Published:  03:30 AM, 07 December 2017

Lankan hold on for brave draw

Lankan hold on for brave draw AFP, New Delhi

India won a record ninth Test series in succession Wednesday after drawing with Sri Lanka in the pollution-tainted third and final Test in New Delhi. Top-ranked India won the series 1-0 to equal Australia's record of nine successive Test series victories, between 2005- 2008.

The first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata had ended in a draw and the hosts won the second game by an innings and 239 runs. Sri Lanka managed to salvage some pride in the in final match thanks to Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshen Silva, who defied the odds and fought back to deny India a win.

India took only two wickets on the fifth day, of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, their two first-innings centurions. They never once picked up two wickets back-to-back: Chandimal and Dhananjaya added 112, Dhananjaya and Roshen 58 before the former retired hurt, and Roshen and Niroshan Dickwella an unbroken 94.

Dhananjaya, who retired hurt on 119 due to muscle stiffness, and Roshen (74 not out) held Sri Lanka steady over three sessions of play on the final day, after being set 410 for victory late on day four.

Roshen was batting alongside Niroshan Dickwella on 44 when the two teams decided to shake hands with just seven mandatory overs left for the day. The Test was marred by severe pollution in the Indian capital, with fast bowlers from both sides vomiting Tuesday. 

The US embassy website on Wednesday showed concentrations of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants hit 234, better than a day earlier but still nearly nine times the World Health Organization's safe limit.

-AFP, New Delhi

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