Jayasuriya picks up ten in the Test as Sri Lanka roll Ireland over for innings victory

Jayasuriya picks up ten in the Test as Sri Lanka roll Ireland over for innings victory

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

Ireland’s collapse rolled into day three in Galle, as Sri Lanka’s spinners scythed through them twice, to secure an innings-and-280 run victory with Prabath Jayasuriya claiming a 10-wicket haul.
Ireland were always likely to struggle here. They had never played in Sri Lanka before, and were thrust into unforgiving April heat, without so much as a practice match to acclimatise. But where they had given a decent account of their skills against Bangladesh, earlier this month losing the match in Mirpur by only seven wickets, they almost never strung together competitive passages in this Test.
After Sri Lanka amassed 591 for the loss of only six wickets, Ireland lost 20 wickets for 311. They only managed two fifty partnerships across their innings – Harry Tector involved in both of those. After four Sri Lanka batters had hit hundreds, the highest individual score Ireland managed was 45 (Lorcan Tucker in the first innings).
Day three was a blur of wickets. Ireland had begun the day on 117 for 7, but having added 23 to the overnight score, lost their last three in a heap, the team’s score at 143. Jayasuriya added two wickets to his overnight haul of five, trapping Tucker lbw, then having an advancing Mark Adair stumped two balls later. Offspinner Ramesh Mendis then claimed his first wicket of the game, getting Andy McBrine lbw with a sliding delivery – the not-out decision was overturned on review – to end the innings.
His bowlers having delivered less than 53 overs in the first innings, and with Ireland still 448 runs behind, captain Dimuth Karunaratne could not have had many qualms in enforcing the follow-on.

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.

Ireland then built the only partnership that might pass as a resistance, with Tector and Curtis Campher combining for 60 for the sixth wicket, before another spectacular Madushka grab ended it. Seeing Campher going down for a paddle sweep, Madushka shuffled to his right, anticipating the trajectory of the shot, and got both hands to the chance, that came at about knee-height.

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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