Sri Lanka 591 for 6 (Karunaratne 179, K Mendis 140, Samarawickrama 104*, Chandimal 102*) beat Ireland 143 (Tucker 45, Jayasuriya 7-52) and 168 (Tector 42, R Mendis 4-76, 3-56) by an innings and 280 runs
Mendis, who struggled a little for rhythm on day two, would become Ireland’s primary threat in the second innings. But he did not get his first breakthrough until after left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando had struck first. As in the first innings, Fernando removed Murray Commins for a duck, the batter picking up a pair. And then he also claimed the wicket of captain Andy Balbirnie for the second time in the match, seaming a back of a length delivery away, to collect his edge. Dhananjaya de Silva held on to a sharp catch at slip.
From there, the spinners took over. Jayasuriya had James McCollum caught at slip, de Silva taking another good catch. In his next over, he also got Tucker lbw, the batter reviewing unsuccessfully. Mendis then had Peter Moor caught athletically at short leg by Nishan Madushka – the second excellent catch he’d taken in that position.
From there, a day-three finish seemed inevitable. George Dockrell struck six boundaries in his 54-ball 32, but Mendis charged on. And worse, for Ireland, they lost Tector to a terrible run out – Dockrell turning Tector back after Tector had called for an ill-advised single, before Tector slipped mid-pitch, lost his bat as he tried to turn back, and was short by more than a metre as he tried to dive back in.
When Mendis had Mcbrine caught at gully, he equalled Ajantha Mendis’ Sri Lanka record for fastest bowler to 50 wickets, both bowlers doing it in 11 Tests. Mendis has only played two Tests outside Sri Lanka however, and eight of his Tests have been in Galle, where spinners are known to dominate.
Jayasuriya, who had been straining for a ten-wicket haul, completed it with the last wicket of the game, getting Ben White plumb in front with a straightening delivery.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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