India clock biggest ever overseas win
A vastly superior India on Saturday outclassed an injury-ravaged and out-of-sorts Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening Test to bury the ghosts of a humilating loss at the same venue, exactly two years ago. India now lead the three-match series 1-0. This was India's biggest overseas win (in terms of runs) surpassing 279 run-victory against England at Leeds in 1986. For Sri Lanka, it was their biggest defeat (in terms of runs), surpassing their 301-run loss against Pakistan in 1994.
A gigantic victory target of 550 was out of question for the hosts but they fizzled out in the final session of the fourth day to finish on 245 in 76.5 overs — their innings terminated with injured skipper Rangana Herath and Asela Gunaratne ruled out. This was after India captain Virat Kohli struck his 17th Test hundred with India declaring their second innings at 240 for three. The Sri Lankans, especially their opener Dimuth Karunaratne (97) batted gutsily for the first two sessions reaching 192 for 4 at tea. However Ravichandran Ashwin (3/65 in 27 overs) ran through the middle-order. Once Karunaratne was dismissed trying to play paddle sweep, it was all over for the islanders.
After the tea break, India made short work of proceedings. The breakthrough was achieved in the fifth over after the break. Niroshan Dickwella (67) top-edged off Ashwin with Wriddhiman Saha collecting an easy catch.