Colombo: Ishant Sharma took 5-23 in a sensational spell of fast bowling to rout the Sri Lankan Board President's XI batting line-up as Indians bowled them out for a paltry 121 in their first innings on day two of the three- day warm-up cricket match here today.
The visitors then finished the day at 112/3 in 40 overs at stumps, after their top order collapsed once again. The Indians' overall lead now stands at a healthy 342 runs.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane (109*) retired out on his overnight score and allowed the tail-enders to get some batting practice. R Ashwin (23) was the other unbeaten batsman, on 10, and he laboured his way to double that score in the company of Harbhajan Singh (15).
He was bowled by Lahiru Gamage (1-65) and then Kasun Rajitha (5-68) returned to remove Amit Mishra for a first-ball duck. He also scalped Ashwin and thus completed his five-wicket haul after finishing with three wickets yesterday.
The Indian innings lasted 9.1 overs in the morning session with 37 runs added to the total.
It was all about Ishant thereafter as he struck quick blows one after another. After an uneventful first over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-17), the Delhi medium-pacer struck with his first ball, trapping Kaushal Silva (0) LBW. Five balls later, he bowled Dhananjay de Silva (0) with the score reading 1/2.
Ishant was then on a hat-trick in the very next over, removing Upul Tharanga (0) for another first-ball duck. New batsman Milinda Siriwardana (32 runs, 48 balls, 6 fours) avoided it and the next couple of overs there were no further losses.
But Ishant returned in the 8th over, his fourth and final of this spell, to remove Lahiru Thirimanne (5) and Kusal Perera (0). The former was caught behind at third slip by KL Rahul and the latter was bowled first ball, putting Ishant on another hat-trick. He missed this chance as well.
The fiery spell from Ishant read as following: 4-1-5-5.
Afterwards, Umesh Yadav (0-24) and Varun Aaron (2-42) came into the attack but only bowled four overs between them until lunch. R Ashwin (2-8) and Harbhajan Singh (1-7) too bowled an over each before the break as Board President's XI were placed at 38/5.
In the second session, India cleaned up the remaining batting line-up quickly. Aaron struck two quick blows removing Shehan Jayasuriya (7) immediately after the break. The 50-mark came up in the 18th over as also the next wicket as Aaron had Siriwardana was caught behind off Aaron again.
There was a break in the flurry of wickets afterwards with Niroshan Dickwella (41 runs, 53 balls) and Danushka Gunathilaka (28 runs, 33 balls, 2 fours) put on 63 runs for the eighth wicket.
Ashwin and Harbhajan were bowling in tandem by then, and they struck the end blows, picking up three quick wickets at the stroke of tea. Gunathilaka was the first to go, caught by Yadav as he tried to go big, and then Nisala Tharaka (2) was trapped LBW by Harbhajan. The innings came to an end in the 31st over when Ashwin bowled Dickwell, and an early tea break was taken.
Thereafter, skipper Virat Kohli (18 runs, 34 balls) and Rohit Sharma (8) opened the innings to get in some batting time in the middle after their cheap dismissals in the first innings. Rohit was dropped at leg slip immediately, on one.
But he didn't make good on this lifeline given to him as he was trapped LBW by Vishwa Fernando in the 7th over.
At the other end, Kohli too survived a huge LBW shout on two. But Wriddhiman Saha (1), coming in at number three, wasn't so lucky as Fernando accounted for him as well, again LBW.
The skipper looked to rotate strike but the shots weren't flowing freely as yet. He struck one four and then tried to open up once more, but only managed to give a catch at mid-off. He was dismissed in the 11th over off Kasun Rajitha (1-16), with the score reading 28/3.
KL Rahul (47*, 94 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) and Cheteshwar Pujara (31*, 90 balls, 1 four, 1 six) batted solidly thereafter, and avoided any further loss. Both were watchful at the crease, especially Pujara who took a long time getting off the mark. At the end, they had added 84 runs for the fourth wicket.