Sri Lanka must be the happiest cricket team among all the playing nations at this particular moment not only because they defeated the world number one side in Test cricket but because this victory against Australia is historic & big in every sense.
For It took them seventeen long years to defeat aussies for just second time in Test cricket. Their first triumph against australia on September 11,1999 (in Kandy) came under the likes of a star-studded lineup which included Arjuna ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuria, Mahela Jayawardane, Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. However this win in Pallakele is all the more prodigious for the paucity of such greats. Ofcourse, it could definitely be the making of some new ones. As of now Sri-Lanka stand seventh on the Test rankings and surpisingly yet blithely for them they have found a road to prevail over the No.1 team in the world.
Angelo mathews will now join the company of Jayasuriya as the only Sri Lanka captain to beat Australia in a Test. Retirements of legends like Sangakara and Jayawardene showed the signs of end of an epoch for Sri-Lanka. However, this game has given the indication of new stars in making.
Kusal Mendis who played in the whites only for the seventh time in his career turned the table around with his splendid 176. Debutant Lakshan Sandakan clinged on seven wickets with his left-arm wrist spin. Of course there was one man who stole the show Rangana Herath, who was also a part of the squad during that historic first win today seventeen years down the line with his hairs flecked grey and 300 wickets to his name sealed the deal for his team.
His nine wickets in the game and the much important 5 for 54 in the second innings was enough to fetch Sri lanka a historic Test victory.As far as Australia is concerned all is not well for them at this moment as they have a lot to ponder upon and worry about but knowing them for years now everytime they are bogged down they emerge stronger.
Of course Sri lanka can now dream big and wrap up the series in the second test at Galle. Yes there is a week off before they actually walk out to do that. As of now they celebrate the much awaited and deserved victory.
– by Yash Kashikar