Team India suffers surprise loss in Lanka

Team India suffers surprise loss in Lanka

India snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Sri Lanka, suffering a spectacular batting collapse in the opening Test here on Saturday.

Having dominated the game for nearly two-and-a-half days with victory almost in sight at lunch on Friday, the Indians first came under the brutal assault of Dinesh Chandimal (162 not out) before being run over by veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath on a lively Galle International track on Saturday.

Herath, who went wicketless in the first innings, showed how valuable experience is against Indian batsmen who have fallen prey to top-level spin bowling in the recent past. He scalped 7/48, which included a magical spell of 18-6-35-6, to skittle the Indians for a paltry 112.

None of the Indian batsmen showed any application as Herath and Tharindu Kaushal (3/47) spun a web around them. 

Although the duo bowled a tight line and length, and offered no freebies, the Indians have only themselves to blame for suffering just their second defeat while chasing a total below 200.

They needlessly went into a shell from which they just couldn’t come out, allowing Herath and Kaushal to totally dominate them from both ends.

Starting the day at 23/1, they hardly made an effort to score runs, as just 55 came for the loss of 6 wickets in 28 overs. Credit must go to Sri Lanka’s fielding as well, which played a big part in the downfall of Indian batsmen.

Kaushal Silva pulled off two stunning catches at forward short leg while T Kaushal, too, conjured a brilliant diving caught-and-bowled as the Indians were left wondering what hit them.

No praise can be too big for Chandimal, who actually injected life into the hosts when they appeared down and out for the count. Trailing India by a big margin, the wicketkeeper swept his way to a smashing century that gave his bowlers a chance to make a good fist of the contest.

And they delivered in style, defending a below-200 target successfully for just the second time in their Test history.

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