Twenty-two year old left-arm spinner debutant Praveen Jayawickrama, in a dream start to his Test career took 6 wickets for 92 to decimate Bangladesh to 251 as Sri Lanka took a 242-run first innings lead, but chose not to enforce the follow on making 17 for 2 that of Thirimanne (02) and Oshada Fernando (01) for a 259-run overall lead at stumps on day three of the second Test at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
After Sri Lanka had declared on 469 for 7 with Niroshan Dickwella unbeaten on 77, Jayawardene stepped in to play the lead role in breaking the back of the Bangladesh batting. His tally the best by a Sri Lankan on debut bettering Upul Chandana’s 6 for 179 against Pakistan in 1999, gave the hosts an iron grip as he ran through the strong Bangladesh batting line-up accounting for the prize wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim with the visitors losing their last seven wickets for 37 runs.
The day belonged to the young debutant who rocked Bangladesh who had no answer to his wily spin from start to finish dominating all three sessions having broken the 98-run opening partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Saif Hassan when he had the latter caught at gully for 25. On an ominous pay off day to Sri Lanka’s youth infusion, Ramesh Mendis accounted for Najmul Hossain Shanto leg before wicket for his second successive duck as the visitors slipped to 99 for 2. Iqbal and skipper Mominul Haque revived the innings adding 52 for the third wicket before Jayawickrema struck having Iqbal caught by Thirimanne for 92 (150b, 12×4).
Jayawickrema went on to sound the death knell for Bangladesh when he next sent back Rahim leg before wicket for 40 in the last over before tea and Bangladesh were 214 for 4. It was to precipitate the collapse. Soon after the break, Ramesh Mendis chipped in with his second wicket that of Mominul Haque leg before for 49 to a full toss. Jayawickrema followed up by having Liton Das who was undone by a sharp turning ball lobbing a catch to Thirimanne at slip for his fifth wicket. He rounded it off with his sixth wicket that of Taskin Ahmed leg before wicket on review as the innings was polished up.
Strike bowler Suranga Lakmal took 2 for 30 and Mendis 2 for 86.
SRI LANKA 469/6 O/N, 493/7 decl. (159.2 Overs) RR: 3.09
(Lahiru Thirimanne 140, Dimuth Karunaratne 118, Oshada Fernando 81, Pathum Nissanka 30 Niroshan Dickwella n.o. 77, Ramesh Mendis 33, Taskin Ahmed 4/127)
AND 17/2 (7 Overs) RR: 2.42
(Dimuth Karunaratne n.o. 13, Angelo Mathews n.o. 1)
BANGLADESH 251 (83 Overs) RR: 3.02
(Tamim Iqbal 92, Mominul Haque 49, Mushfiqur Rahman 40, Saif Hassan 25, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 16, Praveen Jayawickrama 6/92, Suranga Lakmal 2/30, Ramesh Mendis 2/86)