Indian off-spinner R Ashwin continued with his good run with the ball in Tests when he bagged yet another five-for in the first innings of the second match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. This was Ashwin’s 26th five-wicket haul in Test format and he has now surpassed Harbhajan Singh who has 25 fifers to his name. Former Indian captain Anil Kumble (35) is the only Indian bowler to have more fifer than Ashwin.
The off-spinner’s dismissals included the wickets of Dimuth Karunaratne, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera and Nuwan Pradeep. Riding on Ashwin’s spell, India managed to enforce a follow-on on Sri Lanka in this particular encounter after the home side was bundled out for 183 in first innings in reply to visitors’ 622/9 (D).
The right-hander troubled the Sri Lankan the batsmen right from the start of the innings as he forced them to edge the ball on a number of occasions with flight and turn. He even made early inroads as he picked two early wickets towards fag end of the second day’s play. The hosts ended the proceedings on the second day at a score of 50/2. Ashwin eventually returned with figures of 5/69 in 16.4 overs which included three maidens in the innings.
Earlier, Indian batsmen hammered Sri Lanka in the first innings. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane went on to compile individual tons while Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with half-centuries. The Virat Kohli-led side already lead the three-match Test series 1-0 and a win in this encounter will give them an unassailable lead.