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NEW DELHI: Plenty of drama unfolded on the second day of the Ferozshah Kotla Test between India and Sri Lanka with the alarming level of smog threatening a possible termination of play. A number of Sri Lankan players were spotted wearing protective masks to counter Delhi’s smog and couple of their players – Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal even went off the field.
Smog affects Kotla Test, players spotted wearing masks
But what topped every bit of that drama was Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal’s cluelessness on the field that finally forced Virat Kohli to declare India’s innings on 536/7. Chandimal was fielding with 10 players and it wasn’t until a four was hit from Wriddhiman Saha that the player at the boundary informed Chandimal about his absent-mindedness.
Here is how it panned out. Post lunch, Sri Lankan players were having difficulty in fielding, their fast bowlers in particular, and it led Chandimal to plead the umpires to stop play. Everyone including the umpires, the two captains, physio got involved in the middle and even though the discussion halted proceedings for approximately 10-12 minutes, play was soon resumed.
Gamage was the first to walk off in the 125th over, followed by Lakmal’s exit during the 127th. With one ball to go, the Sri Lankan pacer grabbed his cap and walked off the field and Dilruwan Perera completed the over. Lakshan Sandakan was given the next over, fifth of which was hit by Saha for a four. That is when Chandimal realised that Sri Lanka were one man short in the field.
After another discussion with the umpire, this time joined by Sri Lanka’s interim coach Nic Pothas and Indian coach Ravi Shastri, Chandimal informed the umpire that they don’t have enough reserve players. Gamage and Lakmal were already off and Sadeera Samarawickrama was not available owing to a concussion. An animated Virat Kohli then waved to his players asking them to come back, signalling a declaration.