Indian spinners did not take much time to inflict danger to Sri Lanka batsmen as R Ashwin picked up his 26th five-wicket haul in Test cricket on the third morning of the Test and bowled out the hosts for a low score of 183 in their first innings. India asked Sri Lanka to follow-on as they took a lead of 439 runs.
Ravindra Jadeja also took two wickets while Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav shared three wickets among themselves in the morning. Shami came as the fourth bowler in the day and he picked up two wickets in the first over itself.
Jadeja began India’s rattling of Sri Lanka when he picked up the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal in the fifth over of the day when the Sri Lanka captain swept but hit it straight to square-leg.
While there were deliveries that bounced, spun and turned square, Niroshan Dickwella was unfazed by all this and the wickets falling at the other end. For a moment, Angelo Mathews and Dickwella were dealing in fours and sixes. The Sri Lanka wicket-keeper completed his half-century off just 44 balls.
But he was out trying the fancy shots. Shami kept it wicket-to-wicket and Dickwella went for a scoop. Shuffling across and completely exposing his stumps, he missed the ball and was bowled. This was on the first ball of the over. On the final, Herath received a fullish delivery that he had no clue about and was bowled.
Dickwella had a 53-run partnership with Mathews but that was not enough for Sri Lanka to save the follow-on. Mathews also took the aggressive approach. He clobbered Ashwin and Jadeja for a six each, picked up boundaries in his 26-run innings. He countered the extreme spin of the spinners with his shot but it was not be for long.
Ashwin got one to turn sharply which Mathews tried to deflect off his pads but that went to the left of Cheteshwar Pujara at leg-slip. He dived and grabbed a stunning one-handed catch inches off the ground.
Dhananjaya de Silva received a dream Jadeja delivery first up which left his in disbelief as he was bowled. This was his second wicket of the day and his 150th in Test cricket.
Once Ashwin picked up the wicket of Dilruwan Perera with a peach of a delivery that turned into him, the players waited to know if Nuwan Pradeep, who had his hamstring pulled while bowling, will come out to bat or not.
An injured Pradeep walked out to bat and after his 12-run stand with Malinda Pushpakumara, he became the final wicket to fall as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 183.