PALLEKELE: Left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama claimed a match-haul of 11 wickets in a fairytale debut as he bowled Sri Lanka to a 209-run victory, and a 1-0 series win, in the second Test against Bangladesh in Pallekele on Monday.
Sri Lanka needed five wickets for victory on the final day at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and Jayawickrama accounted for three of them to finish with combined figures of 11-178.
It was the 10th-best return by a Test bowler on debut and the best by a Sri Lankan, improving on Akila Dananjaya’s 8-44 against Bangladesh three years ago. He was voted player-of-the-match.
After trapping Liton Das for 17 in his second over of the morning with an arm ball, the 22-year-old left-arm spinner claimed the last two Bangladeshi wickets in the space of three deliveries to finish with 5-85 in the second innings to back up his first-innings effort of 6-92.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who was adjudged player-of-the-series after scoring 428 runs including a double-century, century and a half-century in three innings, described the performance of inexperienced spinners Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis as fantastic.
“At a time when we didn’t have anyone experienced, they came and bowled like experienced players, and performed their roles as they should,” he said. “Praveen did his job perfectly well. He played like a bowler who had more than his 10 first-class matches.
“Its a great sign for the future of our Test cricket. The seniors just gave them confidence. Some players can panic at times when they come into the Test arena [but] Praveen absorbed pressure really well.”
Bangladesh lost their last three wickets within eight balls with the total on 227.
Off-spinner Mendis finished with four wickets, complementing the orthodox spin of Jayawickrama, who flighted the ball, found drift and lot of assistance from a crumbling wicket.
The two front-line spinners shared the bulk of the bowling, sending down 60 overs in the second innings and claiming nine wickets between them.
Jayawickrama said the Test call-up came as a surprise.
“It was childhood dream to play for Sri Lanka one day. Playing the Test match was a dream come true and to get 11 wickets in the game is simply unbelievable,” he said. “There was a bit of pressure leading into the game but there was lot of support from the skipper and the senior players.”
Bangladesh’s batters struggled, with nobody scoring a half-century. Mushfiqur Rahim top scored with 40.
Bangladesh had been bowled out for 251 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lankas 493-7. Despite a first-innings lead of 242, Sri Lanka did not enforce the follow-on, instead batting again and declaring on 194-9 to set the visitors a daunting target of 437.
It was Sri Lankas first Test win in more than a year, ending a run of eight Tests without a victory. The first Test in this series had ended a draw at the same venue last week.
Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque said the outcome of the toss proved crucial.
“If we had batted first, it would have been a different story. Maybe they would have been in our position, and us in theirs,” he said. “But having said that, we should have scored more than the 251 we managed in the first innings. If we could have batted for three or four sessions, things would have been different.”
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 493-7 declared (H.D.R.L. Thirimanne 140, F.D.M. Karunaratne 118, B.O.P. Fernando 81, N. Dickwella 77 not out; Taskin Ahmed 4-127).
BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 251 (Tamim Iqbal 92, Mominul Haque 49, Mushfiqur Rahim 40;
P. Jayawickrama 6-92).
SRI LANKA (2nd Innings) 194-9 declared (F.D.M. Karunaratne 66, D.M. de Silva 41; Taijul Islam 5-72).
BANGLADESH (2nd Innings, overnight 177-5):
Tamim Iqbal c Dickwella b Mendis 24
Saif Hassan c Lakmal b Jayawickrama 34
Najmul Hossain Shanto b Jayawickrama 26
Mominul Haque b Mendis 32
Mushfiqur Rahim c de Silva b Mendis 40
Liton Das lbw b Jayawickrama 17
Mehidy Hasan c Nissanka b Jayawickrama 39
Taijul Islam c Dickwella b de Silva 2
Taskin Ahmed c Karunaratne b Mendis 7
Shoriful Islam not out 0
Abu Jayed lbw b Jayawickrama 0
EXTRAS (B-3, LB-2, NB-1) 6
TOTAL (all out, 71 overs) 227
FALL OF WKTS: 1-31, 2-73, 3-104, 4-134, 5-171, 6-183, 7-206, 8-227, 9-227.
BOWLING: Lakmal 4-2-14-0; Mendis 28-2-103-4; Jayawickrama 32-10-86-5; de Silva 7-1-19-1 (1nb).
RESULT: Sri Lanka won by 209 runs to win
two-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: H.D.P.K. Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka).
TV UMPIRE: R.R. Wimalasiri (Sri Lanka).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Praveen Jayawickrama.
PLAYER-OF-THE-SERIES: Dimuth Karunaratne.
FIRST TEST: Pallekele, match drawn.
Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2021