The Day 5 of 1st Test between India and Sri Lanka saw skipper Virat Kohlisecure his 50th international ton and 18th in Test cricket, giving the visitors a 231-run target to chase. (India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 5)
The day started with Indian batsmen KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease. Both failed to carry the momentum from Day 4 forward, as Sri Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal rattled India once again with a triple blow.
Kohli, who came in at No. 4, had little idea that the day would mark a monumental achievement in his career. Despite little help from the other end, the 29-year-old kept hold of his nerves and guided the hosts to 352/8 before declaring right when he completed his century.
In the list of most Test hundreds, the Delhi-lad now sits sixth, with Mohammad Azharuddin (22), Virender Sehwag (23), Sunil Gavaskar (34), Rahul Dravid (36), and eventually Sachin Tendulkar (51) ahead of him. Today’s feat also brought Kohli equal to Gavaskar in terms of most centuries as skipper with 11.
Earlier, Lakmal had cleaned up Rahul, who added six runs to his overnight total, to bring his exquisite 79-run innings to an end before dismissing Pujara (22) and Rahane (0) in space of five deliveries to deflate India.
The Sri Lankan pace spearhead, who had brilliant figures of 4/26 in the first innings, upped the ante and started to bowl with more pace and bounce to put India on the back foot again.
Mohammed Shami was the only batsman to enter double figures, while Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, all ended their innings in single digits.
Batting on 98, Kohli wasn’t interested in waiting for a couple of more deliveries and hence went for a big one. The ball sailed over the ropes and the Indian skipper punched the air in celebration.Sri Lanka, chasing a target of 231 runs, lost 5 wickets for 69 after 21 overs. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami scalping two while Umesh Yadav getting the lone wicket.