India wrap up series despite Mathews ton


India overcame some dogged resistance by Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera but managed to pick up the seven wickets they needed to wrap up the third Test, and the series, against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.

Resuming the day on 67 for three on the morning of day five, the home team were never going to go for the target of 386 runs. They would just try to hang in and salvage a draw but were 270 all out in the final session of the match.

They were rocked early though when opener Kaushal Silva, who had 24 overnight, only added three to his score before he was out to pace bowler Umesh Yadav for 27.

Lahiru Thirimanne, who has been in terrible batting form in the series, only contributed a nervous 12 runs before he prodded at a ball from spinner Ravi Ashwin to be caught at silly point.

At 107 for five before lunch it looked as if we might have an early finish. However Perera joined Mathews in the middle and they batted with caution, and the odd aggression, to put on 135 for the sixth wicket, but more importantly batted until just before tea to make the visitors a bit twitchy.

A nuggety wicketkeeper who was on his Test debut, the left-handed Perera completed his second half-century of the match but will be disappointed about the manner of his dismissal that ultimately led to India wrapping up the Test.

After reaching 70, and looking in complete control, Perera reverse-swept Ashwin straight to backward point. He looked visibly dejected as he left the field to leave Sri Lanka on 242 for six.

Mathews reached his seventh Test century but was cleaned up after tea when Ishant Sharma trapped him plumb in front for a well-played 110. It was Ishant's 200th Test wicket, eight years after making his debut in the whites for India.

The tail fell quickly thereafter as India won by 117 runs to end a four-year wait for an away Test series victory in what was a memorable three-Test series.

The hosts won the first match in Galle before the visitors fought back to win convincingly at the P.Sara Oval. The first two matches was also the last  we saw of Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara on the international stage.