Venue Profile, Test matches- Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka
The Kohli-era has taken Indian Cricket to new heights and continuing their great form, the number one Test team in the world- India demolished Sri Lanka in the second Test and bagged the series with one game to spare.
The third and the last Test of the series will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy. This will be the first Test match for the visitors at this venue. However, India did play an ODI here in 2010, in which they defeated the hosts by 20 runs.
The fact that India have never played a Test match at this venue makes this game all the more special for both teams. While India, after having pocketed the series already, look to continue their dominance over an injury-hit Sri Lankan side, the hosts will be keen to salvage some pride by winning the last game of the 3-match series.
The game at Pallekele will also be a test of Dinesh Chandimal’s character after the talented batsman suffered a humiliating loss on his captaincy debut. All eyes will be on him, and the newly appointed captain should look to put the loss behind him and lead the young side.
Chandimal who missed the first Test due to an injury didn’t have a great game with the bat either in the 2nd Test, and considering the inexperience of the bowling department and the form the Indian batsmen, Sri Lanka would love some extra runs. Therefore, the right-hander will have to come good.
The dead rubber also provides an opportunity to the youngsters in the Sri Lankan side to make a mark against an in-form Indian batting unit. The experience of Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, and Nuwan Pradeep will be largely missed, as the three key bowlers have been ruled out of the Test due to injuries. But the hosts will have to accept the fate and try and give their best.
Here are the complete venue details and some interesting records at Pallekele in Tests.
Playing area: 80.0m long, 75.0m wide
Floodlights: Yes, installed in 2010
End names: Hunnasgiriya End, Rikillagaskada End
Curator: Asitha Wijesinghe
The list of games played along with the results
The first game at the venue was played in 2010 between Sri Lanka and West Indies. Unfortunately, only 103 overs could be bowled before rain interrupted and the match was called off.
And in the last game at this venue, Sri Lanka hosted Australia. It was a remarkable game for the hosts as they beat the Aussies by 106 runs despite scoring just 117 runs in the first innings. Notably, the talented slow left-arm chinaman, Lakshan Sandakan made his debut in that game.
Most runs in aggregate
The experienced right-hander, Angelo Mathews holds the record for the most runs at this venue. The former Sri Lankan skipper has scored 228 runs in 8 innings. Dinesh Chandimal, the recently appointed captain occupies the second spot with 221 runs in 6 innings.
Both the seasoned campaigners have made good use of the familiar home conditions and sit pretty at the top, with Pakistan's Azhar Ali occupying the third spot.
Highest scores in an innings
The rising star of Sri Lankan Cricket, Kusal Mendis holds the record for highest score in an innings. The right-hander played an outstanding inning, 176 off 254 balls, to put his side in a commanding position after the hosts were bundled out for a mere 117 in the first innings against Australia.
Mendis showed great character and lot of promises of becoming a great player. He was equally authoritative against both pace and spin in his 319-minute inning. He was the also the highest scorer in the match; Steve Smith was the second highest scorer with 55 runs.
Mendis has improved a lot since his impressive hundred and is now one of the dependable batsmen for Sri Lanka.
The highest total at Pallekele was recorded by the Australians.
Top 3 lowest scores
Quite surprisingly, Sri Lanka have the unwanted record for the lowest score in an innings at Pallekele. Their disappointing performance came against the mighty Aussies in 2016. It was the first game of the three-match series and the hosts were bundled out for 117 in the first innings.
However, the home side went on to win the game by a comfortable margin, 106 runs, thanks to a scintillating hundred in the second inning by Kusal Mendis. Notably, the short right-hander also won the man of the match award for his ton. Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0.
Best bowling in an innings
The veteran left-arm spinner from Sr Lanka, Rangana Herath holds the record for the best bowling figures with 5-54 which also came against Australia. The tweaker took also took four wickets in the first innings to go with his five-for in the second.
Herath has been the pillar of Sri Lankan bowling, particularly at home where he is well versed with the surfaces. He uses his variation masterfully and can be very dangerous if there is even a hint of spin on offer. He also has one of the best arm balls in the world at present.
Following Herath are the two Pakistani pacemen, Imran Khan and Junaid Khan. Of the two Khans, Junaid has the better average.