Jayawickrama takes 11 wickets as SL seal Test series win over Bangladesh

Sri Lanka 493 for 7 dec (Thirimanne 140, Karunaratne 118, Taskin 4-127) and 194 for 9 dec (Karunaratne 66, Islam 5-72) beat Bangladesh 251 (Tamim 92, Jayawickrama 6-92) and 227 (Jayawickrama 5-86, Mendis 4-103) by 209 runs

Pallekele: Sri Lanka spinner Praveen Jayawickrama enjoyed a dream debut as he claimed 11 wickets to seal a 209-run victory over Bangladesh in the second Test at Pallekele on Monday.

Chasing a daunting 437 to win, Bangladesh were dismissed for 227 in the first session of the final day after resuming at 177-5 as Sri Lanka wrapped up the match, and the series 1-0, after 90 minutes of play.

The 22-year-old left-armer Jayawickrama was named player of the match after claiming 11/178 on his first Test appearance as he added five second-innings wickets to his six in the first.

Jayawickrama said it was a dream come true just to get a place in the Test team.

“It was a childhood dream to play for Sri Lanka one day,” Jayawickrama said. “To get 11 wickets in the game is simply unbelievable.”

He thanked senior players for their encouragement. “They just told me not bother when the batsmen go after the bowling, just to be patient and do the basics right,” he said. “I am glad that it all worked today.”

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who was named player of the two-match series for scoring 428 runs in three innings, said Jayawickrama and off-spinner Ramesh Mendis worked well as a team.

“Ramesh also gave him (Jayawickrama) a lot of help from the other end, in terms of building pressure,” Karunaratne said. “That bowling partnership was good, and they had an understanding because they also play for the same club.”

Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis dismissed four batsmen as all 10 Bangladesh second-innings wickets were taken by slow bowlers.

Jayawickrama struck in the third over on Monday, taking his ninth wicket of the match when he trapped Liton Das lbw with a ball that went straight on and setting a Sri Lankan record for a Test debutant, surpassing Akila Dananjaya’s 8-44 against the same opposition in Dhaka in 2018.

Mendis was replaced after a 15-over spell during which he took two wickets and the bowling change worked immediately as part-time spinner Dhananjaya de Silva struck with his second delivery.

Taijul Islam, on two, attempted a late cut, but only managed to edge it to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. Mendis returned to have Taskin Ahmed caught by Dimuth Karunaratne off a top edge as the fielder moved to his left from cover point.

Jayawickrama then mopped up the tail. Mehidy Hasan fell first to take the young bowler’s match haul into double figures, before Jayawickrama sealed the Test and the series three balls later when he trapped Abu Jayed leg before.

Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque said despite the series defeat, he was pleased with the team’s batting in the first Test.

“There are certainly a lot of positives,” the Bangladesh skipper said. “Losing the series doesn’t mean I lost everything. There will of course be criticism but we did well as a batting group in the first Test.”

He said winning the toss was also crucial as the wicket did not offer much for the bowlers on the first two days when Sri Lanka batted.

“From the third day onwards, there was lot of help for bowlers,” he added.

Jayawickrama is the 16th Test cricketer to take 10 wickets or more on debut but only the second this century after Australia’s Jason Krejza, who took 12 wickets against India at Nagpur in 2008.

The first Test was drawn after an avalanche of runs, the two sides scoring 1,289 for the loss of just 17 wickets over the five days

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