Sri Lanka’s landmark Galle win, replete with records

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Sri Lanka’s monumental innings and 39-run win in the second and final Test against top-ranked Australia, to level the two-game series 1-1 in Galle on 11 July, was littered with many new records.

Dimuth Karunaratne’s men with this emphatic victory became the first Sri Lankan team to beat the Aussies by an innings in a five-day game, having first begun to play red ball cricket with them since 1983.

The momentous triumph was built through a stellar double hundred by player of the series Dinesh Chandimal, who in the process registered the highest individual score by a Sri Lankan batter against the tourists.

He thus eclipsed the previous best by former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who made 192 in Hobart 15 years ago, in a losing cause.

Chandimal also posted his highest ever Test score, erasing his previous best of 164 made against India in Delhi five years ago.

The victory by the island-nation was also their first by an innings against any nation, since they crushed the West Indies by an innings and 6-runs, at the same venue, seven years ago.

The match haul of 12 for 177 recorded by man-of-the-match, left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya, was the fourth finest ever returned by a debutant in the history of Test cricket and the best ever by a Sri Lankan bowler.

The 30-year-old Jayasuriya eclipsed the figures of 11-178 returned by left-arm orthodox bowler and colleague Praveen Jayawickrema against Bangladesh in Pallekelle last year.

The figures were also the second best by a debutant slow bowler, behind former Indian
leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who returned match figures of 16-136 against the West Indies in Chennai in 1987.

Sri Lanka by virtue of their epic win also became the first team in six years to rout the Aussies by an innings in a Test, since the visitors lost to South Africa by an innings and 80-runs in Hobart.

The win also enabled the hosts, to maintain their record of not losing a Test series to the Australians at home since 2011.

The last time Sri Lanka lost a red-ball series to the tourists was 11 years ago, when the Aussies won a three-game series 1-0 under Michael Clarke.

(JK)