Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin polished off Sri Lanka’s tail in the second test to help India equal their biggest victory margin and go 1-0 up in the three-match series in Nagpur on Monday. The hosts bundled out Sri Lanka for 166 shortly after fourth day’s lunch to thump them by an innings and 239 runs, the margin equalling their triumph against Bangladesh in a 2007 test in Dhaka. Ashwin finished with 4-63 in the second innings, overtaking former Australian paceman Dennis Lillee as the fastest to 300 test wickets in the process. Lillee took 56 matches to reach the mark while the 31-year-old Ashwin achieved the feat in his 54th. The tourists lost seven wickets in an extended morning session while India returned after lunch to inflict a morale-sapping defeat on them inside four days. Captain Dinesh Chandimal hit a defiant 61 and added 58 with Suranga Lakmal, who remained unbeaten on 31, to stretch the contest to the second session. Paceman Umesh Yadav ended the partnership after the interval when Chandimal pulled one straight to Ashwin at fine leg. India defeated the islanders by a 9-0 margin across formats earlier this year and after the draw in the rain-affected opening test in Kolkata, things were back to normal for the world’s top-ranked test side.
After resuming on 21-1, Sri Lanka kept India’s bowlers at bay for six overs before Dimuth Karunaratne was out on 18 to a freakish dismissal off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. The left-handed batsman flicked Jadeja to Murali Vijay at short leg who somehow managed to cling to the ball after it hit his body. Lahiru Thirimanne then played an irresponsible shot to a wide delivery from paceman Umesh Yadav to be caught at point for 23 in a further blow to Sri Lanka’s chances of resisting India. Angelo Mathews also did not last long, handing Jadeja his second wicket while wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella was out to paceman Ishant Sharma. Ashwin then got in on the act, dismissing Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera and Rangana Herath cheaply. Ashwin bowled Lahiru Gamage to enter the record books and seal the victory.