‘Felt Like A Century’ Says Shreyas Iyer After Hitting 92 In Pink Ball Test

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Shreyas Iyer on Saturday said he had no regrets on missing out on a century after his 92 helped India claw back and take control of the pink ball Test against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Iyer hit 92 to lift India, who lead the two-Test series 1-0, to 252 all out from a precarious 86-4 after they elected to bat first in Bangalore.

India’s bowlers then reduced Sri Lanka to 86 for six at stumps on day one, still trailing the hosts by 166 runs. But it was Iyer’s second Test half-century in just his fourth match that set the tone for India’s dominance.

“I am disappointed that I missed out on a hundred, but if you see from the team’s perspective, we got to a very fighting total,” 27-year-old Iyer told reporters.

“And seriously I don’t have any regrets. I felt fifty was like a century and the way I celebrated it was like a century feeling for me.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, on 13, and Lasith Embuldeniya, on nought, were batting at close of play after fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah ended a gritty knock by Angelo Mathews.

Mathews fell for 43 to become Bumrah’s third wicket after Kusal Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne.

Bumrah and Mohammed Shami combined to reduce Sri Lanka to 28-4 as the pace duo made the pink ball swing and seam in the final session under lights.

Shami bowled skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for four and trapped Dhananjaya de Silva for 10 to raise the pitch of the weekend crowd at M Chinnaswamy Stadium which is operating at full capacity as the domestic Covid threat recedes.

For India, Iyer put on crucial partnerships including a 40-run fifth-wicket partnership with Rishabh Pant, who hit 39, to thwart the Sri Lankan spin attack.

Virat Kohli stunned

Embuldeniya and fellow left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama took three wickets each while De Silva took two with his off spin.

The left-handed Pant attempted to hit back after the top-order wobble as he smashed seven fours in his 26-ball stay before falling to Embuldeniya after tea.

Iyer, who survived dropped catches on 50 and 82 before being finally stumped off Jayawickrama, soon took over and finished with 10 fours and four sixes in his 98-ball knock.

“My plan when I went out to bat was to cut down the spin, so I decided to step out (of the crease and play),” Iyer said. “When you step out, you play with the mind of the bowler and spoil his line and length.”

Earlier Virat Kohli made 23 and put on 47 runs for the third wicket with Hanuma Vihari as the pair attempted to rebuild the innings from 29-2.

Jayawickrama broke the stand after sending back Vihari for 31 and De Silva got Kohli trapped lbw in the next over to put India in trouble.

Kohli walked on to a rousing welcome by the fans at the stadium — home to his Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL team — but was stunned by his dismissal.

The star batsman last scored an international century in India’s first-ever pink ball Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.

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Skipper Rohit Sharma hit a six to signal his intent but fell to Embuldeniya after making just 15.

India have won both their previous two day-night Tests at home against Bangladesh and England last year. They lost to Australia in a floodlit Test at Adelaide in 2020.

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