Sri Lanka did it in champagne style drubbing Bangladesh by a whopping 215 runs in the second Test match at Chittagong to claim a 1-nil series triumph with more than 2 days to spare. After Sri Lanka was all out for 226 in the second innings on a remarkable unbeaten 70 by Roshen Silva, Bangladesh was bundled out for 123 in a miserable display in the wake of the host’s first innings total of 110. The back to back series wins were truly remarkable comebacks for the visitors having conspicuously come under the wing of Head Coach, Chandika Hathurusinghe recently.
That the Lankans dominated a treacherous wicket did underscore the superiority of Dinesh Chandimal’s charges. It was all over in the second session of only the third day’s play in a record upswing of Sri Lanka’s spin specialists Akila Dananjaya and Rangana Herath. Dananjaya’s 8-wicket match haul for 44 was the best by a Sri Lankan on debut in a tare away entry to the fold as the Chinaman bowler tore through the Bangladesh lower order claiming 5 for 24 in the wake of 3 for 20 in the first innings.
Meanwhile, Rangana Herath’s 4 for 49 in the second innings that fetched him 415 scalps crowned the Sri Lankan as the greatest left arm bowler for the highest number of wickets in Test history. He thus surpassed the record of 414 wickets held by the legendary Wasim Akram. He reached the milestone when he dismissed Taijul Islam to seal the Lankans victory. It was in the wake of his previous record of having become the first left arm spinner to pass 400 wickets in Test cricket, and the fifth spinner after Muttaih Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
Bangladesh would best sum up the precipitation by the fact that only four batsmen reached double figures, and that not a single batsman lasted more than 51 deliveries.
It was Herath who started the demolition after Dilruwan Perera had trapped Tamim Iqbal leg before wicket for 2. Herath accounted for Imrul Kayes caught behind by Niroshan Dickwella for 17, and then deceived Mominul Haque to also edge a delivery to Dickwella for 33, and proceeded to have Mushfiqur Rahim stumped for 25. It marked a fine glove job by Dickwella in combination with Herath.
Batsman Roshen Silva found the rich reward of Man of the Match for his back to the wall half century in the wake of 56 in the first innings. His 70 off 145 balls was spiced with 10 boundaries enabling Sri Lanka to set the hosts a tall order of chasing down 339 to win on a deteriorating wicket. It decked him with a flattering brief Test record of one century and 3 half centuries in 3 matches aggregating 309 runs and averaging a remarkable103.00 at a strike rate of 47.10.
On this ominous note, Sri Lanka will mount the 2-match T20 series, the first starting on February 15th and second on the 18th, for a clean sweep.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-