Sri Lankan batsmen spoil Herath’s farewell
The English spinners ran through the brittle Sri Lankan batting order to win the 1st Test at Galle by 211 runs. Rangana Herath, playing his last Test, was the last man to fall, bringing a disappointing end to his farewell test.
The opening pair for Sri Lanka, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva resumed Sri Lanka’s mammoth run-chase from their overnight score of 15/0. The duo went on to bat 15 more overs, batting out the 1st hour of the 4th day.
Batting cautiously, they added 51 runs for the 1st wicket with the help of Ben Stokes who dropped Karunaratne in the 20th over when the batsman was on 16.
Kaushal Silva, who batted with determination, seemed to have lost his concentration when he tried to lap sweep a Jack Leach delivery and was trapped plumb in front. He also wasted a review trying to challenge the umpire’s decision.
Karunaratne soon threw away his wicket, trying to loft an Ali delivery over the bowler, only succeeding in hitting it straight back to the bowler. Kusal Mendis then played some delightful shots, pairing up with Dhananjaya de Silva to take Sri Lanka’s score from 59/2 to 98.
During the 39-run 3rd wicket partnership between De Silva and Mendis, Mendis strokes 3 boundaries while De Silva hit one six. In the last over before lunch, De Silva was dismissed by Stokes as he bowled a perfect delivery just outside the off stump angling into the stumps which De Silva edged to Joe Root at slip. It was a disappointing loss as Dhananjaya de Silva had reviewed the previous delivery successfully when he was given out caught behind chasing a wide delivery.
Mendis carrying forward from where he stopped before lunch, hit 3 more boundaries and a six in the 2nd session. After he reached 45 runs he threw his wicket away, a common scene throughout the Sri Lankan batting effort, for a well-made 45. Jack Leach, pumped up by Mendis’ dismissal produced a beauty to get rid of Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal for just 1 run.
Sri Lanka’s only successful batsman in the match, Angelo Mathews scored his second half century in the match as he put on 36 runs with Niroshan Dickwella before Dickwella was dismissed by Ali right after tea. Angelo Mathews during his fifty was given a chance when James Anderson dropped him at mid-wicket on 18.
Following Dickwella’s dismissal Mathews (57) too was dismissed. The delivery off Moeen Ali’s arm gripped in the pitch and made Mathews check his shot which gave Buttler the chance to take an easy catch at mid-wicket.
After that Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal showed some resistance as they scored 30 and 14 respectively. Dilruwan hit 3 boundaries and a six while Lakmal hit a six and a boundary.
Herath was given put caught behind on the very first ball he faced, only for the decision to be reversed after the Herath challenged the umpire’s decision successfully.
After adding 11 runs to increase Sri Lanka’s score to 250 the duo was involved in a run-out which ended Herath’s 19-year long career officially. Incidentally in his very first International inning also he was out run-out.
England won the match by 211 runs while Moeen Ali and Jack Leach starred with 4 and 3 wickets respectively for the tourists.
The 2nd Test will commence on the 14th of November at Pallekele.