Dhawan fifty drives India in smog-choked Delhi Test against Sri Lanka

05 December 2017 - 11:35 By AFP
Sri Lanka cricket players wear masks in an attempt to protect themselves from air pollution as Indian captain Virat Kohli (2L) and teammate R. Ashwin look on during the second day of the third Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on December 3, 2017. Many of Sri Lanka's fielders wore pollution masks to counter a thick smog as play was briefly halted on day two of the third Test against India in New Delhi on December 3.
Sri Lanka cricket players wear masks in an attempt to protect themselves from air pollution as Indian captain Virat Kohli (2L) and teammate R. Ashwin look on during the second day of the third Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on December 3, 2017. Many of Sri Lanka's fielders wore pollution masks to counter a thick smog as play was briefly halted on day two of the third Test against India in New Delhi on December 3.
Image: SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP

Shikhar Dhawan hit a brisk half-century to stretch India's lead to 355 in the third Test amid severe pollution in New Delhi that saw a Sri Lankan player vomit twice on the ground on Tuesday.

The hosts were 192 for four at tea on the fourth day with skipper Virat Kohli (25) and Rohit Sharma (28) batting at the smog-shrouded Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was forced to return briefly to the dressing room after vomiting twice while fielding in the morning session.

Groundsmen rushed in to cover the spot with sand and sawdust as air pollution at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium took centre stage for a fourth day.

Lakmal bowled 11 overs and claimed one wicket.

A doctor at the stadium examined three Sri Lankan players and said their vitals were normal.

On the field, three Sri Lankan spinners got a wicket each to check India's run flow but the hosts still surged ahead to build a big lead.

Dhananjaya de Silva denied Cheteshwar Pujara a half-century after having the left-hander caught for 49.

Lakshan Sandakan then got rid of opener Dhawan for 67, bringing an end to his crucial 77-run third-wicket stand with Pujara.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were dismissed for 373, conceding a 163-run lead to India, who had declared at 536 for seven.

But it was the hazardous smog in one of the world's most polluted cities that again dominated proceedings.

The website of the US embassy in New Delhi showed the air quality index at 398, 15 times the World Health Organization's safe limit. Conditions were worse on Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said late Monday that New Delhi could be left off future fixture lists during the winter season when pollution in the region peaks.

BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary said venues would be reconsidered "in view of the situation which was encountered in the last two to three days."

"The BCCI has been sensitive on the smog and fog matter over the years," he added.


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