Ravindra Jadeja recorded his highest individual test total, with an unbeaten 175, also overtaking Kapil Dev's 35-year-old record for highest score by an Indian batter at No. 7. Sri Lanka end the day trailing by 466 runs after reaching 108/4.
If the first day belonged to Rishabh Pant who served up a healthy dose of entertainment with his explosive knock, Ravindra Jadeja claimed Day Two honours with scintillating performances in both departments to shore up India’s advantage against Sri Lanka in the first Test at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, on Saturday.
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Jadeja started the day brightly, bringing up his half-century in just the second over of play and Ravinchandran Ashwin soon followed suit, reaching 50 off just 67 balls.
Together the duo nonchalantly added to India’s total, stitching together the highest partnership of the inning, contributing 130 runs for the seventh wicket. The partnership was finally broken in the 110th over when Suranga Lakmal sent down a sharp bouncer drawing a top-edge as Ashwin looked to pull.
The wicket did little to faze Jadeja, as the all-rounder brought up his second Test century just before Lunch. His hundred came off just 160 deliveries in a controlled display of aggression where he smashed 10 fours and resisted the temptation to go for high-risk shots with 0 sixes.
However, once Jayant Yadav (2 off 18 balls) became the first batter to depart without hitting double digits, Jadeja cut loose and began launching balls into the stands as India moved beyond the 500-run mark.
Together with Mohammad Shami (20 not out off 34 balls), Jadeja stitched an unbeaten stand of 103 off just 94 balls for the ninth wicket. Jadeja looked set to add a first international double-ton to his name but skipper Rohit Sharma was keen to dig into a tiring Sri Lankan lineup and declared with India comfortably placed at 574/8 after batting 129.2 overs.
Jadeja remained unbeaten on 175 off 228 balls (17 fours and 3 sixes) and may have missed out on a double-ton, but still walked back having written himself into the record books. He broke Kapil Dev’s 35-year-old record of 163 vs Sri Lanka back in 1986, to become the Indian with the highest score when batting at No. 7.
Both teams maintained a moment of silence before the start of play for Australian cricketers Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who passed away yesterday. Indian players also showed their respect by donning black arm bands. (Image: AP)
There was a touching moment before the start of the Sri Lankan innings as the Indian players lined up in a guard of honour to celebrate Virat Kohli, who became only the 12th Indian cricketer to play 100 Test matches.
The Sri Lankan openers meanwhile got off to a steady start, adding 48 runs off 113 balls for the first wicket. However, Rohit’s decision to declare early was soon vindicated as the wickets began to tumble once Ashwin struck the first blow. Ashwin drew Lahiru Thirimanne forward with a quicker straight delivery and trapped him plumb in front of the wickets, sending back the opener for just 17 off 60 balls in the 19th over.
India’s advantage was soon doubled by Jadeja himself, who waltzed into the attack in the 25th over and nabbed Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (28 off 71 balls) off just his second delivery. The left-arm spinner drew prodigious turn from the surface, trapping the dangerous Karunaratne in front.
Angelo Mathews and Parthum Nissanka added 37 runs for the third wicket before Jasprit Bumrah returned with steely determination to get among the wickets. Bumrah sent down an absolute peach to castle Nissanka but had overstepped resulting in a no-ball. He didn’t let the disappointment get to him though as he struck Mathews on the pads, resulting in the third LBW dismissal of the day in the 34th over.
Ashwin then wrapped up a good day in the office for India when he sent back Dhananjaya de Silva for just 1 run, with the wicket once again coming via another LBW dismissal.
At the end of the second day’s play, Sri Lanka were left reeling at 108/4 as they trail India by 466 runs with their hopes pinned on Nissanka (26* off 75 balls) and Charith Asalanka (1* off 12 balls) to help them avoid the ignominy of a follow-on when they return to the crease for Day 3.