Ruthless India complete 3-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka
PALLEKELE: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and paceman Mohammed Shami combined to help India crush Sri Lanka inside three days by an innings and 171 runs in the third and final test to complete a 3-0 series sweep today. The beleaguered hosts were all out for 181 in their second innings shortly after the scheduled tea break after being made to follow on. They were all out for 135 in their first innings yesterday, replying to India's 487. Ashwin picked up four for 68 in the second innings while Shami finished with three for 32 in an inspired bowling performance by the world's top-ranked test side, who triumphed in Galle and Colombo inside four days in the completely one-sided series. Sri Lanka's best partnership of 65 came between captain Dinesh Chandimal, who made 36, and former skipper Angelo Mathews (35) while wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella scored a fluent 41. Sri Lanka's hopes of avoiding an innings loss rested on a solid start but Ashwin dampened their hopes when he struck in his first over of the day. The off-spinner sent back opener Dimuth Karunaratne for 16 after Sri Lanka had resumed on 19-1. The left-hander was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at slip after getting a thick edge to a turning delivery. Nightwatchman Malinda Pushpakumara was soon caught behind off Shami and the right-arm paceman also dismissed Kusal Mendis for 12 to reduce the hosts to 39-4. Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav broke the stand between Chandimal and Mathews when he dismissed the former through a bat-pad catch at short leg. Mathews was out leg before to Ashwin and from there, India's win was just a matter of time.