Rangana Herath claimed yet another Galle 5-fer to become the highest wicket taking left arm spinner in Test history, going past Kiwi Daniel Vettori’s 362 wickets as Sri Lanka claimed a comfortable 259 run win in the 1st Test in Galle.
The 2nd session of play nearly mirrored the 1st session as the visitors lost their set batsman, this time captain Mushfiqur Rahim, in the 2nd delivery after the restart. Lakshan Sandakan was the man who struck, albeit off a lose delivery down the legside which keeper Dickwella did well to hang on to.
From then on it was the Herath show as he put the Galle pitch to work. His wicket of Liton Das in the 51st over took him to the magical 363 wicket figure and he claimed the rest of the wickets to fall to finish the game with 366 wickets.
It was somewhat of a cloudy day in Galle with rain expected to come later in the day but once both Rahim and Das had been dismissed, there was little to no hope of Bangladesh surviving until weather intervened.
Asela Gunaratne was the man to make the 1st breakthrough for the hosts, earlier in the day, when he spun one just past Soumya Sarkar’s bat to hit the stumps. Neither batsman nor bowler seemed to know what had happened as Gunaratne went for a loud appeal while Sarkar himself, thinking he had been given out caught behind, tried to review the decision, before being sent on his way by the umpire.
Similar to the 1st innings, once the opening partnership was broken, the Lankan bowlers were able to make regular inroads into the visitors’ middle order. Mominul Haque was trapped right in front by Dilruwan Perera; the batsman decided to review the decision but the ball was heading straight into the stumps. Perera struck in his very next over to send Tamim Iqbal back with a delivery that spun and bounced just enough to take his edge and fly to slip.
Shaqib Al-Hasan joined Rahim in the middle but the pair could not put on a partnership of any substance as the former was caught down the leg side once again(this time at leg slip), off the bowling of Herath. Herath began his work then and had Mahmudullah trapped right in front with and arm-ball, two deliveries later to end a fruitful 1st hour for the hosts.
The rest of the session proved to be uneventful as Liton Das showed restraint alongside his skipper and the pair took the visitors safely to Lunch.
Kusal Mendis was named man of the match for his 194 in the 1st innings.
Sri Lanka will go into the 2nd and final Test in Colombo with an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series.