SL v AUS, 2nd Test Review: Hosts clinch historic victory and series

SL v AUS, 2nd Test Review: Hosts clinch historic victory and series

Sri Lanka
Bails fly as Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews (C) and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal (R) celebrate. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sri Lankans clinched the second Test at Galle by a mammoth 229-run margin, thus claiming their first SL v AUS series win in 17 years. In fact, 17 years ago was perhaps the only previous time Sri Lanka had beaten Australia in a Test series. This also signified Australia’s eighth consecutive Test loss in Asia, most of which have come either in the subcontinent but or in the UAE.

Dilruwan Perera also made a terrific impact by becoming the first Sri Lankan player to complete a half-century and take 10 or more wickets in a Test match. Moreover, history was created overall by the simple fact that this was the third-shortest Test match in the last 100 years of Test cricket.

The first innings of the match made it clear that this wicket was a dead rubber, the second one in the context of the SL v AUS series. Mitchell Starc made amends for his poor performance in the West Indies Tri-nation series when he quickly removed Dimuth Karunaratne in the first delivery of the Test match. Although Kaushal Silva also lost his wicket soon after, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera went about rebuilding the Lankan innings. If any lessons are to be learnt from their partnership, it is that a batsman can thrive in any condition if he applies himself.

Kusal Perera was robbed off a half-century as he was dismissed by Nathan Lyon for 49 while Mendis was denied a second ton as he was removed by the irresistible Starc for 86. Angelo Mathews (54) and Dhanajaya de Silva (37) chipped in with useful knocks as they smashed 281 within the end of Day one. Mitchell Starc made history with figures of 5/44 in the first innings, something that certainly made him the lead wolf of the pack.

If the Aussies were happy with the bowl-out, they were in for perhaps one of the rudest shocks. Apart from David Warner (42), Usman Khawaja (11), and Mitchell Marsh (27), none of the Australian batsmen crossed the double-figure threshold. Rangana Herath went on to script his own piece of history when he claimed his first Test match hat-trick by removing Adam Voges, Peter Nevill, and Mitchell Starc in quick succession. Needless to say, the Aussies were bowled out for a paltry 106, 175 runs adrift of the Lankan total.

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The Aussies did well with the ball when the Lankans came out to bat on day 2 when Starc began to rattle the batsmen. In short, Starc was continuing from where he left off. In spite of the hemorrhage of wickets, the aggression from Angelo Mathews (47) and Dilruwan Perera (64) paid off as they crossed the psychological threshold of setting a target in excess of 400 runs. Dilruwan Perera smashed his way to a valiant 64 as the Lankans were bowled out for 237.

The Australians received a preview of what was to come on the third day’s play when they lost three quick wickets in the six overs they had to play on the closing stages of Day 2. Dilruwan Perera however, came out early on Day 3 and began creating havoc for the Australian batsmen despite their aggressive outlook on the morning of day 3. Perera made heads roll as the Aussies were bowled out for 183 shortly after lunch  with the former concluding on figures of 6/70, thus helping the Lankans claim a massive 229-run win.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka, 1st innings: 281 all out (K Mendis 86; M Starc 5/44)

Australia, 1st innings: 106 all out (D Warner 42; D Perera 4/29)

Sri Lanka, 2nd innings: 237 all out (D Perera 64; M Starc 5/60)

Australia, 2nd innings: 183 all out (D Warner 41; D Perera 6/70)

Man of the match: Dilruwan Perera

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