India take lead of 498 runs in Galle Test against Sri Lanka

Nuwan Pradeep was Sri Lanka's most economical bowler on a disastrous opening day

Half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund took India's lead to nearly 500 after Sri Lanka were all out just after lunch on day three of the first Test in Galle on Friday. The home side made 245 with Dimuth Karunaratne making 97.

It's another Test for us. All other India captains combined had won only four out of 18 Tests in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan stand-in skipper Rangana Herath credited India for the win, saying they were outclassed in all three departments of the game.

"I thought that on the fourth or fifth day there would be something for the spinners", Herath said. That brought an end to the Lankan innings since they have only 10 players available with Asela Gunaratne ruled out on the opening day due to a thumb injury.

2009 - The last time India's top four batsmen scored three or more centuries between them in a Test. Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli scored centuries in this match.

Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged the Man of the Match for his scintillating knock of 190 in the first innings. He hit eight boundaries in a second test half-century. There was a time when I was dropped from my own first-class team.

Angelo Mathews (83) was one of three batsmen dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja (3-67) before Mukund (81) made his highest Test score and Kohli (76 not out) eased his way towards another century after opting against enforcing the follow-on. In the first session of the match itself the game started slipping away from us. His 6 for 132 in the first innings was also a personal best for Pradeep, who had never previously taken five wickets in an innings.

The hosts will definitely have to put in a much-improved performance if they are to get the better of a strong Indian line-up in this series.

Virat Kohli had a superb time in the longest format of the game from the start of the tour to the West Indies previous year as he notched up four double centuries in eight months. Till date, Ashwin has 279 wickets in his kitty from 50 Test matches, 17 ahead of Richard Hadlee who had taken 262 wickets in the number of Tests.

He has become the fastest bowler to claim 250 Test wickets.

A well-oiled Team India will now travel to Colombo and come August 3, with the series at sight, Kohli might just switch on the autopilot mode. In the process, Kohli also managed to complete his 17 Test match hundred, with it ending a bit of a slump he had gone through in the longest format of the game.


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