Pant blitz, Bumrah magic, Iyer class flatten Sri Lanka

IND vs SL 2nd Test Day Two: Chasing a mammoth target of 447 on a turning track at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Sri Lanka finished at 28/1 on day two.

Rishabh Pant

India's Rishabh Pant raises his bat after scoring a half-century, during the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.   -  PTI

On a day-two pitch with square turn and low bounce, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah picked his first Test five-for at home and Rishabh Pant lasted 45 minutes to strike at an astounding 161.29 and beat Sri Lanka to pulp at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. 

India declared on 303 for nine, setting Sri Lanka a massive target of 447. With 35 minutes to negotiate, the Islanders lost Lahiru Thirimaanne to Bumrah for a duck. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis took Sri Lanka to 28/1 at stumps. 

Swift end

Twenty-seven minutes and 35 balls. That's how long it took India to wipe out the remaining four Sri Lankan wickets in the first session. 

Bumrah snapped up Lasith Embuldeniya, who tried to hook a short ball but only managed to lob it to Rishabh Pant. Bumrah then had Niroshan Dickwella caught behind with another short ball for his first five-for at home. 

Meanwhile, R Ashwin, from the other end, nipped out Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando with carrom balls as the visitor folded for 109.

Sweeping success

In the third innings, India lost opener Mayank Agarwal early but Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari set the tone that the hosts needed on a pitch with puffs of dust and mini explosions.

AS IT HAPPENED: India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Day 2, highlights: Shreyas, Pant hit half-centuries as India tightens noose

Against spin, both batters pulled out the sweep liberally, with Rohit even employing three reverse-sweeps; clearly a part of the plan to be proactive against the turning ball, especially once two men were pushed back on the boundary, square on the leg side. They could now afford to even top-edge one or two. Rohit got a reprieve on 18 when he was dropped by Thirimanne at first slip off Embuldeniya. But he eventually holed out to long-on for a well-crafted 46, ending a 56-run stand with Vihari. 

As Rohit began his walk back to the dressing room, the crowd noise took a hypnotic rhythm, with Kohli taking the centre stage again. He stepped out to Dhananjaya de Silva and launched the ball over the bowler's head for his first four. Vihari continued to impress with his decisive footwork but was bowled on the sweep for 35 by Praveen Jayawickrama (4 for 78). 

Pant goes big

If Kohli's arrival was greeted by 1000 decibels, Rishabh Pant's entrance only added to the burgeoning noise. He showed just why by racing to 20 off 7 with two sixes and a four in just seven balls. There was a lap sweep off Jayawickrama, and a flick down to long leg off Dhananjaya that went through his legs, reiterating the unadulterated joy of watching Pant. 

But just as he and Kohli were turning on the heat, Kohli was lbw for 13 by Jayawickrama, bringing his Test average below 50 (49.95) for the first time in almost five years.

That didn't deter Pant, who smashed the fastest Test fifty by an Indian — overtaking Kapil Dev — getting there off 28 balls with a flourishing drive for four before falling to Jayawickrama trying to clear the rope. 

Iyer comes good

Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer piled more misery on a tired, rudderless attack with a 63-run stand for the sixth wicket. Along the way, Iyer brought up his second fifty of the match off 68 balls. Jadeja and Ashwin made sizeable contributions to prop up the lead before falling. Iyer looked set for a hundred but was second time unlucky as he was eventually out lbw off Embuldeniya for 67. 

Rohit called his men back soon after. Sri Lanka can now only wait for India to put an end to what seems like an interminable tale of misery.

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