COLOMBO, Aug 24 (IANS): Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra spun a web around Sri Lanka to skittle them out for 134 runs in the second innings to win the second cricket Test by 278 runs here on Monday.
Sri Lanka were 130/9 at lunch with India needing just a wicket to level the series and the hosts could add only four runs to their total in the post-lunch session. With the win, India level series at three-match 1-1 at the P. Sara Oval ground.
For the visitors, off-spinner Ashwin returned figures of 5-42, while his-teammate leggie Mishra grabbed 3-29 to complete India's resounding victory.
Resuming the day at 72/2, chasing a massive target of 413 runs, Sri Lanka suffered an early set back as Umesh Yadav struck with the very first ball of the final day inducing an edge from Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews (23). Makeshift wicket-keeper Lokesh Rahul, who replaced the injured Wriddhiman Saha, took a brilliant catch diving to his right.
After a brief 19-run partnership between Dinesh Chandimal (15) and overnight batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka were jolted again. Chandimal perished trying to sweep Mishra, as a fine leg-break crashed into his citadel.
With Sri Lanka tottering at 91/4, Indian skipper Virat Kohli applied more pressure with a few men clustered around the bat. Lahiru Thirimanne (11) tried to break the shackles by hitting a six and then tried replicating the shot again against Ravichandran Ashwin but only managed to poke it till silly point.
Middle-order bat Jehan Mubarak (0) and Dhammika Prasad (0) soon followed Thirimanne into the pavilion as the hosts were reduced to 114-7.
After adding just nine more runs to the total, Karunaratne (46) who looked well settled went back to hit an arm-ball from Ashwin but the delivery managed to sneak through his bat and pad and crashed onto his stumps.
The last wicket to fall in the first session was that of Tharindu Kaushal as Mishra trapped him leg before wicket.
After lunch, which had to be taken early due to rain, Dushmantha Chameera (4) could not pick a Mishra googly and was caught in front of the stumps.