Reliving Sri Lanka's last 5 Test encounters at the SSC
In the hundreds of encounters encountered and millions of experiences experienced only a chosen few stay on, to linger forever. If pondered upon this thought seems strange, even amazing. Why do certain situations inspire more nostalgia than others?
Why does a particular individual, out of the many, transport us into a faraway land of fantasies? Why does a specific venue remain ever so special?
In the sporting arena, the magic contained in the courts of Wimbledon or of the Maracana; Wembley or the Rose Bowl remains unparalleled with a sense of déjà vu enveloping each game that is played in these historical stadiums. Furthermore, the MCG in Australia and the Lord’s in London; The Wanderer’s in Johannesburg alongside the Eden Gardens in Kolkata; The SSC in Colombo with the Sabina Park hold their own unique place amidst the cricket enthusiasts, with each Test match eagerly awaited and followed.
Histories are made and new ones are scripted. The performances of the former players are reminisced and every promising youngster is applauded. Perform in these historical stadiums and script your own legacy.
As the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo hosts the 2nd Test match between India and Sri Lanka, we relive the last five Test encounters of the home team here- some historical, some memorable and some disappointing.
#1 Rangana Herath’s 13-wicket match haul, Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test, 2016
The moment a nation had been waiting for. The Emerald Isle erupted as Nathan Lyon was caught plumb in front and Rangana Herath snatched up his 13th wicket of the match, guiding Sri Lanka to a historical white-wash against Australia.
Struggling at 26/5 in the first innings, Sri Lanka appeared in deep waters before the aggressive duo of Dinesh Chandimal and newcomer Dhananjaya de Silva stitched together a memorable partnership of 211 runs for the 6th wicket, with a blazing century each.
Chandimal’s 132 complemented de Silva’s 129 in a partnership that was defined by acute levels of patience and streaks of aggression as the hosts piled on 355.
Affected by a shock series loss, Australia made their intention clear of salvaging pride both in the series and in the sub-continent. Shaun Marsh’s 130 and captain Steve Smith’s 119 led Australia to 379, helping them garner a slight lead over their rivals, with Herath bundling out 6 batsmen.
With the match excellently poised, a number of questions started doing the rounds all over the cricketing fraternity. Will Sri Lanka, who had just a single Test match win over Australia since 1999 before the series started, be able to pile on a comprehensive whitewash? Or will the top-ranked Australia finally play to their potential and prevent them from succumbing to their 9th successive defeat in Asia?
When Sri Lanka finally declared at 347/8 on the morning of Day 5, thus setting Australia a target of 324 for victory, a dull draw loomed large despite David Warner’s blazing 94-ball 68. What followed in the next few hours was pure annihilation, with Australia losing nine wickets in 60 runs!
Herath beautifully turned the ball dumbfounding the opponents with his guile and left-arm spin, taking 7/64.
It was only Sri Lanka’s 4th whitewash in a Test series as Australia’s clueless haplessness in the sub-continent continued.