The second and final Test between India and Sri Lanka is heading towards another enthralling win for the hosts. Day Two (March 13) started with Sri Lanka tottering at 86/6, in reply to India’s 252 all-out. The hosts cleaned up the tail in no time, with the visitors being restricted to 109 all-out. Leading by 143, the Rohit Sharma-led side came out to bat to set up an improbable target for the Dimuth Karunaratne-led side.
They had a decent start as openers, Mayank Agarwal (22), and Sharma added 46 runs for the first wicket before the former was dismissed by Lasith Embuldenya. In came Hanuma Vihari (35), who stitched a partnership of 56 runs with the skipper before the latter was caught by Angelo Mathews. Moments later, Vihari was clean bowled by Praveen Jayawickrama. At 116/3, wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant came out to bat.
Pant hit another Test fifty, in just 28 balls, and became the fastest Indian half-centurion. The left-hander hit two sixes and seven fours before he was caught and bowled by Jayawickrama. He broke the record of Kapil Dev (30), Shardul Thakur (31), and Virendra Sehwag (32) in list of fastest half centuries by an Indian. Dev scored his fifty against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982. Thakur hit his half-century against England at The Oval last year. Sehwag hit his fifty against England in Chennai in 2008.
Talking about the match proceedings, India has amassed 203/5 at the time of writing, with Shreyas Iyer (22*) and Ravindra Jadeja (10*) batting at the crease. The duo has added 19 runs for the sixth wicket and the team is leading by a mind-boggling margin of 346 runs.
Meanwhile, Twitter was all praise for India wicketkeeper-batter.
This is how Twitter reacted
— One Handed Six Academy (@1handed_6) March 13, 2022
Just a Normal Day fr world's best wk batter. Proving again & again that there is no one even closer to him. He has to b the most selfless cricketer in the world at present. Just a beginning though,more PANTastic innings to come in future fr sure!!#RishabhPant #INDvsSL #WTC23 pic.twitter.com/qQZGA7uiB3
— Zubair (@zubair_183) March 13, 2022
Quite incredibly, when @RishabhPant17 bats, he just takes the pitch out of the equation. From Srikkanth-Sehwag school of batting.
Audacious shots but a method to the madness as he picks his spots to hit.
Impact player of new age: 50 of 28 balls,fastest by an Indian: Wow!#INDvsSL
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 13, 2022
The frequency with which @RishabhPant17 produces such knocks is just incredible. Usually if a batter is mercurial he's not consistent. But in Pant we've a mercurial batter who's consistent. World beater! #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/qse2dY0zOz
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 13, 2022