Ashwin five-fer sends Sanga off in defeat


India won the second cricket Test match against Sri Lanka, at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo, by 278 runs early on day five, with Ravi Ashwin bagging a five-fer to see Kumar Sangakkara into retirement on the back of a defeat.

Sangakkara made little impact with the bat in the match, recording 32 and 18, and was removed by Ashwin both times, as he was in the first Test. But he leaves the game with an average of 57.40 and 38 Test centuries.

It was a simple enough situation when the day began. Sri Lanka had eight wickets in hand and needed to survive the day, or reach an improbable 413 to win. India needed to eight wickets quickly as rain loomed, and Ashwin led the charge.

Sri Lanka were on 72 for two at the start, with Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne in the middle, both in the mid-20s. But Mathews was unable to add to his score, and was removed by Umesh Yadav for 23.

Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal were the only new batsmen on the day to reach double figures, as Ashwin and Amit Mishra ripped through the line-up, many of the batsmen playing poor shots given the situation.

Rain arrived just before lunch, with nine wickets down, and Sri Lanka would have had a glimmer of hope that rain could give them a draw. But the heavens were not as kind, and the teams came out after lunch and the final wicket fell quickly.

India thus levelled the series, with one game to go, though all eyes were on Sangakkara. He made his way around the ground, shaking hands with both teams, and posing for photos with children.