SLvBAN, 1st Test: Herath’s six powers Sri Lanka to victory

Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath bagged six wickets in the second innings to register his 23rd five-wicket haul, as Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 259 runs in the first Test at Galle on Saturday.

The star off-spinner collected figures of 6-59 to take his wickets tally in Test cricket to 366, surpassing former Kiwi star Daniel Vettori‘s record of 362 wickets.

Chasin an unlikely 457 for victory, Bangladesh were bundled out for just 197 in less than two sessions on the final day, giving hosts a 1-nil lead in the two-match series.

Herath spoke of the wicket being insipid for bowlers and praised bowlers for doing a phenomenal job.

“It’s very important to get a good start in any series. We are happy with what we have achieved. Hopefully the winning mindset will carry on for the second Test as well. I was very happy with the effort the bowlers put in. There’s absolutely nothing on that wicket. We had to be patient and all the bowlers did a fine job.” Herath said.

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Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim refused to pin the blame on the wicket and said it was his team’s inability to draw the Test which cost them.

“Last night the way the openers batted, I thought the wicket was pretty good. Still, it doesn’t look like a day-five wicket. It doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with the wicket. We had a hope that if we managed to survive the first one hour, we could do something,” Mushfiqur said

“We lost our top five batsmen in the first hour. After that it’s very difficult to recover. They had to just bowl the right line and length from thereon. Losing that many wickets in the first hour cost us the game. We were outplayed in all three departments and they deserved to win,

“If we could have stuck to our basics, ball after ball, then the session could go either way. And if we lost maximum one or two wickets in the first session, then I think the last two sessions could have been a different ball game. There are lots of areas to work on and we don’t have enough time, but there is one more game to go and one more opportunity to come back in the series.”

Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis was awarded the Man of the Match award for his resilient 194 in the first innings.

“I am extremely happy about the achievement and thank Rangana Herath and rest of the team for the support,” he said.

The second and final Test of the series is scheduled in Colombo between March 15-19.

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