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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

India on top as Ashwin destroys Sri Lanka despite 'no demons' in Nagpur wicket

But hosts are 11-1 at close after opener Rahul falls for 7, bowled by paceman Gamage

Ravichandran Ashwin, second from right, was the pick of India's bowlers on Friday. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo
Ravichandran Ashwin, second from right, was the pick of India's bowlers on Friday. Rajanish Kakade / AP Photo

Ravichandra Ashwin and Ishant Sharma formed a fearsome partnership for India to skittle out Sri Lanka for 205 on the opening day of the second Test.

But the hosts were 11-1 at the close after opener Lokesh Rahul fell for 7, bowled by Sri Lankan paceman Lahiru Gamage.

Murali Vijay, on 2, and Cheteshwar Pujara, on 2, were batting at the close of play in Nagpur with India trailing by 194 runs in the first innings.

The day belonged to the bowlers with Ashwin taking four wickets and fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant picking three each. The tourists lost six wickets in the final session.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal top-scored with 57 while opener Dimuth Karunaratne made 51 on a green pitch that helped India's fast bowlers.

Ishant, who got Karunaratne after lunch, made the most of the favourable conditions to claim his three wickets for just 37 runs.

The spinners then took centre stage. Ashwin trapped Chandimal lbw to make the visitors slip further.

"I think me and Ashwin were trying to bowl in good areas. Trying to restrict them by not giving easy boundaries," said Jadeja, who took 3-56. "We were just providing a supporting role to the fast bowlers who bowled well in the first session."

Chandimal, who hit a six in his 122-ball knock, was given not out by the on-field umpire but captain Virat Kohli called for a review which went in India's favour.

Chandimal and Karunaratne put on a crucial 62-run stand for the fourth wicket before the Indian bowlers struck back.

Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella also tried to resist before falling to Jadeja's left-arm spin.

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"Ashwin is an intelligent bowler with some subtle variations. He is going to be a handful on any wicket he is going to play," Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said.

"I think India bowled very well. I don't think that there were many free balls going around that we missed out on," Pothas said.

"Certainly a disappointing day, there are no demons in the wicket and we probably haven't batted as we should have. This wicket has done nothing.

"Ashwin and Jadeja bowled straight balls and at this stage you can't be getting out on straight balls," he said.

The two teams are fighting to get ahead in the three-Test series after the opening game ended in a draw at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.