Ishant Sharma took his 7th Test fifer © Getty Images (File Photo)
Ishant Sharma took his 7th Test fifer © Getty Images (File Photo)

Ishant Sharma was finally rewarded after bowling well throughout the series as he took his seventh Test five-wicket haul on Day Three of the third Test against Sri Lanka at at Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Stadium, Colombo. Ishant kept the ball in the right areas throughout the series, and finally got his due reward, taking the wickets of Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, and Rangana Herath. Perera and Herath put on 79 in just over 15 overs, while Dhammika Prasad slogged away to glory and scored 27 toward the end of Sri Lanka’s innings, as the hosts just stuttered past 200. Live cricket scorecard: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test at Colombo (SSC)

Earlier, Kusal Perera’s debut half-century and Rangana Herath’s 49 kept India from bowling Sri Lanka out by tea, but Ishant needed just five balls after the break to complete his fifer. Sri Lanka went to tea at a precarious 175 for 8 with Herath unbeaten on 47, but he could only add a couple of runs before getting dismissed. Perera launched a counter-offensive with a 56-ball 55, but fell after getting into a battle of words with Ishant Sharma. Lahiru Thirimanne was out off the second ball after lunch, edging Ishant Sharma to KL Rahul at slip for a duck. Dhammika Prasad, who walked in at No. 8, got a lethal short ball first up. Ishant bowled a bouncer that hit Dhammika on his fingers, and the pacer had to walk off immediately. Live cricket updates: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test at Colombo (SSC), Day 3

Sri Lanka were essentially 47 for 7 by now, as Rangana Herath walked out to bat. The left-handed duo of Herath and Perera then took the aggressive approach, putting on a brisk 79 runs in just over 15 overs. The debutant wicketkeeper-batsman fought fire with fire, hitting as many as nine boundaries in his near run-a-ball innings. Herath at the other end was quite secure. A wicket soon before tea meant that Herath was joined by the injured Dhammika Prasad.

Ishant Sharma and Stuart Binny struck twice each while Umesh Yadav took one wicket as India reduced Sri Lanka to 47 for 5 at lunch. Sri Lanka were unable to deal with life after Kumar Sangakkara, with a number of changes being made to the batting order. Upul Tharanga was sent out to open with Kaushal Silva, with Dimuth Karunaratne batting at No. 3 followed by Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews. However, by lunch only No. 6 Lahiru Thirimanne was in the middle. READ: Cheteshwar Pujara emulates Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar in India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test

Ishant started the procession, as Tharanga edged him to KL Rahul at slip for 4. Silva was out three balls later, bowled while trying to leave one from Umesh. Chandimal came out with a lot of intent, hitting five boundaries in his 23 before falling LBW to Binny. Mathews then edged Ishant to Naman Ojha before Binny struck with the last ball before lunch, getting Karunaratne caught at slip by Rahul. READ: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Colombo: Cheteshwar Pujara digs out his value again

Earlier, Rangana Herath picked up the last two Indian wickets to fall as India were bowled out for 312 early on Day Three. Cheteshwar Pujara, who was unbeaten on 135 off 277 deliveries overnight, became the fourth Indian batsman to carry his bat in a completed innings, remaining not out on 145. India came out with the aim to score as many runs as quickly as possible, which resulted in Ishant Sharma trying to slog Herath over the ropes. He missed the ball altogether and was bowled instead. Umesh Yadav was then bowled by Herath trying to play him off the back foot. READ: Cheteshwar Pujara’s century could push Rohit Sharma out

Brief scores:

India 312 (Cheteshwar Pujara 145*, Amit Mishra 59; Dhammika Prasad 4 for 100) lead Sri Lanka 201 (Kusal Perera 55, Rangana Herath 49; Ishant Sharma 5 for 54, Stuart Binny 2 for 24, Amit Mishra 2 for 25) by 111 runs.

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)