Virat Kohli’s India thrashed Sri Lanka by 304 runs inside four days on Saturday to claim the first Test in their three-match series. After hitting an unbeaten 103, Kohli declared on 240/3, setting Sri Lanka a near-impossible target of 550 to win in Galle. The home side made 245 with Dimuth Karunaratne making 97 before being bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin while going for a sweep, reported PTI.

India’s lethal spin duo Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shared six wickets between them while pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav snapped a wicket each.

After Kohli started the day getting to his hundred and setting an improbable fourth innings target, Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (36) put up a fighting 79-run stand for the third wicket. The two batsmen looked to play for time and cut out any aggressive strokes. They did capitalise on run-scoring opportunities, as this atypical Galle pitch didn’t provide much support to the Indian spinners. Karunaratne scored his 12th Test half-century off 81 balls.

Starting from overnight 189/3, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane showed an eagerness to score runs. It was obvious that the visitors were waiting for the captain to get to his landmark before putting Lanka into bat again. And to his credit, Kohli didn’t waste any time as he reached his hundred off 133 balls in the sixth over of the morning. Overall, Kohli faced 136 balls and hit five fours as well as a six.

In doing so, he equalled the records of former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar (116 Tests) and VVS Laxman (134 Tests), who have 17 Test hundreds each. Kohli reached his milestone in only his 58th Test. The Indian declaration came after the very next over. It was the second highest target set by India in a Test after asking New Zealand to score 617 at Wellington in 2009.

Brief scores:

  • India 600 (Shikhar Dhawan 190, Cheteshwar Pujara 153, Ajinkya Rahane 57; Nuwan Pradeep 6/132, Lahiru Kumara 3/131) & 240/3 decl. (Virat Kohli 103*, Abhinav Mukund 81; Danushka Gunathilaka 1/16) beat Sri Lanka 291 (Dilruwan Perera 92*, Angelo Mathews 83; Ravindra Jadeja 3/67, Mohammed Shami 2/45) & 245 (Dimuth Karunaratne 97, Niroshan Dickwella 67; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/65, Ravindra Jadeja 3/71) by 304 runs