New Delhi - Dhananjaya de Silva hit a gritty half-century to keep Sri
Lanka's hopes alive of saving the pollution-hit third Test against India on the
fifth and final day in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka were 119 for four at lunch after being set an
imposing 410-run target victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground that has been
enveloped in a thick blanket of smog for almost the entire duration of the
Dhananjaya was batting on 72 with skipper Dinesh Chandimal
on 27 in their bid to survive two more sessions and draw the final Test of the
series which India lead 1-0.
The Test has been marred by severe pollution in the Indian
capital, with fast bowlers from both teams vomiting on the ground Tuesday.
The US embassy website on Wednesday showed concentrations of
the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants hit 234, better than a day
earlier but still nearly nine times the World Health Organization's safe limit.
Ravindra Jadeja struck twice late on Tuesday to rattle the
Sri Lankan chase.
The left-arm spinner was back in business Wednesday, sending
back overnight batsman Angelo Mathews for one. Mathews had scored 111 in the
Dhananjaya and Chandimal then put on an unbeaten 84-run
stand to frustrate the Indian attack after the visitors resumed the day on
Chandimal, who made 164 in the first innings, survived on 24
after Jadeja had him bowled but television replays ruled it a no ball.
Doctors had criticised the decision to proceed with the Test
amid smog so heavily players were physically ill, and Sri Lanka's fielders wore
pollution masks in unprecedented scenes.
The island's sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara expressed
concern but said the responsibility for player health and safety fell to
India's powerful cricket board.
"This is an air pollution problem. Our cricket board
must take up issue with the Indian board given the good relations the two
boards enjoy," Jayasekera told reporters in Colombo Wednesday.
"If any of the players fall ill, it will be the
responsibility of the Indian board as the hosts.
"Similarly if there are health issues when Indians
tour, Sri Lanka must take responsibility as hosts," he added.