Bumrah, Pant dominate as India set Sri Lanka 447-run target in pink ball Test - GulfToday

Bumrah, Pant dominate as India set Sri Lanka 447-run target in pink ball Test


Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and Lahiru Thirimanne (L) appeal successfully for the wicket of Shreyas Iyer during the second day of the second Test match in Bengaluru on Sunday. AP

Jasprit Bumrah picked up his first five-wicket haul on home soil as India took control of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday with Rishabh Pant smashing the fastest half-century in Test cricket by an Indian batter.

Bumrah claimed 5-24 as Sri Lanka was bowled out for only 109 in its first innings — after resuming Day 2 on 86-6 — conceding a 143-run lead to India's first-innings 252.

In its second innings, Shreyas Iyer’s second half-century of the match helped India declare at 303-9 in 68.5 overs. Pant hit 50 off 31 balls as India set Sri Lanka an improbable 447-run target.

At stumps, Sri Lanka was 28-1 after seven overs in its second innings and needing another 419 to win. In the afternoon session, Sri Lanka didn’t keep India in the field for long with the last four wickets falling for only 14 runs from 21 deliveries. Lasith Embuldeniya (1) was the first to go, caught pulling off Bumrah.

The pacer then picked up his eighth five-wicket haul in test cricket when Niroshan Dickwella (21) was caught in the 35th over.

Bumrah’s 5-24 was the best return for a pacer against Sri Lanka, who crashed to its second-lowest total against India in Test cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin added 2-30 in this afternoon session with Mohammed Shami (2-18) and Axar Patel (1-21) accounting for the other India wickets.

In its second innings, India lost Mayank Agarwal (22) to Embuldeniya, as he nicked a delivery that was turning away. Agarwal and Sharma had put on 42 runs for the first wicket.

After tea, Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 46 runs after putting on 56 runs for the second wicket with Hanuma Vihari (35). Praveen Jayawickrama overcame injury concerns to pick up 4-78, while Embuldeniya took 3-87.

Jayawickrama bowled Vihari for 35 as India crossed the 100-mark. He also trapped Virat Kohli lbw for 13, who finished yet another season without an international hundred.

Kohli’s poor form stretches back to 18 tests and his test batting average (now 49.95) has dipped below 50 for the first time since 2017.

"We have batted well in both innings. I trusted my defense. It is easier to play spin under lights because of dew but it was still challenging,” Vihari said.

Pant then scored 50 off 28 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, the fastest half-century in test cricket by an Indian batsman.

He broke Kapil Dev’s 40-year-old record of a 30-ball half-century against Pakistan in 1982. Pant and Iyer put on 45 runs for the fifth wicket, with India 199-5 at the dinner break.

Jayawickrama dismissed the left-handed Pant before the break, happily accepting a return catch. Post dinner, Iyer (67) dominated as he followed up 92 in the first innings with another half-century.

He got to the milestone off 69 balls. He put on 63 runs for the sixth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (22). Embuldeniya trapped Iyer lbw, and the Indian lower order pushed the overall lead past 400.

India declared with half an hour left in the day’s play. Bumrah (1-9) and Mohammed Shami (0-13) bowled a testing six overs with the new pink ball.

"We didn’t plan to bowl tonight, but with wickets falling, we felt we could bowl around 35 minutes and get a wicket or two. We believe we can turn up tomorrow and get the remaining wickets,” Vihari said.

Bumrah trapped Lahiru Thirimanne lbw for a three-ball duck as Sri Lanka was left with a mountain to climb. Dimuth Karunaratne (10 not out) and Kusal Mendis (16 not out) were unbeaten at stumps.

India has a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, after winning the Mohali Test by an innings and 222 runs.

Associated Press

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