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3rd Test: Dhananjaya stars with hundred as Sri Lanka earn draw against India

By Unnikrishnan
Dhananjaya de Silva frustrated India with a hundred

New Delhi, December 6: Here's the script. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja runs through the Sri Lankan line-up on a fifth day pitch. India notches up another dominant win over their neighbours.

But the Sri Lankan batsmen made a few changes to that script.

They were expected to cave in after losing three wickets for 31 runs in the final passage alone on the fourth day.

India vs Sri Lanka 2017 3rd Test Score, Commentary

But on the entire fifth day, they lost only two wickets. When players from both sides shook hands some minutes into the final hour, Sri Lankan total stood at 299 for five while chasing 410. The result: a draw that would go long way in boosting the confidence of this young Lankan side. India won the Test series 1-0, courtesy a win in the second Test at Nagpur.

The best part of Sri Lankan innings was that they did not got bogged down by the reputation of Indian bowlers and the thoughts of hidden demons in the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch.

They did not got entrapped into that block-all-the-balls mentality a la South Africa in 2015 in this very same venue.

The most shining specimen of that thinking was Dhananjaya de Silva, who made a chancy but a hundred full of brilliance. He made 119 off 219 balls with 11 fours and a six.

He was forced to walk off the field due to a niggle but before that Dhananjaya showed the world that he can have a long career for Sri Lanka.

However, he was not alone in the task as skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who was saved by a no ball when Jadeja breached his defence, and Dhananjaya added 112 runs for the fifth wicket. Earlier, Jadeja had castled Angelo Mathews for 1 off a no-ball that umpire Joel Wilson failed to spot.

The departure of Chandimal at a team score of 147 might have opened a creek for India but Dhananjaya and Roshan Silva (74 n.o., 154b, 11x4) milked another 58 runs to blunt India's charge.

After Dhananjaya retired hurt, Roshan, who made a duck in the first innings, and Niroshan Dickwella (44 n.o.) realised 94 runs for the sixth wicket to take Lanka to safety.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 16:55 [IST]
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