Half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant combined with inspired bowling on Sunday’s day two helped India eye a big win in the pink ball Test against Sri Lanka.
The tourists were 28/1 at stumps while chasing a daunting 447 for victory in Bengaluru. Kusal Mendis on 10 and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne on 16 were batting at close of play.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah trapped Lahiru Thirimanne lbw for nought to take his wickets tally to six in the match before three fans ran on the pitch to get a selfie with Virat Kohli.
India declared their second innings on 303-9 in the final session after Iyer made 67 and Pant smashed a 28-ball 50 – a Test record for Indian batsmen.
Iyer, who hit 92 in India’s first innings total of 252, raised his third Test fifty in his fourth match with a cracking boundary.
He put on key partnerships including a 45-run stand with Pant and 63 runs with Ravindra Jadeja, who made 22, before falling lbw to Lasith Embuldeniya.
Mohammed Shami hit an unbeaten 16 before skipper Rohit Sharma him back to the pavilion after the fall of Axar Patel.
India lost Rohit for 46 and Kohli for 13 but Pant extended India’s domination in his knock studded with seven fours and two sixes.
Rohit, who used his sweep and reverse sweep to good effect against the spinners, missed out on his fifty after being caught at long on while attempting a big hit off Dhananjaya de Silva.
He walked back as a huge roar erupted from a crowd welcoming Kohli, a former captain and star player for the local Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL team.
But Kohli – who has not scored an international century since India’s first ever day-night Test in November 2019, and made 23 in the first innings – did not last long as he fell lbw to Praveen Jayawickrama.
The star batsman’s Test average has fallen below 50 for the first time since 2017 and he has gone without a century for 73 international innings.
In the morning, Sri Lanka, who were already struggling after resuming at 86-6, were dismissed for 109 inside half an hour during the first session to concede a lead of 143.
Bumrah added two more to his first day’s tally of three wickets to bag his eighth five-wicket haul in 29 Tests and first on home soil.
India lead the two-match series 1-0.