Welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of the final Test between India and Sri Lanka at SSC, Colombo. It’s Day Five, and all four outcomes are possible, but it has to be said India hold the upper hand, needing seven wickets to complete a series win. Angelo Mathews has batted smoothly to negotiate the final half-hour of the day, and if he continues like this today, his team may well target the chase. But a couple of early wickets will change the scenario. India were similarly three down in their second innings when they came out to bat on the third day, but the lower half of their order piled on runs comfortably. Can the home side avoid a series loss with gritty batting? LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Colombo, Day 5

This has been a big comeback from India, who were stunned by a counterattack in the first Test in Galle. Ravichandran Ashwin took 21 wickets in the three Tests, the highest by any bowler on either side. Angelo Mathews was the highest run-getter in the series, with 339 runs in the Tests. There was drama, some boorish behaviour, see-saw battles between two quality teams. The series loss was Sri Lanka’s second on a trot, after Pakistan last month. But they have shown fight.

This is Kohli’s first series win as captain. With the ‘new’ approach encouraged by him, India’s prospects are decent for the near future. They face South Africa at home for three T20Is, five ODIs and four Tests, and Sri Lanka’s next international assignment is against West Indies in October.

Virat Kohli says the win was special also because the team was young. He credited the support staff, the reserve players and those who did not play this Test. His team would like to continue with the positive brand of cricket they played. Pujara saw his inclusion at the opening spot not as a difficulty but as an opportunity, and that is the attitude that has helped his team. The number of bad sessions in the seies can be counted on one hand, and that makes them deserve a pat on the back.

Angelo Mathews expressed disappointment at the loss, after winning a crucial toss on a difficult wicket, and conceded that Sri Lanka should have restricted India to below 300 in the first innings. He credited the opposition batting as well. The winning target was very much in his mind for much of today; if Kusal and himself stayed in the wicket longer, the chase could have been clinched.

Man of the Series: Ravichandran Ashwin

Man of the Match: Cheteshwar Pujara

The base for India’s win was laid by Cheteshwar Pujara’s century in the first innings, which helped India gain a 111-run lead. India ha been in trouble at 21 for 3 in their second innings, but the lower half of the order resisted to get the lead up to 385. Ishant Sharma’s eight wickets have been handy for the win, too.

That was quick capitulation from Sri Lanka after tea, as for the majority of the first two sessions, Indians were kept away with solid resistance. Angelo Mathews scored a grafting century, sprinkled with smooth strokes for boundaries. His team did not last after his wicket, in the first over after tea.

Live Cricket Score 268 | Overs 85: That’s it. India complete their victory with another lbw. Kaushal is the last man to be out, struck in front of the wickets after failing to read the ball turning the other way. India have their first overseas win since 2011, and the first against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka since 1993.

OUT! Nuwan Pradeep lbw b Mishra 0 (2)

Dhammika Prasad, who came running away to the pavilion after the 10th wicket of India’s second innings, has arrived to bat the same way, to a big applause. He doesn’t waste time, goes down the track to deposit Ashwin down the ground for a boundary, but, attempting another slog, he gets an edge, the ball lobs high for Binny at extra-cover to accept the catch. India one wicket away.

OUT! Dhammika Prasad c Binny b Ashwin 6 (4)

Live Cricket Score 257/8 | Overs 83.1: Rangana Herath plays all around a full ball from Ashwin, is hit full on the legs and is given lbw by the umpire. That was a flighted ball, and Heath got done in by that flight. India have their eighth. Batting: Kaushal 0 (9)

OUT! Rangana Herath lbw Ashwin 11 (23)

Live Cricket Score 257/7 | Overs 83: Herath gets Umesh Yadav away for two attacking fours. The first was a pull through midwicket, and the other an edge off an attempted attack over the slips. He has defended him well for the rest of the over. Ishant has got his length shorter against the tailender Tharindu Kaushal. Batting: Herath 11 (22), Kaushal 0 (8)

Live Cricket Score 249/7 | Overs 81: What a blow in the first over after tea! Angelo Mathews is rapped on the pads off a full delivery from Ishant Sharma, and is given out! The new ball, taken just after tea, had angled into him, and would have predictably gone on to hit the stumps. This is a huge setback for Sri Lanka. Batting: Herath 3 (16), Kaushal 0 (3)

OUT! Angelo Mathews lbw b Ishant Sharma 110 (240)

Mathews has kept India at bay with a smartly built, patient century that has kept his team well in the hunt for the chase. But the loss Kusal Perera’s wicket, off an unneeded shot, a reverse-sweep, will boost India’s chances. Perera’s knock, nonetheless, was a counterattacking one, full of authoritative shots mixed with his defences, leaves and dabs. His partnership with Mathews of 135 deflated India. Read more on the second session here.

Live Cricket Score 249/6 | Overs 80: Indians have appealed twice off two balls to Rangana Herath. The first ball was a full one, defended off the front foot by the batsman. The Indians appealed because they thought the ball might have struck his boot before it hit the bat, but replays show the ball had nothing to do with the boot. The second ball was sharply spun ball, there an an appeal for caught behind, but Herath was well and truly beaten. That’s TEA. Batting: Mathews 110 (237), Herath 3 (15)

Live Cricket Score 245/6 | Overs 77: Mathews brings out the reverse-sweep against Mishra, but does not get any run off it. Only one un, from Perera, is taken from that over. But when Perera decides to bring it out, he deposits it straight to the hands of Rohit Sharma at point! Perera has thrown away his wicket after playing so well. But this was a solid knock from him. Someone perhaps gave him a send-off or said something to him, as the batsman turned to retort. Batting: Mathews 108 (231), Herath 1 (3)

OUT! Kusal Perera c Rohit b Ashwin 70 (106)

Live Cricket Score 241/5 | Overs 75: Mishra is milked for two singles by the batsmen. Ashwin bowls from around the wicket to create an angle to the right hander. Mathews defends him, and then rives him to long-on after coming own the track. Batting: Mathews 105 (221), Perera 68 (102)

Live Cricket Score 237/5 | Overs 73: Binny bowls a short and wide ball, and is dispatched to the cover boundary off a scorching cut. And Mathews gets his hundred! He plays a late cut to Binny and sends it away to the third-man boundary. This is a responsible knock, but also a beautiful one. He has calmly got about accumulating runs, and defending and leaving appropriately, chipping away. He celebrates his century with an authoritative pull 0ff the next ball, for another four. Batting: Mathews 104 (219), Perera 67 (98)

Live Cricket Score 224/5 | Overs 72: Binny bowls outside off for a maiden to Mathews. Perera punishes a loose delivery from Mishra, sweeping to get the ball to the fine-leg boundary. Five runs are had from that over. Batting: Mathews 96 (215), Perera 62 (96)

Live Cricket Score 219/5 | Overs 70: Mishra flights one and sends it full, Mathews goes forwad and attempts to defend it, but the ball sneaks through to strike his pads. A large shout for lbw follows! But the umpire is unmoved. The ball did not seem to hit the bat, and that seemed pretty close. Perera gets a short ball to cut him for a boundary. DRINKS. Batting: Mathews 96 (208), Perera 57 (91)

Live Cricket Score 212/5 | Overs 69: Mathews slaps a short and wide ball from Binny to the cover boundary to move to 92. He is driven nicely to mid-off off an overpitched delivery. He turns him to deep midwicket for a single. Perera nonchalantly executes a short-am pull off the medium-pace of Binny to get a boundary through square leg. And that’s his fifty! Batting: Mathews 93 (203), Perera 53 (90)

Live Cricket Score 203/5 | Overs 68: Ashwin is milked for two singles. Stuart Binny comes on to bowl, replacing Ishant. He seems to be getting some movement in the air, but he is handled with ease by Mathews, for a maiden. Perera moves back in his crease to defend Ashwin, but gets an inside edge that saves him from a shout for lbw. With a single to the leg side, he moves to 49, and Sri Lanka complete 200. Mathews gets three through the third man and after getting an outside edge. Batting: Mathews 85 (198), Perera 49 (88)

Live Cricket Score 197/5 | Overs 65: Three singles through the leg side are picked off Ishant. Ashwin is milked for two singles in the over, before Mathews turns him fine to the leg side for a boundary. Perera attempts a pull off Ishant, the ball is not timed well, the batsman looks at his bat, there is something wrong with it. He signals for a tape over the bottom of the bat, but he has changed the bat altogether. He has no trouble with the rest of the balls from the bowler. Batting: Mathews 84 (191), Perera 47 (78)

Live Cricket Score 186/5 | Overs 62: Ishant has come on to bowl. He has two slips and a gully, and an attacking field on the off and leg sides. Mathews collects two runs to midwicket on his first ball, and defends and leaves the rest. The ball has been changed, after inspection by the umpires. Two singles are collected from the Ashwin over. Batting: Mathews 77 (184), Perera 44 (67)

Live Cricket Score 183/5 | Overs 60: Perera punishes a loose delivery from Mishra, smashes a shot ball through cover. A couple of steps down the track, and a six! He has gone to the pitch of the ball off this flight delivery and deposited over deep midwicket for a maximum. Batting: Mathews 74 (174), Perera 43 (65)

Live Cricket Score 175/5 | Overs 59: Kusal Perera is intent to use his feet well to negotiate spin bowling of Ashwin. Mishra is collected for two singles by the batsmen. In Ashwin’s next over, Perera smashes an overpitched delivery off the front foot to a lofted fur to long-off. Mathews attempts a sweep against Ashwin, gets a glove, but the ball goes behind a jumping leg slip. Batting: Mathews 74 (174), Perera 35 (59)

Live Cricket Score 165/5 | Overs 56: Mishra gets flight an turn in his over to Mathews, who defends him safely for a maiden.  Perera plays Ashwin well, and this over is a maiden, too. Mathews survives a run-out chance! After gently working Mishra to short leg, his momentum has taken him out of his crease. Rahul, in the bat-pad position, throws the ball back to the stumps, if it has been a direct hit, it was out. The ball missed the stumps, however, and by the time Naman Ojha collected it, Mathews was home. Batting: Mathews 68 (166), Perera 29 (49)

Live Cricket Score 162/5 | Overs 53: After being beaten by a good, turning delivery from Ashwin, he latches on to a shot ball from the bowler to cut to point for four. Mathews sways away from a short delivery from Yadav, defends off the front foot to a good length ball, and digs out a yorker-length delivery to mid-on for a single. Perera squirts a good length ball outside off to third man for a brace. Batting: Mathews 67 (154), Perera 29 (43)

Live Cricket Score 155/5 | Overs 51: Yadav gets a ball to angle into Mathews and raps him on the thigh pad; a question is asked but the ball is probably sailing over the stumps. Another angled ball, but this time, heading down the leg side, is tickled to the fine-leg fence. Yadav closes his eyes and is disappointed with his inaccuracy. Batting: Mathews 66 (151), Perera 23 (34)

Live Cricket Score 151/5 | Overs 50: Yadav is pulled fiercely by Kusal Perera to midwicket to collect a boundary. Mathews gets on top of a short-of-a-length ball on off stump, and guides to the vacant gully region for another four off that over. Ashwin, in his two overs after lunch, has bowled with flight, but a rare flatter delivery is cut through covers by Kusal Perera. Batting: Mathews 62 (145), Perera 23 (34)

Angelo Mathews has serenely played this session, his presence at the crease is a big boost to Sri Lanka. Thirimanne’s dismissal, however, was a setback. Ishant Sharma has bowled accurately, and the spinners have given flight and turn, but Mathews, Perera and Thirimanne have mostly played them calmly. They are 252 behind their target, but more significantly, have a cushion of five wickets with two sessions to go. Read more on the morning session here.

Live Cricket Score 134/5 | Overs 47: Ishant Sharma comes on to bowl the last over before lunch, and besides a tight single taken by Mathews, there is no more drama as Perera defends the bowler well. Ishant has bowled two no-balls in that over. Batting: Mathews 55 (137), Perera 12 (24)

Live Cricket Score 131/5 | Overs 46: Mishra and Ashwin have got flight and turn to ask a few questions of the batsmen. There wan an lbw shout off Kusal Perera’s defensive prod, but the there was an inside edge before the ball struck the pads. The batsman goes down the pitch of the ball and executes a nice drive through mid-off. He is looking busier at the crease now. Batting: Mathews 55 (132), Perera 12 (21)

Live Cricket Score 119/5 | Overs 42: A short-ish, turning ball from Mishra, is turned to leg fine for two. He gets a flighted delivery and stumbles in his forward prod, due to the sharp turn. Mathews gets his fifty by sweeping Ashwin to fine leg. This has been a confident, responsible knock from the captain. Batting: Mathews 51 (121), Perera 5 (7)

Live Cricket Score 113/5 | Overs 40: Mishra has several close-in fields for the new man, Kusal Perera. The batsman gets off the mark by a gentle slap through extra-cover for a two. He, then, turns a ball off his thighs fine to the leg side for a single. Perera takes a quick single to mid-off, after coming down the track to get to the pitch of the ball. Mathews calls for new gloves, the sweat must be plenty in his current pair. He gets a single to leg. Batting: Mathews 47 (109), Perera 4 (6)

Live Cricket Score 107/5 | Overs 38: Ashwin, the off-spinner, reintroduced after he had completed the unfinished over on Day Four. Matews gently works him to leg for a single, there is a misfield off a cut by Thirimanne. A lob, and caught! Thirimanne prods forward to tap a ball to leg, but misjudges the turn, and a leading edge lobs up up to silly mid-off, who shows good reflexes to complete the catch in the second attempt. Batting: Mathews 45 (103)

OUT! Lahiru Thirimanne c Rahul b Ashwin 12 (47)

Live Cricket Score 105/4 | Overs 37: Mathews plays a serene drive through mid-off for another boundary off Binny. Amit Mishra, the leg-spinner, comes on to bowl. He gets flight and turn, and is defended safely by Mathews, who is nearing a half-century. Batting: Mathews 44 (101), Thirimanne 11 (42)

Live Cricket Score 99/4 | Overs 35: Mathews drives an ovepitched ball from Binny down the ground, but the velocity of the ball off that shot is reduced by Binny’s hand, this stops it from travelling to the boundary, and two runs are taken.  He has left balls well and is playing calmly. Four slips waiting for Ishant, and he bowls accurately outside off, but is left well by Thirimanne. He bowls on his pads, and is flicked for two. A short-of-a-length ball outside off is defended off the back foot, a fuller one is left alone. Ishant now bowls from around the wicket, and a short ball is defended on leg. Thirimanne defends a short-of-a-length ball on off, and the 12th men run on to the field to provide drinks. Batting: Mathews 40 (90), Thirimanne 10 (41)

Live Cricket Score 94/4 | Overs 33: The low bounce surprises the batsman and the wicketkeeper is inconvenienced by the ball bouncing in front of him before he collects it. There is a short ball mixed in this otherwise peaceful over from Binny. Mathews negotiates an easier Ishant over safely. Batting: Mathews 38 (84), Thirimanne 8 (35)

Live Cricket Score 92/4 | Overs 31: Thirimanne flicks Binny to fine leg for a single, and Mathews also collects a single through the leg side. Three slips are hungrily waiting for Yadav, but most of the balls are on middle and leg, the ones on off are easily defended. Batting: Mathews 37 (78), Thirimanne 6 (29)

Live Cricket Score 88/4 | Overs 29: Stuart Binny comes on to bowl, replacing Yadav. He has three slips, cover, mid-off, midwicket, and mid-on. Mathews nonchalantly plays a drive through mid-off (the fielder is a bit wide) for a sweet boundary. Yadav comes on from the other end, Mathews defends and leaves in the over. Batting: Mathews 35 (74), Thirimanne 4 (21)

Live Cricket Score 83/4 | Overs 27: Yadav, bowling on or around off stump, is defended and left alone by Mathews. Ishant bowls a short one to Thirimanne, who gets his bat out of the sharp line; he gets a similar ball which is collected by the wicketkeeper after brushing the arm-guard. Batting: Mathews 31 (64), Thirimanne 3 (19)

Live Cricket Score 83/4 | Overs 25: Mathews is almost run out at the non-strikers’ end! A gentle tap to the side has Thirimanne, from the non-strikers’ end, committing himself to a run. Mathews stutters as he realises the ball has travelled to a fielder nearby, but he has no choice but to complete the run since his partner is committed to it, and by the time the ball passes the stumps, he is way short of the cease. A direct hit was needed. Ishant hits Thirimanne on the hand, and the batsman is tended to by the physio. Batting: Mathews 31 (58), Thirimanne 3 (13)

Live Cricket Score 81/4 | Overs 24: Thirimanne plays and misses, defends, and leaves alone accurate balls going across him from another testing over from Sharma. Mathews defends Yadav for most of the over, but a ball on his legs is flicked promptly to deep square-leg for a boundary. Batting: Mathews 30 (55), Thirimanne 2 (10)

Live Cricket Score 74/4 | Overs 22: Umesh Yadav gets Silva to pull, and the batsman falls to that shot! He spoons an easy catch to Pujara at short midwicket. Silva had pulled this bowler well for some authoritative boundaries yesterday, who would have thought that would spell his downfall on the fifth morning? The ball came on sooner than expected, hit the top half of his bat, and thus, was mistimed. Ishant Sharma, in the over before, appeared to get an edge off Mathews, but it was a no ball, the only downside to an accurate over. Batting: Mathews 25 (48), Thirimanne 0 (5)

OUT! Kaushal Silva c Pujara b Yadav 27 (50)

Live Cricket Score 74/3 | Overs 20: Ashwin completes his unfinished over from yesterday, and gets an edge from Mathews to third man. Silva is jittery off a quicker ball from Ashwin, but he plays Yadav solidly off the front foot. Batting: Silva 27 (49), Mathews 25 (41)

Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin scored half-centuries yesterday, but Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra and Naman Ojha all chipped in with useful contributions to take India’s lead to 386. Ishant Sharma, the not out batsman, contributed to drama when he goaded Dhammika Prasad by hitting his helmet with his hand. He, then, came out to bowl, and undid Dimuth Karunaratne and the counterattacking Dinesh Chandimal with two fast and accurate deliveries to peg Sri Lanka back. READ: India well in control after reducing Sri Lanka to 67/3 at stumps on Day 4 of 3rd Test at Colombo (SSC)

Kaushal Silva, the opener, impressed with his hook shots, and Mathews with his drives. If Sri Lanka’s batsmen are unable to save the Test, India will have their first Test series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years. The first Test was won by the home side by 63 runs, before a 278-run win by India.


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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