India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday roared back to form with a dominant hundred against Sri Lanka in the ongoing first of the three-match Test series at Galle. "Since my childhood days when I dreamt of playing for India I had one goal and that is to take Indian cricket to greater heights", Ashwin said at the end of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Karunaratne hit a marathon 97 off 208 balls inclusive of nine boundaries but failed to make an impact on the Indians who were dominant.
Earlier, India decided against enforcing the follow-on even after taking a mammoth 309-run first innings lead.
A vastly superior India today outclassed an injury-ravaged and out-of-sorts Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the opening Test to bury the ghosts of a humiliating loss at the same venue, exactly two years ago.
India started the day with a healthy 498-run advantage and quickly set about adding to it as Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (23no) took their fourth-wicket stand past 50.
The pair added 101 for the fifth wicket before Dickwella was caught by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha to become Ashwin's first victim of the innings.
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From there on, Tharanga and Angelo Mathews tried to stitch in another partnership and made efforts to bring their team back into the match before the left-handed batsman threw his wicket and was run-out after scoring 64.
Pandya, who got dropped early in his innings, used the opportunity and scored a blistering half-century of just 49 balls. He also said that Gunaratne is ruled out for eight weeks while expecting regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal to play in the second Test at Colombo.
Where India made 840 runs at a run rate better than 4.5 an over across the match, losing only 13 wickets in the process, Sri Lanka mustered just 536.
What was most impressive about the right-arm pacer's wickets was that he managed to dismiss four out of India's top five batsmen. And to his credit, Kohli didn't waste any time as he reached his hundred off 133 balls in the sixth over of the morning.
Kohli also lauded Hardik Pandya for his performance saying his presence in the side gives India a "balance", when the team plays Tests away from home. "As I mentioned we always look for things that we can still improve on, but very happy with the first game".
For the visitors, Shami scalped two wickets, while Umesh Yadav and Ashwin chipped in with a wicket each. Kohli expressed pleasure that his team had become adept at the art of winning Test matches on flat tracks.
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