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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
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Mendis bags five as Sri Lanka crush Ireland to seal Test series

The hosts swept the two-match series in Galle 2-0
Sri Lanka’s Ramesh Mendis (2L) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Ireland’s Andrew McBrine. AFP
Sri Lanka’s Ramesh Mendis (2L) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Ireland’s Andrew McBrine. AFP

GALLE: Sri Lanka Ramesh Mendis took five wickets and Prabath Jayasuriya became the fastest-ever spinner to 50 Test wickets Friday as Sri Lanka thrashed Ireland by an innings and 10 runs in the second Test.

The hosts swept the two-match series in Galle 2-0, recording their 100th Test win and leaving the tourists still seeking a first victory in cricket’s longest format.

Harry Tector fought a lone last-day rearguard action to try to bat out a draw, scoring 85 and mounting a 41-run stand for the ninth wicket, but Mendis took 5-64 as Ireland were bowled out for 202 in their second innings.

Asitha Fernando bowled Tector with a yorker to end the resistance and accounted for last man Ben White with the very next ball to wrap up another emphatic win in style.

The visitors posted 492 in their first innings – among the highest-ever scores to be followed by an innings defeat.

After Sri Lanka declared on 704-3, Ireland resumed their second innings on 54-2, hoping to hold on for a draw on a track still good for batting.

But Jayasuriya dismissed Paul Stirling in the fourth over of the morning to become the quickest-ever spinner to take 50 wickets, in just seven Tests.

Fellow left-armer Alf Valentine of West Indies had taken eight games to the milestone more than seven decades earlier.

Mendis removed first-innings centurion Curtis Campher when he swept one straight into the hands of Kusal Mendis at leg-slip, and took his third wicket of the innings when captain Andy Balbirnie drove one straight to Angelo Mathews at mid-off on 46.

Mendis then dismissed Andy McBrine and Graham Hume in successive overs to claim his fourth five-wicket haul.

Sri Lanka won the first Test by an innings and 280 runs.

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