Sri Lanka Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne lauded senior player Dinesh Chandimal after his double-ton helped them to pose an emphatic win against Australia in the second Test. On Monday (July 11), Sri Lanka thrashed Australia by an innings and 39 runs to square the series 1-1 at the Galle International Stadium.
Chandimal scored his maiden double-hundred to overcome the rough patch in the last few years. He was unbeaten on 206, including 16 boundaries and five sixes, as Sri Lanka extended its first-innings lead to 190 against Australia’s 364.
Chandimal, who averaged 22.52 in the period of 2019-2021, has amassed 448 runs this year at 112 with a couple of hundreds. Chandimal’s double-hundred came after Karunaratne (89), Kusal Mendis (85) and Angelo Mathews (52) set the tone for the hosts with gritty fifties.
I told Dinesh Chandimal to come up with a big knock: Dimuth Karunaratne
Karunaratne lavished praise on his senior batter and termed his form as a good sign for the team in the coming matches.
“I told Chandi (Dinesh Chandimal) to come up with a big knock. Last few years he was not very successful. When your senior player gives a knock like that, as captain it makes things easy for me. Angelo (Mathews) can fail, I can fail but I know that someone will fire for us. That’s a good sign for the series that’s ahead,” Karunaratne said after the match.
Debutant spin bowler Prabath Jayasuriya registered figures 12/177, picking six wickets in each innings. His fiery bowling spell helped the hosts to bowl Australia out for 151 in 41 overs on Day 4 itself.
Pakistan will be more challenging than Australia: Dimuth Karunaratne
Sri Lanka next faces Pakistan in a two-Test assignment this month and Karunaratne believes the Babar Azam-led side will impose a great amount of challenge on them.
“Pakistan is a strong side, a brilliant team. I think it will be more challenging than Australia. They play spin well,” the Sri Lankan skipper said.
The first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will get underway on July 16 in Galle. The last time Pakistan visited the island nation in 2015, they won the Test series 2-1.