The wait is finally over for Jasprit Bumrah. He has finally picked up his first fifer in tests in home conditions.
Bumrah made his debut back in 2018 and has achieved this feat seven times before. But none of them came in home conditions. And since India is not known for supporting pace bowling, this feat is enormous.
After watching the first day of play and the Sri Lankan bowler’s performance throughout the first two sessions, anyone could have guessed that the pitch would support spin.
Even Embuldenya turned some balls to significant degrees. Along with the fact that it was keeping low, the game would be run by spinners. Bumrah had other ideas, though.
Since bowling under the lights is considered beneficial for pace bowlers, Bumrah made the most of it.
In the absence of Siraj, Bumrah was brought to bowl in with the new ball. And he didn’t disappoint. Instead, he picked up quick wickets to put his team in a commanding position.
Great bowling performance by Jasprit Bumrah in tough conditions
Bumrah claimed his first wicket in the very second over of his spell. A full ball outside the off-stump tempted Kushal Mendis to throw his bat at it. The batter completely misjudged the line of the ball and edged the ball to slips, where Iyer made no mistake.
Two overs later, he repeated the dismissal. This time, it was against a left-handed batter and from around the stumps. The rest was almost identical. The ball was bowled outside off stump, and Thirimane threw his bat at it. Such is the degree of coincidence that it was Shreyas Iyer again the fielder to take the catch.
Sri Lanka lost three more wickets in between courtesy to some excellent bowling by Shami, who claimed two of them. One wicket was taken by Axar Patel, who was playing his first game in a long time.
However, with the help of two seasoned campaigners in the form of Mathews and Dickwella, Sri Lanka slowly found their strides into the game. The duo stuck together to incite the fire of rebellion. It was Mathews who started it, and Dickwella supported him throughout.
For the first time in the evening, it felt like Sri Lanka could make a comeback. Rohit Sharma was quick to sense it, too, and he decided to bring his best bowler back into the attack. And the result is anyone’s guess.
Bumrah delivered to his captain’s wish by removing the likes of a set-looking Mathews. It was another outside to the slips, but it was not the recklessness of the batter. Rather, Bumrah’s slower ball deceived Mathews, and he ended up edging it.
At the end of play on day one, Sri Lanka was down to 86 for 6. Out of which, three wickets were claimed by Bumrah alone.
Cleaning up the tail
He was far from over, though. Bumrah was hungry for more wickets, and Sharma had realized that he was having one of those moments in which everything he touched was turning to gold.
Hence, at the start of the second day, Sharma decided to start with Bumrah again. His instincts were rewarded duly as Bumrah once again got his man in the second over of his spell.
On a wicket that looked dull and more helpful for the spinners, Bumrah bounced his adversary out. Embuldenya trying to take on Bumrah, attempted a pull shot on a dug-in ball and ended up top-edging it. Pant made no mistake in taking a simple catch.
Two overs down the line, Bumrah claimed his 8th fifer by dismissing the second overnight batter. Dickwella was also a victim of the short balls as he couldn’t make up his mind whether to play or leave. As a result, he gloved a regulation catch to the keeper.
Although Ashwin claimed the other two scalps to inflict an all-out on Sri Lanka, Jasprit Bumrah will be the hero of the bowling side for India.
He put up a great show with the ball in hand. In a more suitable situation for slow bowlers, he showed some skills to claim his fifer.
India now has a 143-run lead heading into the second inning. They will be hoping to wrap this game soon too.