Inspired efforts of skipper Virat Kohli and pacer Bhuwaneswar Kumar brought life into a game that was headed to a dull draw. Virat Kohli posted his 18th Test century and then declared India’s innings closed Monday, setting Sri Lanka a target of 231 runs for victory from 47 overs in a late push for a result in the rain-affected series-opener. Kohli scored an unbeaten 104 from 119 balls, including 12 boundaries and a pair of sixes, before declaring at 352-8. Sri Lanka lost openers Sadeera Samarawickrama (0) and Dimuth Karunaratne (1) within the first four overs and was 8-2 at the last interval, with Angelo Mathews on 5 not out and Lahiru Thirimanne unbeaten on 2. India resumed on day 5 at 171-1 aiming to score quickly to set up the match, but Suranga Lakmal (3-93) slowed the progress with three wickets in his morning spell. Lokesh Rahul (79) added only six runs to his overnight score before he was bowled by Lakmal in the fifth over. At the other end, Cheteshwar Pujara (22) became the third Indian player after ML Jaisimha and Ravi Shastri to bat on all five days of a Test.
Facing 231 to get in 2 sessions was never going to a be walk in a park for the visitors on a 5th day wicket and Bhuwaneshwar and Shami made sure the hosts got off to the best possible start by removing both the openers for 2 runs before tea. Bhuwaneshwar who alongwith Kohli and Dhawan are the only three players to consistently play all 3 formats for India came back for a fresh spell after tea to torment the visitors. At the end of the match his figures read 11-8-8-4. Such was the pace domination by the Indian fast bowlers in this match that the for the first time in a match in India spinners did not pick up a single wicket.