New Delhi: Ravindra Jadeja endured mixed luck with no-balls as young Dhananjaya De Silva’s gutsy half- century enabled Sri Lanka to stay afloat by reaching 119 for 4 at lunch on the fifth day of the final cricket Test against India here.
Jadeja bowled two no-balls — one of which accounted for Angelo Mathews (1) — with umpires missing it altogether. The the second was a brilliant delivery to clean up Dinesh Chandimal but the umpires were more cautious and promptly called him for overstepping.
Sri Lanka now need another 291 runs to reach the target of 410 while India will require six wickets from here on.
De Silva, unbeaten on 72, added 84 runs for the fifth wicket with skipper Chandimal (27), on a day when Feroz Shah Kotla was bathed in bright sunshine, cutting through the haze that had forced visiting players to don anti-pollution masks till yesterday.
De Silva has so far faced 128 balls hitting nine boundaries and a six off Ravichandran Ashwin.
First innings centurion Mathews was dismissed, when he edged one off Jadeja (3/25 in 16 overs) to the slip. But the left-arm spinner was lucky as he was not called for no-ball even as replays showed that no part of his foot was behind the popping crease.
However, Jadeja was not so lucky when he bowled a classic left-armer’s delivery that had Chandimal beaten all ends up.
This time umpire Joel Wilson checked for the no-ball and the Sri Lanka captain got a reprieve.
The morning session was a battle of attrition for the Sri Lankans with De Silva showing positive intent going for his strokes.
The shot with which he brought up his third Test fifty was a copybook lofted stroke. As Ashwin flighted one, he was quick to reach to the pitch of the delivery and hit it over long-on. The 50 came off 89 balls.
Dhananjaya also played a cheeky lap shot off Ashwin while seeing off a good spell from Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.
His footwork was decisive against both pace and spin while he left the short deliveries well.
The pitch being a flat one helped the Lankans to survive but the home team is still very much on top and one more wicket will certainly tilt the match decisively in India’s favour.