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Jadeja valuable for team, says skipper Kohli

07 August 2017

"It had a bit of venom in the morning, in the first session". Post it, a familiar narrative unfolded, where Indian spinners ran the hosts ragged.

Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Pandya and Ashwin snapped up two wickets apiece.

A win here will seal the three-match series for India after their 304-run win in the first test. The hosts then put up a sweepathon which India had to wait out before they could march towards victory. KL Rahul dropped a sharp chance at shot leg of Karunaratne.

Nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara threw away his wicket, attempting a freakish reverse slog against Jadeja who dismissed Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal for two in his next over. India were kept waiting even though numerous balls came perilously close to taking the outside edge. In Sri Lanka, we only have eight to ten domestic matches in first-class.

The man of the hour was Karunaratne.

During the first innings, the Men in Blue posted a very big 622-9 on board thanks to centuries from Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and half-centuries from KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha. But that wasn't to be.

Ashwin finished things off just before tea, ending a token resistance from the tail, making it 2-0 with one to play.

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Karunaratne's defiant knock came to a cruel end when he was presented with an unplayable delivery that reared up, hit his gloves and ballooned into the air for Ajinkya Rahane to catch behind the wicketkeeper.

Mathews' first delivery spit fire but that was that. When the opportunity arrived, he never missed to send it crashing to the fence. Ashwin got the final say as he dismissed Nuwan Pradeep for a duck to return with another five-wicket haul to end the Sri Lankan innings ar 183, with 439 runs still to go. But once the second session began, it was a whole different ball game.

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"When you have a lead of 440 on you still and then you lose a couple of wickets and then you are playing one way and it's coming off, I would say, as a batsman, it's very hard to keep carrying on for four sessions", Kohli said.

Where most players have asked for a higher standard of cricket, calling for a drastic reduction in the number of first-class teams, Karunaratne has said Sri Lanka's players must play more games in the domestic season.

The right-hander had a 50th Test to remember as he scored his 13th Test century to help India amass a massive first innings total.

A day of fluctuating fortunes saw Sri Lanka fight back from a position where every cricket pundit wrote them off - Ashwin's spin bowling saw the hosts bundle out for 183 in the first session resuming at an overnight score of 50/2.

Jadeja valuable for team, says skipper Kohli