Prabath Jayasuriya claimed 12 wickets in his dream debut and Dinesh Chandimal smashed his maiden double hundred to secure Sri Lanka's memorable series-levelling victory in the second test against Australia on Monday.
Chandimal smashed 206 not out, first double hundred by a Sri Lanka batter against Australia, providing the bedrock for the team's imposing 554 in reply to Australia's 364 in the first innings. Possessing a handy 190-run cushion, Sri Lanka unleashed their three-pronged spin attack and Jayasuriya routed Australia for 151 in their second innings claiming 6-59 at the Galle International Stadium.
Sri Lanka's victory by an innings and 39 runs, which came in four days, is also the first time they have inflicted an innings defeat on Australia. "Our boys bounced back really well after losing the first match and the debutants did an amazing job," Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said.
"I knew from the beginning that Prabath would be key for us, he did a great job for us." Jayasuriya's match haul of 12-177, which earned him the man-of-the-match award, is the best figures on a test debut for Sri Lanka.
It was a stunning display by the 30-year-old who would not have played the match but for a spate of COVID-19 cases that forced Sri Lanka to field three debutants. The hosts even had to substitute opener Pathum Nissanka after the first innings as the opener tested positive for the virus.
While wicketkeeper Alex Carey missed a couple of stumpings, Australia paid heavily for casually wasting all their reviews on Sunday. They were particularly stung when Chandimal, then on 30, edged Mitchell Starc but Australia had run out of reviews and could not challenge the not-out decision.
"We had plenty of chances over the last couple of days and didn't quite grab them," Australia captain Pat Cummins said after having to share the Warne-Muralitharan trophy. "Unfortunately Sri Lanka were too good."
After Sri Lanka resumed on 431-6, Chandimal, who bagged the man-of-the-series award, mounted a spectacular late charge. Having reached 185, Chandimal smashed Starc for a boundary and followed it with back-to-back sixes to bring up his double hundred.
Five of Sri Lanka's top six batsmen registered 50-plus scores to put the hosts in a commanding position. Australia began their second innings briskly with David Warner and Usman Khawaja playing their shots.
Warner fell in the penultimate over before tea but wheels came off Australia's innings when the returned after the break. Jayasuriya rocked them with a two-wicket over to get rid off Khawaja (29) and Steve Smith, who was dismissed lbw for a duck.
Australia slumped from 49 for no loss to 74-4 when Ramesh Mendis removed Travis Head for five. Jayasuriya sent back Marnus Labuschagne (32) to break Australia's back and effectively sealed the match removing Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc in the same over.
Australia had won the T20 series, while Sri Lanka prevailed in the one-dayers preceding the test matches.