Galle, Aug 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews credited his entire team for putting up a brave performance with both bat and ball in the second innings to beat India by 63 runs in the first Test at the Galle International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed seven wickets for just 48 runs as India, chasing 176 in the second innings, were bundled our for 112.
The hosts have thus taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second Test begins on August 20 in Colombo.
“What an absolute turnaround it was. I am speechless. It was a great effort by the whole team. It was a poor performance from the batting unit in the first innings, but we came back really strong and hard,” Mathews said at the post match presentation ceremony.
Sri Lanka had conceeded a 192-run first inings lead. But Dinesh Chandimal (man-of-the-match) scored an unbeaten 162 to help the hosts avoid an innings defeat and take their second innings score to 367.
Mathews heaped praise on Chandimal and Herath for their performance.
“It was a challenging wicket and I thought Chandimal was brilliant and he single-handedly gave us a fighting score. Rangana was outstanding with the ball as well. The wicket was pretty demanding. We were down and out for the first three days so we just thought we should give our best shot,” the Lankan skipper said.
“The spinners were outstanding. They had three spinners and the wicket was turning a lot, so we had to be aggressive. We just couldn’t play forward defence, we had to play the sweeps and the reverse-sweeps and it worked,” he added.