Sri Lanka v West Indies: Dhananjaya de Silva and Ramesh Mendis brilliance fire the hosts to series victory

Dhananjaya de Silva starred with the bat, hitting an unbeaten second-innings 155; Ramesh Mendis took 11 wickets in the match to spin the visitors out; head coach Mickey Arthur will leave to join Derbyshire after the series win

Last Updated: 03/12/21 12:04pm

Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva scored a superb 155no to help the hosts to victory

Mickey Arthur’s tenure as Sri Lanka’s head coach ended on a high with a crushing 164-run win, inspired by Dhananjaya de Silva and Ramesh Mendis’ heroics in Galle on Friday, handing them a 2-0 series win against the West Indies.

Set a theoretical fourth-innings total of 297, Kraigg Braithwaite’s West Indies side had to bat out 96 overs on a turning wicket but lost their last eight wickets for just 40 runs across 13 overs.

Sri Lanka were put in a brilliant position by Dhananjaya’s outstanding knock of 155no, while Mendis – who took 11 wickets in the match for 136 runs – and Lasith Embuldeniya recorded five second-innings dismissals each to knock over the visitors.

The former South Africa batsman Arthur, 53, will now replace Dave Houghton as Derbyshire head coach after two years with the Lions.

Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis (left) took 11 wickets across the match

Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis (left) took 11 wickets across the match

How Sri Lanka wrapped up a series win

The hosts won the toss, chose to bat and began brightly, with openers Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne hitting 73 and 42 respectively to reach 152-2 before Sri Lanka lost their last eight wickets for 52 runs. Spinners Veerasammy Permaul and Jomel Warrican removing nine batters.

Braithwaite (72) and Jermaine Blackwood (44) laid the foundations in West Indies’ reply, with useful innings from Kyle Mayers (36no) and Nkrumah Bonner (35) giving them a 49-run lead at the halfway stage.

Batting all-rounder Dhananjaya, who scored two in the first innings, came in at 73-3 and struck a magnificent 155no from 262 deliveries, including 11 fours and two sixes, with No 10 Lasith Embuldeniya’s damaging 39 from 124 balls allowing Sri Lanka to declare on 345-9.

Set a near-impossible total on a deteriorating wicket, with Blackwood and Bonner well established and only one down at 65-1 after 30 overs, it appeared as if the hosts may ground out an unlikely draw.

The West Indies were in a good position after recording 253 off the back of Sri Lanka’s 204. But Dhananjaya de Silva’s magnificent unbeaten 155 took the hosts to 345-9 declared, and they bowled the West Indies out for 132 to win with ease.

But finger-spinners Mendis and Embuldeniya came to the fore after lunch and off-spinner Ramesh took three scalps in a single over. The 26-year-old now has 26 Test wickets at an impressive 21.53.

West Indies’ late collapse on an admittedly tricky away pitch leaves many questions for boss Phil Simmons, while Arthur signs off with a dominant victory, following their 187-run triumph at the same venue in the first Test.

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