COLOMBO - Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed two early wickets to put India on top of the second Test after the visitors posted 622-9 declared against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday.

Ashwin got rid of openers Upul Tharanga for nought and Dimuth Karunaratne for 25 to leave the hosts reeling at 50 for two at stumps on the second day. Kusal Mendis on 16 and skipper Dinesh Chandimal on eight were batting at close of play with the hosts still trailing by 572 runs in their first innings at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

Ashwin registered figures of 2/38. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Mohammed Shami also bowled well, although both did not manage a wicket.

Earlier six Indian batsmen scored 50 or more including an unbeaten 70 by Ravindra Jadeja as the tourists posted their biggest total in Sri Lanka . The 217-run fourth-wicket partnership between overnight centurions Cheteshwar Pujara, who top-scored with 133, and Ajinkya Rahane remained the highlight of the innings.

Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed four wickets for Sri Lanka , which suffered new injury worries after paceman Nuwan Pradeep left the field on day one with a pulled hamstring.

Resuming the day at 344/3, India lost Cheteshwar Pujara (133) in the second over of the day, trapped in front by part-timer Dimuth Karunaratne before Ajinkya Rahane (132) and Ashwin consolidated the innings with a 63-run fifth-wicket stand.

Pujara looked good during his brief stay on the second morning, fetching a boundary off Karunaratne, but the next delivery ended his 232-ball vigil.

The Saurashtra right-hander who had by now added 217 runs with Rahane, was hit on his thighs by a back of a length delivery from Karunaratne, resulting in loud appeals from the hosts.

The on-field umpire, however, did not budge and the home side immediately asked for a referral which got them the prized wicket.

The fall of Pujara, brought in the dependable Ashwin , who started briskly, striking two boundaries off Rangana Herath and Karunaratne before slowing down a bit.

The right-handed duo of Ashwin and Rahane continued to frustrate the Sri Lankans, stealing the odd boundaries and rotating the strike at a good rate to raise their 50-run stand in no time.

In his attempt to accelerate the scoring rate after India crossed the psychologically important 400-run mark, Rahane perished to debutant left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, smartly stumped by Niroshan Dickwella after facing 222 balls and sending the ball 14 times to the fence.

Rahane’s dismissal brought a sigh of relief to the Sri Lankan camp, as wicketkeeper-batsman Saha and Ashwin safely guided India to 442/5 at the lunch break.

The Sri Lankans started the post-lunch session on a promising note when Ashwin was bowled by Herath shortly after completing his half-century.

Ashwin , who notched up the 11th half-century of his Test career, faced 92 balls, hitting five boundaries and a six.

 

Scoreboard

INDIA 1ST INNINGS:

S Dhawan lbw b Perera 35

L Rahul run out  57

C Pujara lbw b Karunaratne         133

V Kohli c Mathews b Herath        13

A Rahane st Dickwella b Pushpakumara 132

R Ashwin b Herath           54

W Saha st Dickwella b Herath      67

H Pandya c Mathews b Pushpakumara   20

R Jadeja not out               70

M Shami c Tharanga b Herath     19

U Yadav not out                8

EXTRAS :(b8, nb2, lb4)    14

TOTAL: (9 wkts dec; 158 overs)  622

BOWLING: Pradeep 17.4-2-63-0, Herath 42-7-154-4, Karunaratne 8-0-31-1, Perera 40-3-147-1, Pushpakumara 38.2-2-156-2, De Silva 12-0-59-0.

FOW: 1-56, 2-109, 3-133, 4-350, 5-413, 6-451, 7-496, 8-568, 9-598

SRI LANKA 1ST INNINGS:

D Karunaratne c Rahane b Ashwin            25

U Tharanga c Rahul b Ashwin      0

K Mendis not out             16

D Chandimal not out       8

EXTRAS: (lb1)     1

TOTAL: (2 wkts; 20 overs)             50

BOWLING: Shami 3-1-7-0, Ashwin 10-2-38-2, Jadeja 7-4-4-0

FOW: 1-0, 33-2

TOSS: India

UMPIRES: Bruce Oxenford, Rod Tucker (AUS)

TV UMPIRE: Richard Illingworth (ENG)