Thirty-year old slow left arm orthodox bowler Prabath Jayasuriya took 6 for 59 in career best record debut match figures of 12 for 177 to rout Australia by an innings and 39 runs in the second Test at the Galle International Stadium to level the 2-off series 1-all on Monday.
Jayasuriya, a product from Christ Church College, Matale, indeed turned out to be his country’s unlikely hero having walked into the side a last minute inclusion to the pandemic hit side in what was a remarkable fairy tale debut record feat that sent the Aussies reeling to their first innings thrashing since losing to South Africa at Hobart in 2016. Moreover, defeat followed the world beaters despite scoring 350-plus in the first innings.
Of course, Sri Lanka’s record champagne rounding off tucked into just over a day to spare did sparkle in truly dual two-hero roles also accentuated by Dinesh Chandimal’s career best record unbeaten 206. His 326-ball marathon undefeated effort showcased by 16 boundaries and 5,thumping sixes did set the ball rolling to Sri Lanka’s mammoth 554-run first innings total from where Jayasuriya dictated terms. It was the fashioning script or stage one to decimating the strong Aussie batting line-up.
Indeed, Chandimal had nipped in the bud any openings the Aussie bowlers sought to repeating their superiority as in the first test. It was a calculated innings of great character with great support coming from Ramesh Mendis whose 98-ball 29 with the solitary boundary was real steely test batsmanship to the cause.
The Chandimal-Ramesh Mendis fashioning was the launching pad for Jayasuriya who accounted for the prize wickets of Usman Khawaja whom he had caught by Fernando and Steve Smith leg before wicket for a fourth ball duck. Adding the icing to the cake was Maheesh Theekshana with 2 for 28 and Ramesh Mendis 2 for 47 in an assertion of the latter’s all-round prowess.
CHIEF SCORES: Australia 364 (Steve Smith n.o. 145, Usman Khawaja 104, Prabath Jayasuriya 6/118) And 151 (41 Overs) (Usman Khawaja 29, David Warner 24, Alex Carey n.o. 16, Pat Cummins 16, Prabath Jayasuriya 6/59, Maheesh Theekshana 2/28, Ramesh Mendis 2/47).
Sri Lanka 554 (181 Overs) (Dinesh Chandimal n.o. 206, Dimuth Karunaratne 86, Kusal Mendis 85, Kamindu Mendis 61, Angelo Mathews 52,.Ramesh Mendis 29, Mitchell Starc 4/89, Mitchell Swepson 3/103, Nathan Lyon 2/194)