Three umpiring blunders at the stroke of lunch leave Kohli & Co seething in anger
Both on-field umpires and the third umpire turned down India's appeals on three separate occasions as the visitors are made to wait before completing a richly deserved victory.
India are in pole position to clinch the first Test match against Sri Lanka being held at Galle as the hosts are reeling at 108/5 at lunch on Day 3. They still trail by 84 runs and it could have been much worse for Sri Lanka as they survived three close appeals in the space of 18 deliveries.
The first of the incidents took place in the 27th over of Sri Lanka’s second innings. Ravichandran Ashwin, who had dismissed Kumar Sangakkara in his previous over, should have had the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal as well.
Chandimal attempted sweep shot had taken the toe end of the bat before clipping the helmet to be caught by backward short leg. Replays showed that the ball had indeed taken some bat on its away, but the umpire was unmoved.
Virat Kohli was understandably incensed at the decision and made his thoughts known to Bruce Oxenford, who is officiating in his 24th Test match. But there was more to come as the Indians were denied twice more in the session.
In the very next over, Amit Mishra’s leg break to Lahiru Thirimanne took a big inside edge onto the pad and headed into the hands of the silly point fielder. This time it was umpire Nigel Llong who turned down the appeal.
More disappointment followed as in the last before lunch, Chandimal got his second reprieve in quick time as his attempted drive popped off the boot of the silly point fielder to be caught by the bowler. The third umpire was called for and despite no evidence that the ball had touched the ground, he ruled in favour of the batsmen.
Indian skipper Kohli was clearly unimpressed and once again had a talk with the umpires as the players headed to the dressing room for lunch.
But it’s not just the Indians that have been on the receiving end of bad decisions by the umpires. In Sri Lanka’s first innings, opener Kaushal Silva was wrongly adjudged caught after the ball had hit his arm guard before being held on to by Shikhar Dhawan.
Everybody spotted the bat in that Chandimal appeal, except the umpire. #INDvSL— Jaspreet Sahni (@jaspreet_sahni) August 14, 2015
Umpires struggling.....— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 14, 2015