SL complete sweet Kandy comeback

Australia

The Pallekele stadium in Kandy was the scene of Sri Lankan jubilation, as Angelo Mathew's men completed an improbable comeback to win the first Test against Australia.

Australia resumed the day on 83 for 3, needing 185 runs to win. Sri Lanka meanwhile were chasing seven wickets to complete a fantastic comeback, after they were bowled out for just 117 in their first innings.

The tourists would still have fancied themselves for the win even when Adam Voges (12) departed with the score on 96.

When Rangana Herath removed Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh with the score on 139 and 140 respectively, Australia went into game saving mode.

Mitchell Starc (0) and Nathan Lyon (8) offered little resistance, falling to debutant Sandakan leaving Australia 157 for 8.

Peter Nevill and injured Steve O'Keefe then began a brave resistance, with the latter unable to run the pair made only four runs, but batted for 29.4 overs.

O'Keefe was lucky to survive a review for an lbw shout, the replays appeared to show the ball hitting pad first but the third umpire ruled it had struck the bat first.

The injured spinner then survived again when Sri Lanka went up for a bat pad catch, the on field umpire ruled not out and Sri Lanka had used up their last review but the replays showed a clear edge.

Dhananjaya de Silva finally got the breakthrough with a skidding delivery that beat Neville, taking the edge of his bat and nestling in Dinesh Chandimal's gloves.

O'Keefe survived another scare as he was dropped at silly point, just two balls later though a ripper from Herath bowled him and the celebrations began.

This victory will be an incredible boost to the Sri Lankans who have looked average throughout this 2016 season and endured a tough opening to this Test before Kusal Mendis' brilliant ton set up the Sri Lankan comeback and Herath and Sandakan dealt the killer blows to the Baggy Green's hopes of finally recording a win in Asia.

 

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