Match Report:


Series drawn as Australia collapse under spin trial

Australia’s batters were left without any answers in a crushing innings defeat as 12 wickets for Prabath Jayasuriya capped an incredible Test debut

Dinesh Chandimal ripped Australia's heart out in the morning, and Prabath Jayasuriya surgically dismembered their limbs in the evening as Sri Lanka surged to a famous series-leveling victory late on the fourth day of the second Test in Galle.

The Aussies succumbed to their first innings defeat in six years, capitulating for 151 as first-gamer Jayasuriya, after six first-innings wickets, brought about a swift end to their tour and finished with the best match figures (12-177) by a Sri Lankan on debut.

Jayasuriya (6-59 in the second innings) confounded the tourists as he took the prized scalps of Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne before clean-bowling Mitchell Swepson for the match-sealing wicket in the final hour of day four.

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The visitors' fate was confirmed in just 41 overs, with the final margin of victory – an innings and 39 runs – marking an incredible achievement for a Sri Lankan side missing five players due to COVID-19, including Pathum Nissanka who was the latest to be ruled out on Monday morning.

It had all been possible thanks to the remarkable boundary-hitting blitz laid on by Chandimal (206no), who took a match Australia still had hopes of winning at the day's outset and singlehandedly put it out of reach.

A pitch that Chandimal had dispatched the vaunted Aussies on with ease then became an absolute minefield when Sri Lanka's spinners got their chance on it.

Separate collapses of 3-16 in 19 balls, 3-5 in 16 balls and 3-7 in 11 balls coloured a chaotic procession of batters making their way to and from their dressing room at the city end of the ground.

Jayasuriya lands hammer blow as Smith trapped for nought

It mattered little in the end but the sight of David Warner and Steve Smith both burning reviews on lbw decisions that ball-tracking suggested would have cannoned into middle-stump halfway up only added to the sense of despair.

In sharp contrast to the visitors handing over their final five first-innings wickets for just 35 runs to leave Steve Smith stranded on 145no on Saturday morning, Chandimal got strong support from the tail to add 145 runs for the final four wickets.

But it wasn't until he got down to his final partner in Kasun Rajitha did he truly unleash.

Chandimal blasted 42 runs in 18 balls that saw him twice deposit Starc onto the road just in front of the Galle fort, the second hitting a young man walking near the roundabout at the entrance to the UNESCO Heritage-listed landmark.

Bang-bang! Chandimal brings up 200 with two huge sixes

An incredible double century was sealed when he put Starc over the fence a third time, as Chandimal immediately sprinted towards his dressing room in delighted celebration before dropping to his knees – as if he, like the rest of patrons watching on, could not believe quite how quickly he had gotten there.

He was the first Sri Lankan to score a Test double century against Australia.

Compared to the frenzy that followed, Australia's third innings begun serenely as their openers knocked off 49 runs of the 190-run advantage they had squandered before Ramesh Mendis dismissed Warner for the second time this series.

Queenslanders Labuschagne and Khawaja needed mid-pitch peace talks having been spared a disastrous run-out only because of lacklustre fielding from Jayasuriya following a panicked mix-up.

Whether lingering unease over the blunder was a factor in Khawaja's dismissal – caught at short leg in what appeared to be a deviation from his regular ploy of playing good length balls from spin off the back foot – only he will know.

His 29 was the lowest score he has been dismissed for in 11 innings since the start of the Pakistan tour, with a batting average for the 2022 calendar year dipping below 100 (to 98.66).

What his exit did do was open the floodgates for the ascendant Sri Lankan spinners as Smith was caught on the crease (becoming the first Australian to make a hundred and a duck in the same Test since Khawaja did it against Sri Lanka in Canberra in 2019) and Travis Head was castled by Mendis.

Magic from Mendis as Head loses his off peg

Labsuchagne became the third Aussie to depart lbw but showed better judgement than Smith and Warner as he elected, after considerable deliberation with his batting partner Cameron Green, not to send his upstairs to the third umpire.

Neither Green (stumped advancing down the track) nor Mitchell Starc (edging to slip) had the option of bothering with a review system that has been poorly used by the Australians in this Test.

Resuming on 118 with his side six down and their lead standing at a modest 67, Chandimal used impeccable judgment in herding the tail through Australia's increasingly ineffectual attempts with the ball.

After continuing to wear down the visiting bowlers with help from Ramesh Mendis (29 off 98) and Maheesh Theekshana (10 off 27), Chandimal launched his extraordinary assault upon the loss of his side's ninth wicket.

Starc bore the brunt of it to mar an otherwise standout effort from the left-armer who finished with 4-89 and had, until Chandimal's game-changing fireworks, consistently been the most threatening Australian bowler.

Rajitha, who faced nine balls but contributed no runs to the incredible 49-run last-wicket stand, ended a Sri Lanka innings that lasted 181 overs.

It was most bowled by Australia in a Test innings in five years, a sharp contrast to the first Test when they bowled out Sri Lanka inside just 22.5 overs in the second innings – a distant memory as they were forced to reflect on their struggles a week later.

Cummins says tour 'more than just cricket' amid SL crisis

Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Test squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana, Lakshitha Manasinghe, Dunith Wellalage, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. Standby players: Matthew Kuhnemann, Todd Murphy

June 29 - July 3: Australia won by 10 wickets

July 8-12: Sri Lanka won by an innings and 39 runs

Sri Lanka v Australia Test matches will be screened live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports