- Dinesh Chandimal has been named player of the series
- This is Chandimal's best Test score in his career so far
Just when Sri Lanka looked in all sorts of trouble against Australia who were 1-0 up in the two-match Test series, Dinesh Chandimal walked out and took the cricketing world by storm. Chandimal with his gritty and patient double ton powered Sri Lanka to 554. It was Chandimal's assessment that Sri Lanka needed a lead of just more than 100 to create an impact on the match and he was right as Australia crumbled under pressure and lost the match by an innings and 39 runs.
It was a terrific effort by Chandimal, who stitched some crucial partnerships with the middle order to give the home side the edge after a disappointing batting performance in the first test that they lost by ten wickets. Walking out to bat in the third over of the day after the dismissal of overnight batsman Kusal Mendis, Chandimal was aggressive early on in the innings with close-in fielders piling on the pressure. His first scoring shot was a boundary as the right-hander gave Nathan Lyon the charge and drove him past cover.
Chandimal and Angelo Mathews shared 83 runs for the fourth wicket as Sri Lanka lost just one wicket in the morning session as they fought their way back into the game. Chandimal had nicked Mitchell Starc to wicketkeeper Alex Carey when on 30 but umpire Kumar Dharmasena turned down the appeal. Australia had used all their reviews and had it been referred, the on-field decision would have been overturned.
It was the partnership between Chandimal and debutant Kamindu Mendis — worth 133 runs for the fourth wicket — that gave Sri Lanka the advantage in the game. The Warne-Muralidaran trophy is all set to be shared between two nations Australia and Sri Lanka as the series now stands leveled between two great cricketing nations. Sri Lanka who were bowled out in a single session in the first Test have now returned the favor courtesy of Prabath Jayasuriya's 12 wickets. Not only did Jayasuriya perform wonders for his team but it was also Dinesh Chandimal who outdid the Australian team with his mighty batting skills.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Chandimal's brilliance: