Dilruwan Perera laid bare Australia’s spin frailties again yesterday to spin Sri Lanka to a series-clinching 229-run victory inside three days of the second Test in Galle.
The 34-year-old claimed 6-70 as the world’s top-ranked test team folded for 183 in their pursuit of an improbable 413-run victory target.
The off-spinner became the first Sri Lankan player to score a fifty and claim 10 wickets in the same match as the hosts clinched their first Test series victory over Australia since 1999.
Perera became the fastest Sri Lankan to claim 50 Test wickets, achieving the feat in his 11th match, and won the man-of-the-match award for his all-round brilliance.
“Not too many teams do this to the number-one team,” home captain Angelo Mathews said after his team prevailed in the bowler-dominated contest that saw 33 wickets tumble on the first two days.
“After winning the toss, we had to put a decent score on the board and once again it was a special effort by Kusal Mendis, and what a performance Dilruwan came up with,” he said.
Sri Lankan spinners claimed 18 of the 20 Australian wickets to fall in the contest, underlying the tourists’ struggle on turning tracks.
“It’s incredibly hard to play against [spin], particularly [coming] from Australia. We are not accustomed to that. It’s very foreign,” Smith said. “Our record shows that we’ve won a game in about 15 or 16 in the sub-continent. We certainly have a lot of work to do.”
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