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December 17, 2017

India declare amid stoppage calls in pollution-hit Test

India declare amid stoppage calls in pollution-hit Test
'Indian batsman and team captain Virat Kohli raises his bat after completing his double century during the second day of the third Test against Sri Lanka' - By: AFP SAJJAD HUSSAIN

Virat Kohli and pollution added to Sri Lanka's misery as India declared their first innings on 536 for seven on day two of the third Test in smog-hit Delhi on Sunday.

Kohli hit a career-best 243, his sixth double ton as captain, even as the opposition players, who wore masks while fielding, complained of bad air at Feroz Shah Kotla.

Sri Lankan players forced play to be halted thrice, a total of about 20 minutes in the second session, while two of their fast bowlers returned to the pavilion.

It prompted Kohli to declare as Sri Lanka were falling short of fielders with opening batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama also unable to field due to an injury on day one.

Sri Lanka were 18 for two at tea, trailing the hosts by 518 runs. Dilruwan Perera, on 12, and Angelo Mathews, on four, were battling to survive an inspired Indian pace attack.

Mohammed Shami struck on the very first delivery of the innings with left-handed opener Dimuth Karunaratne going for a first-ball duck.

Lanky paceman Ishant Sharma also joined forces to trap Dhananjaya de Silva lbw for one as the visitors slipped further with a batsman short.

But it was Kohli who put India on top after recording his second successive Test century to pulverise the Sri Lankan attack.

Kohli, who started the day on 156, combined with overnight partner Rohit Sharma, who scored 65, to put on 135 runs for the fifth wicket.

He was finally trapped lbw off left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan, who claimed four wickets in the innings.

India lead the series 1-0 and need only a draw for a record-equalling ninth successive Test series triumph. England and Australia are the other sides to have achieved the feat.

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