Ishant takes quick 5 for 23 as India consolidate lead
Ishant Sharma took 5-23 in a sensational spell of fast bowling to rout the Sri Lankan Board President’s XI batting line-up as Indians bowled them out for a paltry 121 in their first innings on day two of the three- day warm-up cricket match here on Friday.
The visitors then finished the day at 112/3 in 40 overs at stumps, after their top order collapsed once again. The Indians’ overall lead now stands at a healthy 342 runs.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane (109*) retired out on his overnight score and allowed the tail-enders to get some batting practice.
R Ashwin (23) was the other unbeaten batsman, on 10, and he laboured his way to double that score in the company of Harbhajan Singh (15).
He was bowled by Lahiru Gamage (1-65) and then Kasun Rajitha (5-68) returned to remove Amit Mishra for a first-ball duck. He also scalped Ashwin and thus completed his five-wicket haul after finishing with three wickets on Thursday. The Indian innings lasted 9.1 overs in the morning session with 37 runs added to the total.
It was all about Ishant thereafter as he struck quick blows one after another. After an uneventful first over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-17), the Delhi medium-pacer struck with his first ball, trapping Kaushal Silva (0) LBW.
Five balls later, he bowled Dhananjay de Silva (0) with the score reading 1/2. Ishant was then on a hat-trick in the very next over, removing Upul Tharanga (0) for another first-ball duck. New batsman Milinda Siriwardana (32 runs, 48 balls, 6 fours) avoided it and the next couple of overs there were no further losses. But Ishant returned in the 8th over, his fourth and final of this spell, to remove Lahiru Thirimanne (5) and Kusal Perera (0). The former was caught behind at third slip by KL Rahul and the latter was bowled <g data-gr-id="34">first</g> ball, putting Ishant on another hat-trick. He missed this chance as well.
The fiery spell from Ishant read as following: 4-1-5-5.
Afterwards, Umesh Yadav (0-24) and Varun Aaron (2-42) came into the attack but only bowled four overs between them until lunch. R Ashwin (2-8) and Harbhajan Singh (1-7) too bowled an over each before the break as Board President’s XI were placed at 38/5.
I will go hard at Sangakkara, says Ishant Sharma
India’s fast-medium bowler Ishant Sharma has fired off a shot in the direction of Kumar Sangakkara ahead of the three-Test series starting in Galle on August 12, saying he “will go hard” at the retiring Sri Lankan batsman. Ishant took 5-23 against the Board President’s XI in the three-day practice game here on Friday, as the hosts were bowled out for 121 runs in reply to India’s 351. “He is playing for his country and I am playing for my country. We played together only in the IPL and this is <g data-gr-id="67">international</g> match. So I will not think that he is playing his last game, I will go hard at him,” said Ishant after the day’s play.