Dhananjaya de Silva’s third Test century kept alive Sri Lanka’s hopes of salvaging a draw as the islanders reached 226/5 at tea on the final day of the third Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Wednesday.
De Silva (119), however walked off the field, immediately after reaching the milestone after suffering a glute muscle injury, leaving debutant Roshen Silva (38) and Niroshan Dickwella (11) at the crease when tea was called.
Resuming the second session at 119/4, de Silva started fluently striking three boundaries as the fifth wicket stand with skipper Dinesh Chandimal (36) flourished to three figures.
Just as the proceedings started going Sri Lanka’s way, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck with the crucial scalp of Chandimal, whose ploy to whip a tossed up delivery through mid-wicket only resulted in the ball sneaking through the gap between bat and pad to hit the stumps.
Chandimal’s patient knock came off 90 balls and included only two hits to the fence.
The fall of Chandimal’s wicket brought in the young Roshen Silva, who made up for his flop show in the first innings, with a mature knock to add 58 runs for the sixth wicket with de Silva.
Meanwhile, de Silva, who became the ninth Sri Lankan to score a hundred in the fourth innings of a Test, was seen struggling and subsequently left the field just at the stroke of tea.
Earlier, Sri Lanka lost the scalp of overnight batsman Angelo Mathews (1) in the morning session before Chandimal and de Silva took over to deny the hosts any more inroads.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 119/4 (Dhananjaya de Silva 119 retd, Roshen Silva 38 not out, Dinesh Chandimal 36; Ravindra Jadeja 3/59) against India 563/7 decl & 246/5 decl.