By Srian Obeyesekere
Kusal Mendis and Nishan Madushka struck milestone double centuries and veteran Angelo Mathews his 15th century as Sri Lanka negated Ireland”s early 492 first innings grip on a dramatic penultimate day fountain of 704 for 3 declared in sword edging to grabbing two of the Irish second innings wickets for 54 runs on a fluctuating track at the Galle International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
The 28-year old Mendis finally had his day in storming to the elusive magical double century milestone that had previously eluded him as the explosive right-hander made sue he did it in the calm of a single wiser by the misadventure of having thrown it away twice before attempting to go over the top when within sight in the 190s. He remained unbeaten on 245 off 291 balls in a bludgeoning run showcased by as many as 11 sixes and 18 boundaries.
As it was if it was Mendis’ moment at long last, the day was as much special for the just blooded young Nishan Madushka who walked the walk to that Herculean milestone in only his third test appearance and fourth innings at the age of just 23 being relatively the baby of the side. In an ever pleasing trait the right-hander infused into the game in the flamboyant of making it in literally leaps and bounds of the trade mark giantic of a great stayer of immense endurance capacity that propelled him to the big stage, Madushka’s 205 marathon knock off 339 deliveries was packed with 22 boundaries and a six.
Meanwhile, to the seasoned campaigner Angelo Mathews wading to his 16th test ton did hold our a contrastingly ebullient passage of flowing old wine that was to further steep the former captain in the grander of having crossed the landmark 7000 test runs to boot.
In that wholesome sweeping to coming on top the second-wicket partnership between Mendis and Madushka realised 268 runs and the Mendis-Mathews third-wicket partnership 133.www
The Lankan spin duo of Prabath Jayasuriya and Ramesh Mendis were quick to put the brakes on Ireland when the tourists batted a secontime. Mendis got rid of James McCollum who was literally deceived by a delivery that leapt from the off raking his glove before hitting the stumps. He made 10 as Ireland lost the first wicket for 17 by the ninth over. Jayasuriya struck two overs later sending back Peter Moor for 19 to a brilliant catch by a diving Mathews at extra short cover.
Ireland 492 & 54/2 (22 Overs) (Peter Moor 19, James’s McCollum 10, Andrew Balbirnie n.o. 18, Henry Tector n.o. 7, Ramesh Mendis 1/17, Prabath Jayasuriya 1/28)
Sri Lanka 704/3 decl. (151 Overs) (Kusal Mendis 245, Nishan Madushka 205, Dimuth Karunaratne 115, Angelo Mathews n.o. 100, Dinesh Chandimal retd. hurt 13, Dhananjaya de Silva n.o. 12, Graham Hume 1/87, Curtis Campher 1/106, Andrew McBrine 1/191)