India thump Sri Lanka for 100th Test win
A dominant India took one-and-half sessions to complete the formalities and spank Sri Lanka by an innings and 144 runs in the second cricket Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in Kanpur on Friday.
This turned out to be India's 100th Test victory in their 432nd outing.
The visitors began 57 for four and did their best to delay the inevitable before the Indians polished off the remnants of the Lankan resistance to complete a facile win with more than four sessions to spare.
Sri Lankans, who managed 229 in the first innings, did slightly better in their second essay, folding for 269.
India thus became the sixth nation to win 100 Test matches, following Australia (332), England (310), West Indies (152), South Africa (120) and Pakistan (102).
This was also India's biggest victory margin against the Lankans, in terms of innings.
The previous mark was their thrashing of the islanders by an innings and 119 runs in the 1994 Lucknow Test.
Image: India's captain MS Dhoni walks off field after they won their second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kanpur
The islanders' capitulation was just a matter of time
With six wickets separating the Lankans from a defeat and two full days at India's disposal, the islanders' capitulation was just a matter of time and the four wickets they lost in the morning session only hastened their end.
Thilan Samaraweera (78 not out) and Ajantha Mendis (27) did resist the Indians for nearly 20 overs with a gritty 73-run stand but it was too little and merely a footnote in the context of the match.
Both the teams now move to Mumbai for the third and final Test starting December 2.
Prasanna Jayawardene (29) and Samaraweera batted positively, scoring at a brisk rate while not doing anything silly.
Later, for the last wicket Samaraweera and Mendis, who hit a career-best 27 refused to throw in the towel and dug their heels to frustrate the Indian players for about 20 overs.
The fact that the intensity of the Indians sagged after three days of dominance also helped their cause.
Mendis survived 74 balls before the 75th, sent down by Yuvraj Singh, trapped him in front of wicket to snap the 73-run stand.
Image: India's Sachin Tendulkar shakes hands with captain MS Dhoni after they won second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kanpur
Harbhajan takes three wickets
Earlier, Prasanna Jayawardene drove Zaheer, pulled Sreesanth and swept Pragyan Ojha with elan but looked ill at ease against Harbhajan Singh.
Two streaky boundaries off Harbhajan exposed his discomfiture against the offie and the spinner finally pushed one through the gate to rearrange the timbers to snap the sixth wicket stand that yielded 61 runs for the beleaguered islanders.
Rangana Herath (13) hit Harbhajan for back-to-back boundaries before the offie trapped him plumb in front.
Muttiah Muralitharan played a typical entertaining 11-ball knock of 29.
The first three balls he faced, from Harbhajan, were hit for 6,4,4.
The first one cleared long on ropes and the next two went over mid-wicket.
Image: India's Harbhajan Singh celebrates taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's captain Sangakkara in Kanpur
Ojha took two wickets
Muralitharan then went after Pragyan Ojha, hitting him over long on for his second six but completely missed the line as the next delivery pegged back the stumps.
Ojha eventually caught Chanaka Welegedara (4) off his own bowling to complete India's win.
Image: India's players celebrate after they won their second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Kanpur
Zaheer accounted for Matthews
Sri Lanka's distant hopes of stretching the match into its final day were in tatters in the morning session itself when they lost four wickets to expose their lower half.
Realising the futility of grafting, overnight batsmen Angelo Mathews (15) decided to counter-attack and chose out-of-rhythm Zaheer Khan for the treatment.
Zaheer's overpitched first ball of the day was driven down the ground, his second -- a no ball -- was pulled to the fence with ferocity and his third -- again a no ball -- scorched the cover area grass before crossing the rope.
Two balls later, Zaheer had the score settled.
The left-arm seamer banged it short and Mathews' pull was a little premature.
Rahul Dravid rushed from gully to pouch the top edge.
Image: India's Zaheer Khan celebrates taking wicket of Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews in Kanpur