Kohli shines amidst drama

Kohli shines amidst drama

Virat Kohli's insatiable hunger for runs and imperious form came together to process his sixth double century against a distressed Sri Lanka on an unusual second day of the third Test at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

If the first session was all about relentless Indian domination, headlined by Kohli's faultless 243, and Rohit Sharma's fluent 64, the focus had shifted from cricket to air pollution post the lunch break.

The Sri Lankan players surprised all by wearing masks and repeatedly made their reservations obvious through three interruptions. Kohli's attempt to his first triple century was pushed into the background during this start-stop period. It prompted a sudden first innings declaration from the Indian skipper at 536/7- perhaps to drive a point to Sri Lankans. The visitors were booed by a handsome gathering and Mohammad Shami compounded their thrill by removing Dimuth Karunaratne in the first ball of the innings

India finished the day in the drivers' seat despite an unbeaten 56 runs fourth-wicket stand between Angelo Mathews (57) and captain Dinesh Chandimal (25) and Sri Lanka, at 131/3 trailing by 405 runs.

Sublime Kohli

The presence of Kohli drew the crowd to the stands early on Sunday and the Indian skipper gave a majestic demonstration of timing and shot selection. Resuming at 156, there was no loss of intensity in his innings and he tore into the Sri Lankans. With Rohit providing able support at the other end, the default run rate of the innings hovered over 4 and Sri Lanka's misery was complete.

There was no trick under the visitors' sleeve to snare Kohli who has a low false shot percentage. As he reached his 200, pulling Lakmal for a brace, the stadium reverberated with chants of his name. The Indian captain, punching the air and raising his arms, presented a sight to cherish. It was his second double century of the series and third of the year, and sixth double century as captain. In fact, all his six double hundred have emerged in the last 17 months.

Along with Rohit, who reached his 50 with a straight six, he stitched 135 for the fifth wicket in what was turning out to be a ceaseless run fest. Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan separated the two when Rohit edged him to be caught behind in the last ball before lunch.

Once back, Kohli looked poised to build on his double when the drama unfolded and game stopped for 17 minutes with Lahiru Gamage bending in discomfort. On resumption, Gamage immediately had Ravichandran Ashwin edging his wide delivery. Shortly after, Sandakan trapped Kohli, the ball hitting the back pad. The Indian declaration came shortly after.

As Karunaratne nicked his first ball, the stadium erupted in joy. Four overs later, Ishant Sharma joined the party when he trapped Dhananjaya de Silva and a Sri Lankan collapse looked imminent. Dilruwana Perera, promoted to open the innings, gave good account of himself before Jadeja packed him off and reduced Sri Lanka to 75/3.

With conditions still suitable for batting, Angelo Mathews, after a shaky start, dug in his heels for a fine half century and clouted Ashwin for two sixes. With Chandimal, he is Sri Lanka's best hope to save the Test. The first session on Monday will be crucial to the balance of the tie.

DH News Service

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0