Ind Vs SL 2nd Test: Pant Hits The Fastest Fifty, Indian Batting Extends It To The Third Day!

Source: BCCI

Having all the time in the world India didn’t really need to hurry setting a target and so batted on till the 9th wicket fell, and luckily extending the pink-ball Test match to the third day. Given their pitch-specific one-day cricket tactics India scored at a very healthy 4+ per over run rate scoring 303/9 in the 69th over setting a target of 447 runs to win for Sri Lanka. This target is a tall order for the side batting last on any kind of pitch anywhere. The highlights of the Indian innings include the fastest fifty in Test cricket for India by Rishabh Pant (50) who achieved the feat in just 28 balls, bettering that of Kapil Dev in 30 balls; good opening partnership with Rohit (46) tackling the spinners well scoring all around the park including reverse sweeps, unfortunately missing his much deserved half-century; and Shreyas Iyer, the hero of the first innings, lapped up his consecutive second fifty of the match with an exciting 67-run innings. Except for Kohli (13) all batsmen contributed well and the bowlers too scored runs with Shami remaining not out at 16 when the declaration came.

 

It has been the class of Team India in all departments of the game that stood out in sharp contrast in this match than the pitch behavior. The Sri Lankans did poorly in both bowling and fielding—their pacers not at all matching the might of Bumrah-Shami and their spinners, particularly Lasith Embuldeniya, were let down often by the slip catchers. In India second innings Embuldeniya had to be content with 3 wickets and Praveen Jayawickrama with 4—both of them deserved a fifer in at least one innings. With just 7 overs left in the second day to start chasing the mammoth target Sri Lanka lost opener Lahiru Thirimanne for a duck in the very first over by Bumrah. Fortunately, captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kushal Mendis saw through the day with the team score of 28/1 at stumps. It is to be seen tomorrow whether India would need one or two or three sessions to sweep the series 2-0, now a foregone conclusion.

 

Earlier in the morning session today, India needed just about 6 overs to get the remaining 4 Sri Lanka wickets bundling them out for a paltry 109, taking a huge lead of 143 runs. Jasprit Bumrah, firing all cylinders since the first day, achieved a fifer which is his first on Indian soil while R Ashwin got into the act with 2 wickets. In batting, apart from Iyer, Rishabh Pant sparkled in both innings and in the Series too with his brilliant 96 in the first test. Only it’s still a long wait for Virat Kohli to score a century as he ends this Series without even a single fifty. We already mentioned about Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round glory of 175 not out and a haul of 9 wickets in that test. Test Cricket is over for some time to come now as the IPL-2022 gets underway later this month with 10 franchises ready to fight it out.

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