India vs Sri Lanka pink-ball Test off to a dramatic start | Cricket News


BENGALURU: A summery Saturday afternoon, spectators in the excess of 22,000, the first pink-ball Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. There couldn’t have been a better advertisement for the classical format of cricket.
But the pitch, a dry wicket offering ample turn and the odd ball keeping low ensured truncated stints at the crease for Rohit Sharma & Co. Under lights, there was no relief for the Sri Lankan batters either. As many as 16 wickets tumbled on either side with India holding a 166-run advantage.
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India reached 252 in 59.1 overs courtesy a defining innings of 92 (98b, 10×4, 4×6) from Shreyas Iyer and returned in the final session to leave the Sri Lankan challenge in tatters, reducing them to 86/6 in 30 overs.
Barring Angelo Mathews (43), none of the Lankan batters got going and it wasn’t the spinners but the pacers who got purchase with Jasprit Bumrah (3/15) leading the pack with Mohammed Shami (2/18).

The proceedings on the day would have reminded Sunil Gavaskar, in the commentary box, of a similar situation against Pakistan in the 1987 Test match. Twelve wickets fell on the day with spin being the driving force.
Blame it on the novelty of the D/N Test match or the curators underestimating the heat, within the first half hour, a puff of dust was visible. With most of the batters falling to the guile of spin, it felt like Iyer was batting on a different pitch. The hard yards put on the red soil surfaces in Mumbai probably paid off.

In what will go down as one of his best innings, Iyer rose to the occasion on a surface which was anything but easy to bat on. With the turn and bounce posing a challenge, Iyer took on the Lankan bowlers with reassured footwork. Although wickets kept tumbling at the other end, he soldiered on. His 132-minute stay at the crease was face-saving for the hosts and top-class entertainment for the spectators.

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Iyer played some glorious shots against the left-arm spin duo of Lasith Embuldeniya (3/94) and Praveen Jayawickrama (3/81). But his best maximum came against Dhananjaya de Silva (2/32). For the first six of his innings, Iyer danced down the ground, showed off his wristwork as he smashed it wide over mid-wicket.
Just when he looked set for his second Test century, Iyer stepped out against a slower one from Jayawickrama, missed the line and was stumped by Niroshan Dickwella.
The home team’s innings began with a comedy of errors which cost opener Mayank Agarwal his wicket in the second over.

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Playing his first international match on his home turf, a disappointed Agarwal headed back after a one-ball high-voltage drama. First, the Lankans went up in unison for a leg-before appeal off Vishwa Fernando, which was turned down. Then Agarwal decided to sneak in a run, while Rohit didn’t seem too inclined and was run out by Dickwella who asked for a review even as he dislodged the bails. While Fernando had overstepped, the runout stood.
But that was just the beginning of the Indian parade. Rohit’s stay was shortened when he nicked Embuldeniya to De Silva at gully who took a low catch. Hanuma Vihari (31), Virat Kohli (23) and Rishabh Pant (39) got starts which were cut short by the tweakers.



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