Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka stand-in captain Rangana Herath led by example as he took six wickets to guide his side to a 259-run win over Bangladesh on the fifth day of the first Test in Galle.
During his six-for, Herath surpassed Daniel Vettori’s tally of 362 wickets to become the most successful left-arm spinner in Test history.
Starting off the day on 67/0, Bangladesh failed to add a single run to their overnight score before Soumya Sarkar was clean bowled by Asela Gunaratne for 53 off 49 balls, which included six boundaries and a six.
Dilruwan Perera then proceeded to take out Mominul Haque and Tamim Iqbal for five and 19 runs respectively.
With Bangladesh having lost three quick wickets, things only got worse for them as Herath took over and sliced through their middle and lower order with ease.
Even though wickekeeper Liton Das and Mehedi Hasan Miraz scored 35 and 28 respectively, it did not stop Herath’s rampage and Bangladesh from getting skittled out for 197.
Herath was easily the pick of the bowlers with six wickets, while Perera snapped up two and Gunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan claimed one wicket each.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was gutted to have lost, and said: “I thought the wicket is still pretty good to bat, it does not look like a day five wicket. We conceded a big lead, but I thought the bowlers did still a pretty okay job. It came down to how we batted on the final day and the first session was going to be crucial, but we unfortunately lost wickets.
“Hopefully, we can bounce back in the next Test. Congratulations to Rangana and the rest of the team. If the bowlers bowl in the right areas, there is something and hopefully, we will come out with better plans in the next Test.”
Herath was delighted to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “I would say kind of a big achievement, but I must thank every single person who has supported me – the support staff, my family – I want to say thank you to all of them. The pitch still looks like a good batting track. we have no worries about the combination, but there are still areas to improve. Everybody chipped in and I must congratulate everyone because it is a team effort.”
Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Mendis was named Man of the Match for his knock of 194 in the first innings, and said: “I am extremely happy about the achievement and thank Rangana Herath and the rest of the team for the support. And [I’m] very happy Sri Lanka won the match.”