Birthday boy celebrates with series victory

Rangana Herath puts on best performance of his career to push Sri Lanka to Test series win over Bangladesh.

    Birthday boy celebrates with series victory
    Sri Lankan bowler Rangana Herath (R) has eased into the space left by legend Muralitharan [AFP]

    New Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews showered praise on Rangana Herath on Tuesday after the slow left armer returned career-best figures to propel Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh on the fourth day of second Test.

    Sri Lanka coasted to a series-clinching victory in Colombo after Herath, celebrating his 35th birthday, took a career-best seven for 89 and brought up his 200th Test wicket..

    "Since the legend Muttiah Muralitharan retired, Herath has been the man for us," Mathews told reporters.

    "Since the legend Muttiah Muralitharan retired, Herath has been the man for us"

    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews

    "He lands all six balls on the same spot which so many bowlers don't do. With his variations he takes a lot of wickets but he has a lot of control as well."

    Mathews was captaining his country for the first time this series and he was satisfied with a 1-0 win after a draw in the first Test.

    "It was important to win a series because whoever you play against, you are under pressure to win," said the 25-year-old all-rounder.

    "We wanted to win the series 2-0 but we couldn't do that but I thought we played some really good cricket in this Test and won.

    "We were under a little bit of pressure, we had to win this game. We knew that we could do it. The talent the guys had and also the professionalism the team showed was unbelievable."

    'Disappointing'

    Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team did not bat to their potential after racking up records at the crease in the first Test in Galle.

    "We were 80-100 runs short in the first innings. The opportunity was there, but we couldn't apply ourselves, that was disappointing," said Mushfiqur. 

    "We made only 240 and against a team like Sri Lanka that wasn't good enough because we don't have a bowling attack that can bowl them out for 200.

    "(First innings centurions Kumar) Sangakkara and (Dinesh) Chandimal played really well, they didn't give us a chance.

    "In the second innings, some of us were set but we got out.

    "The spinners should have bowled better on this wicket, which Rangana Herath showed by bowling in one spot."

    The two teams now move on to Hambantota to commence a three-match one-day international series from March 23.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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