Herath Heroics and Centurion Kushal Mendis hands Sri Lanka ecstatic win
Rangana Herath and Kusal Mendis gave Sri Lanka an unbelievable win looking at the first inning performance. They were wrapped up to just 117 runs giving opposition a huge advantage in first inning. Half of the players didn’t even managed to reach double figure mark while other had tough time at the crease.
Sri Lankan batting order depends largely on Skipper Angelo Mathews ( 15 runs) and Dinesh Chandimal (15 runs) because once they fail batting collapse to low totals as shown by them in first inning. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood made it difficult for the batsman with their pace as well as accurate line and length.
Australia bowling attack displayed brilliant bowling in first inning especially Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon who took three wickets each. Spin-bowler Nathon Lyon bowled only three overs for 12 runs grabbing three wickets. Mitchell Stac and Steve O’Keefe took two wickets each.
Sri Lanka folded Australia to 203 runs in first inning, thanks to Rangana Herath and young Lakshan Sandakan who grabbed four wickets each. Rangana Herath being miser of all gave away only 49 runs 25 overs including 8 maiden.
Sri Lanka got early breakthrough when David Warner was sent back without scoring by Nuwan Pradeep (took 2 wkts) when score board read 3 runs. Adam Voges (47 runs) and Mitchell Marsh (31 runs) held Australian inning and added together 70 runs but Mitchell Marsh was bowled by Lakshan Sandaka. Then, visitors kept losing wickets regularly and they were restricted to 203 runs managing first inning lead of 86 runs.
Host got of to poor start chasing the given lead of 86 runs as they lost both Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne in third over of the inning form Mitchell Starc. One might have thought of quick end of the first test but magical inning of 176 runs from Kushal Mendis turned things in host favor. He added 117 runs along with Dinesh Chandimal (42 runs) to bail Sri Lanka out of trouble. Dhananjaya de Silva and Rangana Herath played crucial inning to help host set target of 267 runs.
Australia chasing the target of 268 runs got off to poor start David Warner again was first to go back in the pavilion who added only one run. Australia finished 83/3 on fourth day with 185 runs needed to win test while host needed seven wickets.
Rangana Herath with four wickets in the opening session of the fifth day’s play reduced Australia to 141 for 7 in their chase of 268, to put Sri Lanka in command. Adam Voges departed after adding only 12 runs but it was not enough looking at the target on fifth day. Mitchell Marsh (25 runs) and Steven Smith (55 runs) showed some resistance but failed to evade magical Herath as both were caught LBW.
Peter Nevill and Steve O’Keefe denied any wicket for 100 balls including 99 dots which added few moments of frustration for the host. Peter Nevill departed after scoring 9 runs off 115 balls of the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan. Rangana Herath ended tremendous struggle from Steve O’Keefe (4 runs off 98 balls) to hand Sri Lanka first test victory.
Playing XI Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep, Lakshan Sandakan
Playing XI Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (c), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
Match Result: Sri Lanka won by 106 runs
Man of the Match: Kusal Mendis (8 runs & 176 runs)
Sri Lanka: 117 (Dhananjaya de Silva 24; Nathan Lyon 3-12, Hazlewood 3-20, Steve O’Keefe 2-32) and 353 (Kusal Mendis 176, Chandimal 41; Mitchell Starc 4-62)
Australia: 203 (Adam Voges 47, Mitchell Marsh 31; Rangana Herath 4-49, Lakshan Sandakan 4-58) and 161 (Steve Smith 55, Joe Burns 29; Rangana Herath 5-54, Lakshan Sandakan 3-49)
Post Content: Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test Match Summary and Man of the Match.