Visitors suffer innings defeat as left-arm spinner claims 10 wickets in the match
GALLE: Sri Lanka needed less than four days to thrash West Indies by an innings and six runs in the opening Test at Galle on Saturday with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath leading the victory charge by claiming his fifth career 10-wicket haul.
The touring side, who have never won a Test in Sri Lanka, were bundled out for 227 in their second innings in the afternoon session after being asked to follow on.
Herath added three wickets to his previous day’s removal of opener Kraigg Brathwaite (34) after claiming six victims in the first innings to finish with match figures of 10-147.
Three of the 37-year-old’s landmark hauls have come at Galle, the venue for his Test debut against Australia more than 16 years ago. “When I play here, there is always something for me as a spinner,” said Herath after picking up the man of the match award. “That’s the main reason [for my success].”
Read: Herath wreaks havoc as WI scramble to save Test
Debutant all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana and paceman Dhammika Prasad also chipped in by picking up two wickets apiece in the second innings.
Jermaine Blackwood played some delightful shots and showed nimble footwork against the spinners during his knock of 92, his second highest score in Tests, but was the last man out.
After resuming on 67-2, West Indies lost nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo (10) in Herath’s third over and then experienced batsman Marlon Samuels was out lbw off the first ball he faced. Samuels did not offer a shot to a straight delivery and, more surprisingly, decided to waste a review by challenging the umpire’s decision.
West Indies’ hopes of avoiding a heavy defeat rested on Darren Bravo (31), who scored a 50 in the first innings, but the left-hander edged Nuwan Pradeep behind after captain Angelo Mathews’ decision to allow the paceman one more over was vindicated.
Read: Comfortably ahead Sri Lanka in control after dismissing West Indies’ openers
“We had a lot of things to learn,” said West Indies captain Jason Holder, leading the side for the first time in Tests. “We did not put enough runs in our first innings total and struggled again in the second innings.”
The 23-year-old felt the team also let themselves down in the field. “We did create chances but we just didn’t take them,” he said. “If we had held our chances I think the game would have been lot different.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2015.
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