Colombo: As at Galle, they dominated the entire Test and this time made sure that they applied the finishing touches as well. It all started with a KL Rahul century on the first day of the Test. Having endured single figure scores in the first Test, his place was in danger and he only played because Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out with an injury. He took the chance with both hands, had some luck and registered his second Test hundred. There were vital contributions from Virat Kohli (78), who added 164 runs with Rahul for the third wicket. Rohit Sharma, who was demoted to number five, responded with a crucial 79 as India finished with 393. On a good pitch, it looked like a par score at best, but the Indian bowlers responded superbly.
It had been more than a year since India last won a Test match, at Lord’s in 2014, but the final lap of their long wait zipped past quicker than anyone would have expected. Seven balls after lunch on the fifth day, Dushmantha Chameera padded up to an Amit Mishra googly. Mishra spun around in appeal; Rod Tucker’s finger went up immediately. Sri Lanka had lost their last eight wickets for 62 runs. Worryingly, for a side that is losing perhaps its greatest-ever batsman to retirement, the collapse only continued a trend: they had lost their last seven wickets for 65 runs in the first innings.
KL Rahul is the Man of the Match for his 190-ball 108. Rahul: ‘I was a wicket keeper for my state (Karnataka) during the U-19s. Unfortunate that Saha got injured and I got a chance. I took a catch and helped the team. It is pleasing for me to get a hundred. There is still a lot to learn for me. I spend a lot of time on my cricket. It has always been a dream to play for India and to score two hundreds in four Tests is very pleasing. We have all been working hard in the nets. It is very satisfying to get a victory. We can go with a positive intent into the final Test.’
Scores India 393 (Rahul 108, Rohit 79, Kohli 78, Herath 4-81) and 325 for 8 dec. (Rahane 126, Vijay 82, Prasad 4-43, Kaushal 4-118) beat Sri Lanka 306 (Mathews 102, Thirimanne 62, Mishra 4-43) and 134 (Karunaratne 46, Ashwin 5-42, Mishra 3-29) by 278 runs India have come storming back into the series.
KL Rahul was declared the Man of the Match for his 190-ball 108.