Welcome to CricketCountry s coverage of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka at SSC, Colombo. Although India took a handy lead of 111 runs on the third day, helped largely by Ishant Sharma s 5 for 54 in 15 overs, the best figures by an Indian fast bowler in Sri Lanka, their advantage was mitigated by three quick wickets taken towards the end of the day. 201 looked an improbability when Sri Lanka were struggling at 47 for 5 at one stage, but a spirited fightback from Kusal Perera, who scored a half-century, and Rangana Herath helped them recover. Openers KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and No. 3 Ajinkya Rahane fell cheaply to Sri Lanka s seamers, before rain forced an early end to the day s play. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Colombo, Day 4

India have consolidated their position with smart batting, and the early wickets from their seamers. The lower half of India’s batting order contributed significantly, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Rohit Sharma scoring half-centuries. Ishant Sharma created drama when he batted, and took out two crucial wickets when he bowled, although his send-offs weren’t mildly amusing. Sri Lanka’s tactics to hold back in India’s innings seemed bizarre, but the thinking may have been to limit the damage by spreading the field. Read more on the final session here.

Angelo Mathews, who has looked solid at the crease so far, is vital to the home team’s chances of going after the chase or drawing the match. 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled tomorrow, so Sri Lanka’s batting order will face a gruelling, long day ahead.

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 67/3 | Overs 18.1: Mathews has taken off his helmet, and gets an inside edge off the fourth ball of Mishra that could have gone on to the stumps, but the thickness of the edge makes it safe for him. The right has been fading, and the umpires decide it is not good enough for play to happen, despite spinners bowling. This was after a late cut was executed by Mathews for a boundary, off Ashwin’s first ball of the innings. It’s stumps, on Day Four. Batting: Silva 24 (42), Mathews 22 (37)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 62/3 | Overs 16: Silva now gets his pull out against Sharma as well, an gets a boundary. The short ball may not work on him. Mathews punches through the coves for a brace, in the same over. Amit Mishra, the leg-spinner, is now introduced to the attack. The batsmen play him calmly. Batting: Silva 24 (36), Mathews 17 (30)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 54/3 | Overs 14: Mathews hits two smooth drives off two full-ish balls from Yadav, the first an on-drive to long-on, and the other a drive through extra-cover. A single from the last ball of that over on the leg side gets Sri Lanka to 50. A big innings from their captain seems vital for them to stay in the contest or even have a crack at the target. Mathews hits another four through extra-cover, this time off Binny. Batting: Silva 18 (30), Mathews 15 (24)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 36/3 | Overs 11: Binny s relatively slower balls to Angelo Mathews have been dealt with smoothly, but not before he was beaten outside off stump. Silva displays that he likes the pull, swivelling to deposit Yadav to deep midwicket twice to collect two boundaries. Yadav corrects his length, and gives away no more runs off that over. Batting: Silva 14 (25), Mathews 1 (11)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 25/3 | Overs 8: Sharma gets the counterattacking Chandimal! Off a ball outside off pitched short the batsman steers him to the hands of the third slip, KL Rahul, who takes the catch in his second attempt. Sharma hits his head thrice as a send-off to the batsman. Stuart Binny s medium-pacers are easier to deal with. Silva takes two braces with the same shot, off two different balls. The first instance had a misfield by Ashwin. Batting: Silva 6 (18), Mathews 0 (0)

OUT! Dinesh Chandimal c Kohli b Sharma 18 (17)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 17/2 | Overs 6: Sharma gets another edge, this time off No. 4 Dinesh Chandimal, but the ball falls short of KL Rahul at third slip. But Chandimal is looking solid and aggressive: a back-foot steer to the third man boundary is followed by an exquisite drive through the covers and a flick to the fine leg boundary off a loose delivery. All this off three consecutive deliveries from Yadav. Batting: Silva 1 (9), Chandimal 15 (14)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 2/2 | Overs 3.2: Karunaratne plays an accurate, quick over from Sharma, negotiating him better than Tharanga. But then he cannot avoid a poke outside off off a good length delivery from Yadav. Sri Lanka have lost their second wicket. Batting: Kaushal Silva 1 (7)

OUT! Dimuth Karunaratne c Ojha b Yadav 0 (7)

Live Cricket Score Sri Lanka 1/1 | Overs 2: Ishant Sharma started off with a no ball, but has bowled a testing first over to the left-hander Upul Tharanga, who plays and misses a few deliveries, and then edges the last ball to the wicketkeeper. Sharma shouts, Virat Kohli shouts. India have their first wicket. Yadav bowls a quiet second over. Batting: Kaushal Silva 0 (6), Dimuth Karunaratne 0 (0)

OUT! Upul Tharanga c Ojha b Sharma 0 (7)

Live Cricket Score India 274 | Overs 76: A bit of chaos in the middle. Prasad has been bowling bouncers at the No. 11 Ishant Sharma. Prasad and Sharma have been staring at each other, and Sharma needled him by goading him to target his head. Dinesh Chandimal from short midwicket joins in, the umpires come in and try to calm the situation. Angelo Mathews has a chat with the umpires. Prasad bowls another bouncer at Sharma, and after a single is taken, Ashwin is caught behind off a thin edge off a full, accurate delivery. Not Out: Sharma 2 (6)

Prasad started running back to the pavilion, behind Ishant Sharma, not purposefully chasing him, presumably.

Live Cricket Score India 269/9 | Overs 75: Ashwin is now confident enough to play a powerful drive off an overpitched ball from Kaushal to the extra-cover boundary. Although there is only single found off a late cut off Pradee, the shot signified the ease with which he was playing the bowling. There was no foot movement, just keen eyes following the ball and helping him position his bat appropriately for the stroke. Yadav, the tailender, is being bowled short deliveries as a rule. He attempts a peculiar pull, positioning himself to the left of the good length ball to get leverage to the slog. He was caught by Herath at the fine leg boundary. Herath positioned himself well, got under the ball, tumbled after taking the catch, and finally made sure he was away from the ropes. Batting: Ashwin 57 (85)

OUT! Umesh Yadav c Herath b Pradeep 4 (19)

Live Cricket Score India 263/8 | Overs 73: Ashwin picked the doosra off Tharindu Kaushal, and late cut it to the third man boundary, much to the disappointment of the bowler. Pradeep comes on to replace Herath, is beaten outside off, but then Ashwin plays two strokes through midwicket, the first timed better than the other, to get to a fifty, his fifth in 28 Tests. Batting: Ashwin 51 (78), Yadav 4 (14)

Live Cricket Score India 244/8 | Overs 71: After a dull couple of over after tea, Ashwin displays his proficiency with the bat. He late cuts Herath to third man. Yadav has come in to bat, after Mishra s wicket. Batting: Ashwin 35 (68), Yadav 3 (12)

Although three wickets have fallen, this has also been a session dominated by India. The spinners were easily worked around to get the runs flowing, and the lower half of the batting order have been solid, like the last time. Mishra was prevented from getting to his second half-century in the match by a exceptional work by the short-leg fielder, but he has done his job. Ojha chipped in with35, and Binny with a breezy 49. Read more on the session here.

Live Cricket Score India 234/8 | Overs 67.2: Herath has bowled short to the batsmen and is promptly dispatched. First, Mishra stays in his crease plays the late cut to send the ball to the third man boundary, and then Ashwin cuts nicely to collect a four though cover. What work by Kaushal Silva at short work! And Mishra is run out! Mishra had stepped out of his crease to the offspinner Kaushal, and worked the ball through the leg side. Silva, however, was quick to let go of the ball that had come to him, and the direct hit had Mishra well short. With that wicket, it is TEA.

OUT! Amit Mishra run out (Kaushal Silva) 39 (62)

Live Cricket Score India 225/7 | Overs 66: Five defensive strokes gives Kaushal his first maiden. Before this over, he had given away runs at more than four an over. Herath, from over the wicket, gives away four singles. Kaushal has Mishra foxed, however, when he bowls the doosra and has the batsman beaten outside off stump. The ball pitches on middle stump, and turns the other way. Mishra has a glance at the bowler and motions with his fingers the anomalous spin. Batting: Mishra 34 (58), Ashwin 23 (54)

Live Cricket Score India 219/7 | Overs 63: Ashwin, with a straight bat, deals with Prasad s accurate over successfully. Kaushal, bowling from around the wicket, is milked for three singles. Flighted or not, the off-spinner is being played comfortably. Herath replaces Prasad, from the other end, and has Ashwin stepping down the track to score runs off him. Mishra also works him for two singles. Batting: Mishra 31 (51), Ashwin 20 (43)

Live Cricket Score India 207/7 | Overs 60: Mishra punishes an overpitched delivery from Prasad, serenely driving to cover to get his third four. After letting Mishra collect a single, Prasad bowls two bouncers in a row to Ashwin. Kaushal, bowling from around the wicket, concedes three runs from his over as the batsman milk him without trouble. Batting: Mishra 26 (43), Ashwin 13 (33)

Live Cricket Score India 198/7 | Overs 58: Mishra, off a short-of-a-length delivery by Pradeep on leg stump, gently deflects to fine leg for a single. Ashwin tries to play the pull, but is too early on the stroke. The final ball of Pradeep s delivery had him punching to mid-on for a boundary, Ashwin s first. Kaushal has been brought on, and like Herath, he tosses up his balls. Mishra converts the second ball into a full toss and drives it straight to the hands of Mathews, who, at shot cover, gets a hand to it but cannot hold on to the catch. Mishra, then, gets back in his crease and tries a paddle sweep. Good work by the fielder in the deep gets Mishra struggling to get back, and he dives. By the time, the wicketkeeper completes his jump to hold on to the throw, and hit the stumps, Mishra is well home. Batting: Mishra 20 (40), Ashwin 10 (24)

Live Cricket Score India 191/7 | Overs 56: Pradeep is now bowling from wider of the crease, to change the angles a bit. Mishra edged a short delivery outside off get a streaky boundary. Two singles are milked off Herath s over, the first to get India touching 300 as lead. Batting: Mishra 17 (32), Ashwin 6 (20)

Live Cricket Score India 183/7 | Overs 54: Pradeep gets a short ball to angle into Mishra, who cannot avoid the ball from striking his helmet. He gets hit on the shoulder first and the ball then deflects on to his helmet. Both batsmen are using their feet well to deal with Herath. Batting: Mishra 11 (26), Ashwin 4 (14)

Live Cricket Score India 180/7 | Overs 52: But Ojha, tempted by a flighted delivery, tried to smash Herath to the leg side, got a leading edge to balloon a catch to cover. He was defeated by the flight, the drift and the turn. Ashwin, the new batsman, steps out of his crease to turn a ball to the leg side, but ball instead lobs up off his pads and there is excitement when two fielders converge to catch it. The ball lands safely, and replays show there was no bat involved. Batting: Mishra 11 (25), Ashwin 1 (3)

OUT! Naman Ojha c Karunaratne b Herath 35 (63)

Live Cricket Score India 177/6 | Overs 51: Mishra steps out of his crease and tries to smash Herath through the off side, but mistimes the slog to deep mid-off. He plays a slash through backward point for an impressive boundary off Prasad. Most of the other balls are also bowled short to him by the seamer. Batting: Ojha 34 (61), Mishra 10 (24)

Live Cricket Score India 172/6 | Overs 49: But the next boundary Ojha gets is a streaky one. He attempts a loft through the vacant off side off Herath, but gets an outside edge that flies through backward of point. The fielde running after it cannot stop the boundary. After drinks, Prasad bowls a bouncer to Mishra way above his head, and it is ruled wide. He bowls another one short, down the leg side, a good length ball left by the batsman, a short-of-a-length ball defended off the front foot, to set the batsman up for full ball that is edged to gully! But it was away from the diving fielder. He is bowled another bouncer, and a good length ball on his legs, off which a leg-bye is picked. Batting: Ojha 34 (59), Mishra 5 (14)

Live Cricket Score India 164/6 | Overs 47: Ojha gets a full delivery on his pads from Prasad, and he duly puts it away to long leg for a single. This is the only run from the over. Two singles have been taken in the previous over from Herath. Ojha looks solid while he is at the crease. Batting: Ojha 30 (53), Mishra 2 (8)

Live Cricket Score India 161/6 | Overs 45: Binny plays a square drive off Prasad, with one knee down, to collect three and move to 49. But he can t get to his fifty! Binny edges a full delivery outside off, with a hint of movement away from him, to first slip, who dives to his left to hold the catch. Binny had been streaky in this innings, but his method has been effective. The umpires check the no-ball, but he’s fine. Batting: Ojha 28 (45), Mishra 1 (4)

OUT! Stuart Binny c Tharanga b Prasad 49 (62)

Live Cricket Score India 158/5 | Overs 44: Pradeep now starts bowling from around the wicket, but changes to over the wicket. It makes no difference. Ojha and Binny play him easily, collecting two singles. But Binny plays a streaky stroke, going down the pitch to get to the pitch of the ball, and outside-edging through vacant gully. Batting: Binny 47 (60), Ojha 28 (45)

Live Cricket Score India 151/5 | Overs 42: Herath replaces Kaushal, mixes his deliveries nicely; a single is taken to long-off from that over. Pradeep bowls either on a good length or short, to Ojha, in the next over. The balls are defended or placed to the fielder. Binny plays a hard sweep to long leg for a single, and Ojha deflects the bowler to fine leg for two. He, then, takes an easy single to long-off. Binny finishes the over with another single, to make it five from the over. Batting: Binny 43 (55), Ojha 26 (38)

Live Cricket Score India 141/5 | Overs 39: Off-spinner Kaushal bowls the first over after lunch, and off his second ball, on the legs of Naman Ojha, he is tickled to fine leg for a boundary. India also get three easy singles, and a brace to midwicket. Pradeep, bowling his first over after lunch, does not seem to be bowling at full tilt. He is defended and left well by Ojha for five balls, before a crisp boundary is struck square in the off side. Batting: Binny 39 (46), Ojha 23 (29)

India have consolidated their position in this Test with a good first session of Day Four for them. There were gaps on the field for easy singles, and fast bowlers were changed around quickly by Angelo Mathews due to heat, the effect of which had been felt by batsmen and the fielding unit. Rohit played some impressive, typical strokes in his half-century, before being caught off the hook by the fine-leg fielder. Read more on the first session here.

Live Cricket Score India 132/5 | Overs 37: Kaushal, bowling from around the wicket, bowls a flat, shot-ish delivery on off stump, that is steered by Naman Ojha to the boundary towards backward of point. Pradeep, bowling the last over before lunch, is taken for a single by Ojha to long leg, is left by Binny outside off for two balls, a single to deep cover is taken off the fourth ball, and another single, past a diving gully fielder, is taken on the last ball. Batting: Binny 38 (45), Ojha 11 (18)

Live Cricket Score India 124/5 | Overs 35: Tharindu Kaushal, the off-spinner, is introduced for the first time since morning. Naman Ojha, the next man in, has defended him without trouble. Binny tries to deflect the ball via an upper cut, but is not able to put bat and ball. Most of the balls he has received in this over from Prasad have been short ones. Batting: Binny 37 (42), Ojha 4 (9)

Live Cricket Score India 118/5 | Overs 33: Binny steps down the track to Herath and flicks him for a boundary in the leg side. Rohit gently guides a ball to cover and the single taken gets him to a half-century. This has been a sweet, responsible knock from him with some exquisite shots and solid leaving and defence. Prasad bowls a no-ball, a short ball to Binny s ribs is tickled away to long leg for a single. Runs are easy to come by. But Rohit plays a hook off another hook shot and is caught by Pradeep at fine leg! Rohit could have gone on to make his start count more. Batting: Binny 30 (37)

OUT! Rohit Sharma c Pradeep b Prasad 50 (72)

Live Cricket Score India 106/4 | Overs 31: Binny decides to paddle-sweep to collect a four off Herath, who has replaced Pradeep. Binny steps down the track, misses the ball, but the wicketkeeper fumbles the ball and cannot complete the stumping! This was a ball that went straight on with the arm, Binny possibly anticipated some turn, and he went for a heave towards midwicket, but missed it completely. The ball, going past his leg stump, is attempted to be grabbed by Perera, but the ball popped out of his hands. Binny, off Prasad in the next over, plays a pull but gets a top edge to gully. This has been an entertaining innings from the all-rounder. He edges Prasad through the vacant second slip region for another four. Then smiles. Batting: Rohit 46 (67), Binny 29 (30)

Live Cricket Score India 94/4 | Overs 29: Binny scores his second boundary by executing an unconvincing cut through gully off Pradeep. His third boundary is a steer through the back foot off a good length ball outside off from Prasad. He takes two with a guide off the front foot through gully. Then, he is beaten by a ball outside off that slightly cuts into him. Off Prasad’s last ball, he slashes off the front foot to get a boundary over the gully fielder’s head. Batting: Rohit 43 (60), Binny 21 (25)

Live Cricket Score India 77/4 | Overs 26: Rohit is pretty to watch when he cover drives. Off a full-ish ball from Pradeep, he goes down on a knee and caresses the ball through extra cover for a sparkling four, and off the next ball, he plays a more orthodox cover drive, inducing the same awe. Earlier in the over, Binny turned a ball on his legs to the square leg boundary. He plays Mathews safely in the next over. Batting: Rohit 42 (54), Binny 5 (12)

Live Cricket Score India 64/4 | Overs 24: Stuart Binny, the next man in, almost edges a sharp delivery from Prasad; a question is asked, but the umpire is not interested. There is also a shout for lbw off Rohit, by Mathews, who has come back in to bowl. The ball was defended nicely by Rohit, but there were two sounds: the ball struck his pads moments before it struck his bat. But the ball seemed to have struck him outside the of stump, and as Rohit was playing a shot, the umpire ruled him not out. Batting: Rohit 34 (51), Binny 0 (5)

Live Cricket Score India 64/4 | Overs 22.2: Herath is replaced by Prasad, bowling his second spell this morning. He induces an inside edge off Kohli that misses the stumps and goes towards fine leg. But a rare loose delivery, a short ball, is neatly pulled away for a boundary through long leg by Rohit. Rohit defends the remaining balls from Prasad gently. Nuwan Pradeep, from the other end, replaces Mathews, and strikes! Kohli edges this off-stump delivery outside off to the man at first slip, who juggles and completes the catch with his second grab. Batting: Rohit 34 (45)

OUT! Virat Kohli c Tharanga b Pradeep 21 (63)

Live Cricket Score India 58/3 | Overs 21: Kohli square drives Herath smoothly to obtain three runs from his first ball, but Rohit edges one past the slips for another four. Kohli negotiates his arm ball, off the last ball, a little unconvincingly, squirting to the leg side off an inside edge. Off the back foot, Rohit guides an off-stump ball from Mathews to gully, to bring up the 50 partnership. The rest of the balls are defended and left safely. Batting: Kohli 20 (58), Rohit 30 (41)

Live Cricket Score India 50/3 | Overs 19: Kohli plays a quiet over from Mathews, intent to defend. Amid a packed off-side field, Rohit strokes Heath through the covers fort a single, Kohli, off the last ball of the over, gently turns a ball on his legs to fine-leg. Kohli turns a ball from Mathews to leg for a single, in the next over, and then Mathews gets a ball to jag back into Rohit, striking him high on the pads, but the appeal is struck down. He induces an edge off Rohit, but the ball travels between the slips and gully for a streaky boundary. Batting: Kohli 17 (53), Rohit 25 (34)

Live Cricket Score India 43/3 | Overs 16: Angelo Mathews brings himself on, and gives an easy, leg-stump ball to Kohli to have him flicking for a boundary through square-leg. Heath has two slips and an unorthodox short mid-off to cut off the drive. Rohit comes down the track, and chips Herath for three through the leg side. Batting: Kohli 15 (41), Rohit 20 (28)

Live Cricket Score India 35/3 | Overs 14: Kohli gets a loose delivery on leg stump from Prasad, and promptly flicks it away for the first boundary of the morning. Spin is introduced in the 14th over as Rangana Herath comes on to bowl. Four singles are milked from that over. Batting: Kohli 9 (33), Rohit 17 (24)

Live Cricket Score India 24/3 | Overs 11: Amid fear and anticipation of an early morning wicket from Dhammika Prasad, who has been Sri Lanka s go-to bowler in this Test, Virat Kohli has left balls nicely and defended well. He has even signalled confidence by playing a cover drive to take two, off Nuwan Pradeep. Prasad appeals for an lbw decision against Rohit, after rapping him in the pads on an off-stump line. Batting: Kohli 3 (20), Rohit 15 (19)

Ishant Sharma, the man who took five wickets yesterday, spoke to Aakash Chopra about his slightly altered run-up and his belief to be able to emerge out of a lean patch. Kusal Perera, speaking to Russell Arnold, is disappointed at the way he was dismissed, but is happy to be able to contribute significantly in his first Test. There were nerves owing to the precarious position his team was in, and because he was on debut, but he emerged with 55 crucial runs.

The good lead taken by India was also the result of a patient, responsible century by Cheteshwar Pujara, on the second day. He was unbeaten on 135 at the end of Day Two, and remained unbeaten, on 145, as Sri Lanka wiped out the tail (last two wickets) in quick time.

India will end their wait of 22 years if they win this Test, the decider, of the series. Despite dominating most of the first Test in Galle, they endured a dramatic loss by 63 runs, but came back confidently with an all-round performance to win the next Test in Colombo by 278 runs. India s last Test series win in Sri Lanka arrived in 1993 under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin. READ: India 21/3 against Sri Lanka, lead by 132 at stumps on Day 3 of 3rd Test at Colombo (SSC)

Teams:

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews(c), Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera (wk), Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, T Kaushal, Nuwan Pradeep

India: Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Naman Ojha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav

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