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Sa’adi Thawfeeq’s Account of the Win at Pallekele

July 31, 2016

Sa’adi Thawfeeq,  in Sunday Observer, 31 July 2016 with the title “Sri Lanka beat the Test champs after 17 years”

What a remarkable turnaround by Sri Lanka. Dismissed for 117 in the first innings they found a way to come back and beat the number one Test nation in the world Australia by 107 runs in the first Test to go one-up in the three-match series at Pallekele International Stadium yesterday. The win was only Sri Lanka’s second win against Australia in 27 Tests and it inflicted on Steve Smith his first loss as Australia’s Test captain in 12 Tests. Sri Lanka last won under the captaincy of Sanath Jayasuriya when they beat Steve Waugh’s Australians by six wickets in 1999 and it was also in Kandy at Asgiriya.

A=ckt 11 The final moment

 

A=ckt 22Warner out  A=ckt 44Burns bowledA=ckt 55Smith’s futile appeal 

A=ckt 33Neville ct behinda=66 Lyon Lyon lbw

Final Wicket: Australia chasing 268 for victory were dismissed 15 minutes before tea on the fifth and final day for 161 with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath taking the final wicket to end with figures of 5 for 54 – the 24th time he has done that in his illustrious career. Herath ended with a match bag of nine for 103 and received excellent support from debutant spinner Lakshan Sandakan who finished with seven for 107. Smith top scored with 55 off 125 balls with one four but otherwise no one made more than 29 as the Lankan spinners dominated the Australian batting on a tricky surface with only six of the 88.3 overs being bowled by fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep.

The Australians came well prepared to counter the spin hiring the services of former Sri Lankan spin king Muthiah Muralitharan as a consultant prior the start of the Test series. But there is nothing like facing spinners in the middle as they found out for themselves.

Any chance Australia had of making a game of it was destroyed in the first session of play which commenced one hour late due to rain which was a concern when play began. There was only two results in the Test provided there were no interruptions to bad weather and that was a win for Sri Lanka or a win for Australia. As it turned out Australia lost the plot when resuming at 83-3 they slumped to 141-7 by lunch in the 90 minutes play.

Herath ripped out three of them starting off with a brilliant return catch to send back Adam Voges for 12 and following it up with the wickets of Mitch Marsh (25) and Smith (55). Sandakan whose chinaman none of the Australian batsmen were able to read added the wickets of Mitchell Starc (0) and Nathan Lyon (8) either side of lunch as they slid to 157-8. With Australia facing defeat Steve O’Keefe whose tour of Sri Lanka ends with this Test because of a hamstring injury walked in and with Phil Nevill put up a brave front defying the Lankan bowlers for 107 minutes and 98 balls during which period he made only one scoring stroke a swept boundary off Sandakan.

Both of them dug in to frustrate whatever Sri Lanka threw at them playing a defensive role that saw them add only four runs in partnership for the ninth wicket off 178 balls. The pair was quite content to play down maiden over after maiden and they did it for 28 consecutive overs as the score stood stagnant at 161.With tea approaching and some dark clouds also hovering around Australia were hoping to cling onto a draw. But luck was not with them as the rain held and their defiance was ended by another debutant Dhananjaya de Silva who had Nevill (9) finally edging an off-break to wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal. With the resistance broken it was not long before Sri Lanka grabbed the last Australian wicket as Herath eventually got through the defence of O’Keefe to bowl him leaving Josh Hazlewood unbeaten on nought.

Young team

The scenes of jubilation that followed was one of relief for Angelo Mathews and his young team who had gone through a tough six months and quite recently without a single win on the tour of England except against associate member Ireland. The fact that 15 of the 40 wickets that fell in the match were to leg before decisions tells how difficult the pitch was for the batsmen. In that context man of the match Kusal Mendis’ knock of 176 stands out like a beacon.

***  ***

 

 

 


Sri Lanka fielders celebrate the fall of the last Australian wicket on the fifth day of the first Test at Pallekele International Stadium yesterday. (Pix by Rukmal Gamage)


David Warner: Bowled


Steven Smith: LBW


Joe Burns: Bowled

What a remarkable turnaround by Sri Lanka. Dismissed for 117 in the first innings they found a way to come back and beat the number one Test nation in the world Australia by 107 runs in the first Test to go one-up in the three-match series at Pallekele International Stadium yesterday.

The win was only Sri Lanka’s second win against Australia in 27 Tests and it inflicted on Steve Smith his first loss as Australia’s Test captain in 12 Tests. Sri Lanka last won under the captaincy of Sanath Jayasuriya when they beat Steve Waugh’s Australians by six wickets in 1999 and it was also in Kandy at Asgiriya.

Final wicket

Australia chasing 268 for victory were dismissed 15 minutes before tea on the fifth and final day for 161 with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath taking the final wicket to end with figures of 5 for 54 – the 24th time he has done that in his illustrious career. Herath ended with a match bag of nine for 103 and received excellent support from debutant spinner Lakshan Sandakan who finished with seven for 107. Smith top scored with 55 off 125 balls with one four but otherwise no one made more than 29 as the Lankan spinners dominated the Australian batting on a tricky surface with only six of the 88.3 overs being bowled by fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep.


Peter Nevill: Caught behind


Nathan Lyon: LBW

The Australians came well prepared to counter the spin hiring the services of former Sri Lankan spin king Muthiah Muralitharan as a consultant prior the start of the Test series. But there is nothing like facing spinners in the middle as they found out for themselves.

Any chance Australia had of making a game of it was destroyed in the first session of play which commenced one hour late due to rain which was a concern when play began. There was only two results in the Test provided there were no interruptions to bad weather and that was a win for Sri Lanka or a win for Australia. As it turned out Australia lost the plot when resuming at 83-3 they slumped to 141-7 by lunch in the 90 minutes play.

Herath ripped out three of them starting off with a brilliant return catch to send back Adam Voges for 12 and following it up with the wickets of Mitch Marsh (25) and Smith (55). Sandakan whose chinaman none of the Australian batsmen were able to read added the wickets of Mitchell Starc (0) and Nathan Lyon (8) either side of lunch as they slid to 157-8. With Australia facing defeat Steve O’Keefe whose tour of Sri Lanka ends with this Test because of a hamstring injury walked in and with Phil Nevill put up a brave front defying the Lankan bowlers for 107 minutes and 98 balls during which period he made only one scoring stroke a swept boundary off Sandakan.

Both of them dug in to frustrate whatever Sri Lanka threw at them playing a defensive role that saw them add only four runs in partnership for the ninth wicket off 178 balls. The pair was quite content to play down maiden over after maiden and they did it for 28 consecutive overs as the score stood stagnant at 161.With tea approaching and some dark clouds also hovering around Australia were hoping to cling onto a draw. But luck was not with them as the rain held and their defiance was ended by another debutant Dhananjaya de Silva who had Nevill (9) finally edging an off-break to wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal. With the resistance broken it was not long before Sri Lanka grabbed the last Australian wicket as Herath eventually got through the defence of O’Keefe to bowl him leaving Josh Hazlewood unbeaten on nought.

Young team

The scenes of jubilation that followed was one of relief for Angelo Mathews and his young team who had gone through a tough six months and quite recently without a single win on the tour of England except against associate member Ireland. The fact that 15 of the 40 wickets that fell in the match were to leg before decisions tells how difficult the pitch was for the batsmen. In that context man of the match Kusal Mendis’ knock of 176 stands out like a beacon.

The second Test starts at Galle on August 4.

SCOREBOARD

Sri Lanka 1st innings 117 all out 
(D de Silva 24, K Perera 20; 
Josh Hazlewood 3-21, Nathan Lyon 3-12)  
Australia 1st innings 203 all out 
(A. Voges 47; Rangana Herath 4-49, Lakshan Sandakan 4-58  
Sri Lanka 2nd innings 353 all out 
(Kusal Mendis 176; Mitchell Starc 4-84)  

Australia 2nd Innings (Overnight Australia 83 for three)  
J. Burns b Sandakan				29  
D. Warner b Herath				01  
U. Khawaja lbw b D. Perera			18  
S. Smith lbw b Herath				55  
A. Voges c & b Herath				12  
M. Marsh lbw b Herath				25  
P. Nevill c Chandimal b De Silva		09  
M. Starc c & b Sandakan 			00  
N. Lyon lbw b Sandakan 				08  
S. O’Keefe b Herath 				04  
J. Hazlewood not out 				00  
Extras: 					00  
Total: (all out in 88.3 overs) 		       161  

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Warner), 2-33 (Khawaja), 3-63 (Burns)
		 4-96 (Voges), 5-139 (Marsh), 6-140 (Smith)
		 7-141 (Starc), 8-157 (Lyon), 9-161 (Nevill)
		 10-161 (O’Keefe)  
Bowling: Pradeep 6-3-16-0
	 Herath 33.3-16-54-5
	 D. Perera 13-3-30-1
	 Sandakan 25-8-49-3
	 De Silva 11-7-12-1
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