Published On: Sat, Jul 30th, 2016

Sri Lanka beat Australia by 106 runs in 1st Test at Pallekele

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Sri Lanka's Lakshan Sandakan (2L) celebrates with teammates after he dismissed Australia's Mitchell Starc during the fifth and the final day of their opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 30, 2016.  / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

Sri Lanka’s Lakshan Sandakan (2L) celebrates with teammates after he dismissed Australia’s Mitchell Starc during the fifth and the final day of their opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on July 30, 2016. / AFP / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

Sri Lanka’s win was spearheaded by Rangana Herath, who took nine wickets, Lakshan Sandakan, who took seven wickets, and Kusal Mendis, who scored a career-best 176 in the second innings.

Sri Lanka have successfully managed to defeat World No. 1 team Australia by 106 runs in the first Test at Pallekele. Chasing 268, the visitors were bundled out for a mere 161. Stephen O’Keefe and Peter Nevill stuck at the crease, and frustrated the hosts, but in the end, they could not save Steven Smith from losing his first Test as skipper. This incidentally, is just the second win for Sri Lanka over Australia in Test cricket. Their previous and only win came in 1999. Sri Lanka’s win was spearheaded by Rangana Herath, who took nine wickets, Lakshan Sandakan, who took seven wickets, and Kusal Mendis, who scored a career-best 176 in the second innings.

 The match got off to a worst possible start for the hosts, as they were bundled out for 117 in the first innings. The Aussie spinners and pacers took five wickets each as the visitors made the best possible start to their long tour. But they couldn’t capitalise on the bowlers impressive show.

Sri Lankan bowling unit, led by Herath, managed to bowl out the visitors for just 203, and ensuring they couldn’t get a big lead. None of Australia’s batsmen stuck to the task, with highest score of 47 coming from Adam Voges.

With the match firmly in balance, Sri Lanka came out to bat in the second innings. It seemed, Australia will run away with the tie, after managing to restrict the hosts down to 86 for 4. But Kusal Mendis played a blinder of a knock, and took his team out of trouble. His 176-run knock included important partnerships with Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva, as Sri Lanka fighted it out to reach 353, and set Australia a target of 268.

The Aussies, on their part, lost three quick wickets before the end of Day 4. David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns were all back to the pavilion, leaving the uphill task upon skipper Steven Smith and Adam Voges. They pair started the day with scores at 83 for 3.

Voges was first to be dismissed as he was caught and bowled of Herath’s bowling for 12. Mitchell Marsh came in next, and played some flamboyant shots. He and Smith took Australia to a safe position at Drinks. Both of them kept on adding runs, and taking their side close to the total. But against the run of play, Herath came back into the attack to remove Marsh for 25. His wicket started the downfall of his side. Smith, soon after reaching his fifty, was trapped leg-before by Herath. And right at the stroke of Lunch, Starc was caught and bowled by Sandakan for 0.

After Lunch, Nathan Lyon was dismissed for 8, and it seemed the victory is inevitable for Sri Lanka. But wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill and Stephen O’Keefe frustrated the hosts bowlers, and stood tall for a long period of time.

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews used all the tricks of his bag, but the duo kept on ticking. The batsmen had firmly their sights set on a draw. O’Keefe’s hamstring injury meant there was no running between the wickets, and only four runs were scored from overs 57 to 86. The hosts finally got the much awaited breakthrough as Nevill found the outside edge of part-timer de Silva’s bowling. And soon, Sri Lanka tasted victory as Herath clean bowled O’Keefe for his fifth wicket in the innings.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 117 (Dhananjaya de Silva 24, Kusal Perera 20; Nathan Lyon 3 for 12) and 353 (Kusal Mendis 176, Dinesh Chandimal 42; Mitchell Starc 4 for 84) beat Australia 203 (Adam Voges 47, Mitchell Marsh 31; Rangana Herath 4 for 49) and 161 (Joe Burns 29, Steven Smith 55; Rangana Herath 5 for 54) by 107 runs.

News Source Cricket Country

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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