Dhananjaya keeps Sri Lanka afloat

2017-12-06 08:50
Dinesh Chandimal (Gallo)

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 Test. 

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 first innings. 

Dhananjaya and Chandimal then put on an unbeaten 84-run stand to frustrate the Indian attack after the visitors resumed the day on 31-3. 

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.

Read more on:    india  |  sri lanka  |  dinesh chandimal  |  cricket

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