Wrap-up: Dinesh Chandimal is visibly relieved, says it was ‘special’ to win the toss. Credits his team for playing some excellent cricket and rightly so. Says Lakmal was extraordinary and the pressure got to them in the final session. Virat Kohli is beaming, proud of the character his team has shown on the final couple of days after being on the backfoot. Says he decided to have some fun after Saha’s wicket, talking about the positive intent that he wanted to show.
And finally, man-of-the-match is, of course, Bhuvneshwar Kumar for excellent figures of 4/88 and 4/8.
That’s it from us from an enjoyable Monday afternoon of Test cricket, join us for the next Test from Nagpur.
16:45 hrs: Some post-match reaction after a riveting final day...
And that’s it, bad light stops play again: No real complaints from anyone, Virat Kohli accepts the umpires’ decision with a smile, Herath is glad it’s over. Hi-fives all around for Indian players, relief for Sri Lanka. What a fascinating day’s play. Test cricket, you beauty.
OUT! And one more gone, Bhuvneshwar with an absolute peach: The ball pitches on off stump, good length and the ball swerves away – hitting the top of off stump. Surely not? The light is fading fast, and India need three more.
Dickwella is gone and Sri Lanka almost lose 2 in 2 balls: Dickwella’s entertaining stay in the middle comes to an end! Bhuvi strikes – DRS can’t save him. 6 down, 4 to go. And goodness, Sri Lanka almost lose two in two balls. Perera is given out, but DRS saves him this time. Nigel Llong is having an interesting passage of play, with two decisions reversed in two balls. Sri Lanka 75/6
And more drama: Sri Lanka remain on 69/5 but just about. India think they have Dickwella’s wicket, caught behind. Soft signal is out from the onfield umpires, but 3rd umpire says it didn’t carry. Dickwella survives, with about 30 minutes left. Saha a bit miffed with that call. Was there enough evidence to overturn the on-field call, we wonder.
OUT! Beauty from Shami. Is there a twist in the tale yet? Mohammad Shami bowls an absolute corker – full, fast, swinging (reverse, definitely) and it completely bamboozles Chandimal. The middle stump is rattled.
Plenty of drama at Eden Gardens: With a draw seeming likely, some drama at the Eden Gardens. Dickwella is getting under Shami’s skin with delaying tactics. And then Dickwella does it again, this time the umpires get Kohli and Chandimal and Dickwella together to calm things down. After 20 overs SL: 69/4, about 30 minutes of action left.
Drinks, perhaps for the last time in this match: So Chandimal and Dickwella have steadied the ship for Sri Lanka. The light is already deteriorating and we will have maybe 12-15 overs, given the pretty poor over rates through out this match. Even Sri Lanka can’t collapse from here.
Sri Lanka 51/4: Dickwella has come out swinging at Eden Gardens. Two sixes of Shami’s over. First a pull shot over fine leg (he closed his eyes there) and the next one is epic. Goes way past his off stump and smacks it over fine leg. And before you think ‘what on earth is he thinking’, he saw three fielders behind square leg – which is not allowed – so hits a six and immediately points to an umpire that it should be a no-ball.
15 from that Shami over, 10 from the next by Yadav as Sri Lanka release the pressure.
OUT, Mathews is gone too! Oh dear, Sri Lanka – what are you doing? This one comes back as a bit of a surprise. Yadav fires one in on good length. Mathews misses it, but you can see the two stumps when it hits the pad. Kohli decides to review and it’s a smart call. Hawk-eye doesn’t agree with the umpire and it’s a big breakthrough for India. After 12 overs, SL: 22/4
OUT, Thirimanne’s gone as Bhuvneshwar strikes again: After a six-run over by Umesh Yadav to begin proceedings, Bhuvi is at it again. Around the wicket to Thirimanne, it hits a good length and moves away ever so slightly. The Lankan is pushing hard at it and it carries at a good height to Rahane at gully. Indians are excited. Sri Lanka tottering at 16/3.
At tea, Sri Lanka 8/2 after 7 overs: The bails come off for tea on the final day at Eden Gardens and Sri Lanka have avoided further damage after losing their openers cheaply. Shami and Bhuvi have not done anything extraordinary so far but looks like the nerves have played a role in the Sri Lankan dressing room. The India captain is egging the crowd on every chance he gets.
Another wicket, Sri Lanka 2/2: Well, well, well. What have we got here? That’s the second Sri Lankan opener who falls playing a nothing shot. Shami around the stump, keeps it short of good length to Karunaratne and he plays it on to his stumps. 4 overs down, 2 wickets gone.
India strike early, Sadeera is gone: A wicket in the first over for India and it’s Bhuvneshwar’s 50th in Tests. A nothing shot by the batsman, cutting at a wide ball and playing on to the stumps. Surely, with a maximum (realistic) of 35 overs possible, Sri Lanka can’t lose this? Surely?
Some reaction to Virat’s 100:
BOOM! Virat Kohli brings up his 50th international century with a six over extra-cover: What an innings this has been. A patient first 50, a belligerent second 50 as Kohli brings up a whole host of records with his 18th Test century.
India declare with 231 as the target for Sri Lanka, potentially 30-35 overs left in the day.
Bhuvi falls, Kohli is now in T20 mode: A clear message been passed by Shastri to his captain during that drinks break. Bhuvi comes out swinging, gets out after throwing his bat at a short ball, top-edging Gamage. But Kohli keeps going, hitting a breathtaking inside out cover drive for six off Lakmal to move into the 90s. India 333/8 after 87, Kohli is on 95.
Kohli has shifted gears at the Eden Gardens: Now there is clear intent from the India captain to put enough daylight between Sri Lanka and a potential win. He’s driving with purpose, flicking with intent – the best shot has to be a down-the-track flicked-on drive that raced to the boundary. 33 runs from his last 28 balls. Bhuvi chimes in with a boundary as well.
India 321/7 after 85 overs, lead by 199 runs. Drinks.
OUT, Kohli’s gone... or is he? He survives! A big moment in the game, Lakmal gets him trapped at the crease again just like the first innings. But he goes up for the review straight away with a confident smile. And he’s got the thinnest of inside edges! Loud cheers from Kohli. And a wide smile on Kohli’s face too. He then follows that up with a gorgeous straight drive for four. What an eventful over. India get to 300, 301/7 after 83 overs.
OUT, Saha departs: Well, well. Another one bites the dust. It’s a soft dismissal now as Wriddhiman Saha tamely finds the fielder at short cover, with an uppish cover drive. It was very close to a no-ball by Shanaka, but after multiple replays, it looks like he just landed on the line. Is Virat Kohli going to be stranded at the other end? Do India have enough to save the match? Fascinating phase of play ahead as Sri Lanka take the 2nd new ball.
India: 281/7 after 80 overs, lead by 159.
OUT, Ashwin is gone: Hang on, then. This Test could still have a pretty exciting finish. R Ashwin undone by a good length delivery that seamed back sharply – hitting a crack, seemingly. Shanaka is delighted as Ashwin plays an exapansive drive, misses it completely, bowled through the gate. India are now 269/6, ahead by 147 runs.
Fifty for Virat Kohli: The Indian captain rights a statistical anomaly. He had never scored a Test 50 at Eden Gardens before today, gets to the landmark with a leg glance for four. Muted celebrations. INDIA: 268/5, lead by 146 runs
Ind 256-5 after 70 overs (Kohli 41, Ashwin 5)
And we are back after lunch. Is there a final twist in the tale? India need to bat out this session to feel relatively safe.
Ind 251-5 after 69 overs (Kohli 41, Ashwin 0)
Lunch time. Sri Lanka will be very happy with the first session – if they have managed to get Virat Kohli early too, they would have had a pretty good chance to winning the match. But as things stand, despite Lakmal’s brilliant spell, the Indian skipper is still there and fighting it out.
India lead by 129 runs with 5 wickets remaining.
Ind 249-5 after 65.5 overs (Kohli 34)
WICKET! Once again, Jadeja has given it away. To his credit, he did hang around but still when he is being sent to bat this high up, he needs to do better. The ball bounced on him, took the keeper’s gloves and almost looped to first slip. After a good start, India’s batsmen have disappointed today.
Jadeja c Thirimanne b Perera 9 (41b, 1x4)
Ind 240-4 after 63 overs (Kohli 34, Jadeja 5)
India lead by 118 runs. Kohli is looking good and with Lakmal out of the attack, things just don’t seem as dangerous. Pretty easy going. In South Africa, India won’t have option of taking it easy as they have quality bowlers all around.
Ind 226-4 after 58 overs (Kohli 21, Jadeja 4)
India lead by 104 runs. Kohli needs to get this right – the lead isn’t big enough for India to take it easy. A few quick wickets could see Sri Lanka with a very good chance of winning this match.
Ind 213-4 after 53 overs (Kohli 12)
WICKET! Another wicket for Lakmal. This is turning out to be an outstanding spell. Three short balls and then one pitched up. Rahan was set up beautifully. India went for the review but the umpire got it right. India are just 91 runs ahead.
A Rahane lbw b Lakmal 0 (4b)
Ind 212-3 after 52.1 overs (Kohli 12)
WICKET! That climbed on Pujara from a length and surprised him. He was coming forward to play it but then had to move on to the back foot in a rush. It hit the shoulder of the bat and looped to point where Dilruwan dived forward to take it cleanly. What a ball by Lakmal!
Pujara c Perera b Lakmal 22 (51b, 3x4)
Ind 200-2 after 48 overs (Pujara 16, Kohli 8)
Lakmal still getting the odd ball to beat the bat but the other Sri Lankan pacers have been pretty ordinary. If they have matched up to Lakmal, this might have a very interesting 5th day.
Meanwhile, the unique case of KL Rahul: First 19 Test innings: 4 100s, 1 50 Next 13 Test innings: 0 100s, 9 50s
Ind 192-2 after 44.2 overs (Pujara 16)
WICKET! And that’s it for Rahul. Small gap between bat and pad, loose shot and he has been bowled. He made 79 and this is a missed opportunity and one that Rahul was visibly cursing himself for as he walked off. Lakaml shows once again why he is the pick of the Sri Lankan pacers.
KL Rahul b Lakmal 79 (125b, 8x4)
Ind 174-1 after 40 overs (Rahul 75, Pujara 3)
And we are off. India’s lead is up to 50 runs now. A long practice session for India if they keep their wickets.
The batting conditions at the Eden Gardens are now great and that showed in the way Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul went about their batting. India scored 171-1 in just 39.3 overs at a run-rate of 4.32. The hosts are now 49 runs ahead with 9 wickets in hand and the only possibility of a result now depends on a miraculous (of sorts) bowling performance by Sri Lanka on the 5th day morning or an inexplicable batting collapse by India.
In the event that now of the above two scenarios play out, the match that promised so little with peter out to a dull draw.
Talking points from day four
Indian fast bowlers shared all 10 wickets between them for the first time in a home Test since 1983 but that was not before Rangana Herath, the wily old Lankan legend, made up for his lack of contribution with the ball by scoring a gritty 67.
Read Vinayakk Mohanarangan’s piece for more on how the fourth day played out.
(All screenshots courtesy Hotstar)