On a fifth day pitch, Sri Lanka needed to chase down a target of 231 runs. The Indian bowlers struck brutally as the Lankans were reduced to 0/1 followed by 2/2 and then concluded on 8/2 at the Tea Break.
In the third session, India managed to pluck five more wickets and would have taken the rest three if the match hadn’t interrupted due to bad light. The match ended in a draw and team India Opener KL Rahul feels that had another six overs been available, India could have won the Test, which ended in a draw after a riveting final day.
“These are the kind of matches you look forward to. We could have made a match out of it if we had five or six overs more. It’s a good experience for all of us. I don’t think I played a game like this personally — shortened and rain-curtailed but goes down to the wire. It was very exciting,” Rahul said at the post-match media conference.
Rahul rued the fact that on a pitch like the one on offer for the first Test, full five days of cricket was not possible due to inclement weather.
“It was absolutely an exciting game. On a wicket like this, it would have been great if we had have five days of cricket,” Rahul said at the post-match news conference as more than nine hours of play was lost.
Rahul was all praise for Suranga Lakmal, who got seven wickets in the match.
“Lakmal bowled rally well and there was help for for pacers. Our bowlers produced some beauties in the first innings. We beat the bat a lot but they were lucky as none of the edges carried or went to hand. I didn’t think first Test would be so close after two rain-interrupted days.”
Sri Lanka were routed at home 0-9 across three formats by India three months ago but they bounced back to win two Tests against Pakistan in UAE. Pace spearhead Suranga Lakmal troubled India in both the innings in a match haul of seven wickets and it was Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 104 in the second innings that swung the momentum in the final two sessions.