitors’ rescue with the game losing 10 overs at the end. Earlier India had given a target of 231, thanks to Virat Kohli’s 18th Test century.
Indian fans were expecting India to sweep over Sri Lanka once again after their previous dominance in the visitor’s backyard, but all their hopes were turned to ashes when the covers were finally removed on Day 1 after hours of rain. When Indian batsmen took the crease after an early lunch, the lethal green pitch proved to
Rain continued to play spoilsport on the second day too and apart from Cheteshwar Pujara, no Indian batsman could really accept Eden Gardens’ challenge. India lost two other wickets to Dasun Shanaka soon as Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin failed to add extra runs to India’s total. At the end of the day, Wriddhiman Saha was surviving at the crease with an adamant Pujara on the other end as India improved their condition slightly at 75/5 in 32.5 overs.
Sri Lanka had dominated proceedings in the Test so far and the trend continued on Day 3 as well, with the home side restricted to just 172 runs in the first innings. In reply, riding on a 99-run third wicket partnership between Angelo Mathews (52) and Lahiru Thirimanne (51), Sri Lanka closed the gap to just 7 runs, losing four wickets in the process. In comparison to the team which India played three months back, this seemed a very changed side who showed fighting spirit despite early collapse. A special mention of the third day could, however, be Dinesh Chandimal’s fake fielding, which went unnoticed by the field officials.
On the 53rd over of India’s innings, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had hit a Dasun Shanaka ball past cover. Chandimal who was fielding in the cover region chased the ball, but, on realizing that the third man was in a better position to get the ball he slid on the ground. What he did next has created a bit of a controversy. Chandimal rose to his feet and appeared to throw the ball when he did not have possession of it. Since the revamped ICC rule states against "intentionally deceiving or distracting a batsman", India should have given five penalty runs here. However, at the end of the over, the umpire had a word with the fielder but did not add any penalty runs.
Rangana Herath’s heroics helped Sri Lanka to take an impressive 123-run lead over India on the fourth day of the series. In their second innings, India started aggressively as Dhawan (94) and Rahul (73*) performed well with the pitch hardly offering any movements, which helped the team to take a 49-run lead before the ended. Previously, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had played crucial roles in limiting Sri Lanka to just 294 runs as they took four wickets each.
After fake fielding on the previous day, another controversial incident grabbed the headlines on the 57 over of Day 4 when the visitors were batting second. Sri Lanka
Nigel Llong allowed the review despite the Sri Lankan taking his sweet time before "making up his mind". Hawk-eye showed that the impact between ball and pad had been marginally outside the off-stump and the decision was reversed. However, repeated replays showed one or two hands going up from the Sri Lankan dressing room signalling the batsman to opt for the review which resulted in the latter turning back and appealing for a very late DRS review call.
Chahal or Axar? Who will take more wickets for India?
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