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Kohli hits career-best 243 but pollution takes centrestage

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Skipper Virat Kohli's magnificent 243 was overshadowed by a mask-wearing protesting Sri Lankan team which forced to declare their first innings at 536 for seven on a pollution-hit day two of the third Test, here.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed in the post-lunch session with the visiting players halting proceedings thrice for about 26 minutes, complaining of poor air quality.


Eventually the match began when an animated Kohli declared the innings but there was no end to Sri Lanka's woes as they were tottering at 14 for two at tea with Mohammed Shami and getting one wicket apiece.

Before the unfolding of the drama, it was a walk in the park for Kohli, who scored his sixth double hundred and became the first captain to score six Test double tons, eclipsing legend Brian Lara, who had five as a captain.

It was also Kohli's individual highest score, surpassing the previous best of 235 against last year in

He also equalled Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag for maximum number of double hundreds. He played 287 balls and hit 25 boundaries before losing concentration due to constant stoppages as chinaman Lakshan Sandakan trapped him.

The post-lunch session was dramatic as the Lankan players came wearing anti-pollution masks. In the 123rd over, their fast bowler Lahiru Gamage suddenly stopped in his bowling stride before the fourth delivery.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal was seen discussing animatedly with the on-field umpires as play was halted for 17 minutes. It certainly disturbed Ravichandran Ashwins concentration as he was immediately dismissed by Gamage, who also left the field in the 125th over without completing the proceedings.

Suranga Lakmal completed his over but within a few minutes also left complaining uneasiness. The constant breaks in play affected Kohlis concentration and was trapped.

While Kohli wanted play to continue, manager Asanka Gurusinha informed the umpires that his fielders did not want to continue, prompting the home skipper to declare.

The Lankans who didn't want to field however came out to bat and Dimuth Karunaratne edged the very first delivery off Mohammed Shami to Wriddhiman Saha.

Dhananjaya de Silva was then trapped by Ishant to make it 14 for 2 before umpires called for tea.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma (65) and Kohli added 135 runs for the fifth wicket in the first session as never looked like getting any wickets before Sandakan induced a bottom edge off Rohit at the stroke of lunch.

Rohit, who made a comeback to playing in a Test match in Nagpur, now has five consecutive scores of over 50 plus in his last five matches in the longest format.

He had three successive half tons against New Zealand last year before being injured. He made a comeback with a hundred and looked good for another one before being dismissed by Sandakan.

The Indians did not take any risks yet scored 129 runs in the session as Sri Lankan pacers either bowled half-volleys on off-stump or drifted on the pads. They wasted the new ball as both Kohli and Rohit dispatched the loose balls with consummate ease.

The two spinners mostly bowled short with Dilruwan Perera unable to find his length. His spin bowling partner Sandakan used more googlies but it was Rohit, who attacked more than Kohli.

He lofted Sandakan over long-off for a six and got to his half-century with another down the ground six off Perera. It was not before Kohli had pulled Lahiru Gamage towards deep mid-wicket for two runs to complete another double century in 238 balls.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 03 2017. 15:25 IST
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