By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka trounced Ireland by an innings and 280 runs within three days with Prabath Jayasuriya claiming a match bag of 10 wickets for 108 runs as the visitors crashed to 143 and 168 following on at the Galle International Cricket Stadium here today. It was the 31-year old left armer’s second ten wicket haul at Galle in the wake of his debut 12-wicket decimation of Australia by an innings last year in a remarkable entry to top flight cricket.
Ireland’s foray to test cricket followed their fifth defeat as the host nation lost no time in running through a fragile batting line-up that came apart on a tricky Southern coast surface exploited to the maximum by Jayasuriya’s spin craft as he collected two more as the visitors, continuing from an overnight 117 for 7, added a further 26 with Ramesh Mendis accounting for the other. For a side literally put out of the game by the mountainous 591, wiping out the follow on deficit of 448 was as dwarfing a task on a,turning track against the three-pronged spin-pace battery of Jayasuriya, Ramesh Mendis and Vishwa Fernando.
Fernando once again fired out the first two Irish wickets to fall – yanking out Murray Commins for his second duck inducing him to a false stroke into the safe hands of Ramesh Mendis and skipper Andrew Balbirnie a second time as well inducing him to edge to Dhananjaya de Silva at slip for 6 – 2 for 8 after 5.1 overs marked the second Irish debacle as Jayasuriya and Mendis took over from that point to running through the rest bar the run out of the back to the wall Harry Tector for 42 off 95 inclusive of four boundaries.
The 27-year old all-rounder Mendis went on to bring his sturdy effect to good measure with his off spin collecting 4 wickets for 76 off 20 overs with Jayasuriya 3 for 56 off 24.1 and Vishwa Fernando 2 for only 3,runs. Down the line No’s 7 and 8 and 10 respectively in Curtis Compher 30 off 73 (5×4), George Dockrell 32 off 52 (6×4) and Mark Adair unbeaten on 23 off 29 (3×4).did well to add a degree of muscle to taking Ireland past the 100 mark.
CHIEF SCORES: Sri Lanka 591/6, decl. (Dimuth Karunaratne 179, Kusal Mendis 143′, Sadeera Samarawickrama n.o. 104, Dinesh Chandimal n.o. 102).Ireland 143 (52.3 Overs) (Lorcan Tucker 45, Prabath Jayasuriya 7/52, Vishwa Fernando 2/38, Ramesh Mendis 1/40) and (f/o) 168 (54.1 Overs) (Harry Tector 42, George Dockrell 32, Curtis Compher 30, Mark Adair n.o. 23, Ramesh Mendis 4/76, Prabath Jayasuriya 3/56,, Vishwa Fernando 2/3)