Despite Harry Tector’s tenacity, Sri Lanka wins the Test series 2-0

Despite a valiant effort from Harry Tector, Ireland was unable to stop Sri Lanka from winning the Test series 2-0

(Cricket news) Paul Stirling and Curtis Campher both scored hundreds as Ireland put up a record-breaking effort in the first innings, breaching the 400-run barrier for the first time in Test cricket. However, Sri Lanka posted 704-3 in their first innings before losing two wickets late on the fourth evening, and they were forced to fight for their lives on the final day.

Balbirnie and Tector started the last morning’s play in the middle and finished it there as well, although during that time, Ireland lost three wickets—Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, and Campher fell, and the skipper had to retire hurt.

After obtaining medical care, Balbirnie departed the field of play after being struck on the helmet by a bouncer from the fiery Asitha Fernando. After backing off and driving Prabath Jayasuriya, Stirling made an attempt to counterattack but instead chose additional cover. With this victory, the left-arm spinner from Sri Lanka joined South African Vernon Philander as the bowlers to reach 50 Test wickets in the quickest amount of time (seven Tests) since 1900.

Although both Tucker and Campher made starts, neither one could match their significant contributions in the first innings. Tucker was out for the count after being struck by a Fernando bouncer that rose up off of him before rebounding and trickling back onto the stumps. Campher stumbled while sweeping, trying to make an aggressive move to spook the fielders standing close by, but he instead gloved his leg.

Ireland supporters were encouraged by Balbirnie’s return to the centre, and he and Tector led their team to lunch without suffering any more defeats. Balbirnie had to leave soon after the intermission though. His ejection also had a bad luck vibe to it because he managed to hit the ball twice, with the toe-end floating to mid-off.

Then, Ramesh Mendis made two quick strikes in succession. Andy McBrine scored 10 runs before edging Ramesh Mendis to Dhananjaya de Silva at slip. Graham Hume was defeated by a stunning ball that spun and pushed a stroke and ended up giving the keeper’s gloves the slightest of grazes.

Tector, the only middle-order player to fall short of a major total in the first innings, appeared determined to make up for it in the second and reached 50 in 159 balls while displaying great passion and resolve as well as sound defensive technique.

Tector prioritised the team even as he was approaching the milestone by declining a single to defend No. 10 Matthew Humphreys while he was on 49. After that, beverages caused another delay before Humphreys displayed his batting skills by launching a ramp over the slips for four in the following over. Tector pushed the single to raise his fifty one ball after the break.

Tector sped up as Humphreys appeared to be in good shape and the ball was soft. While Mendis was slog-swept twice in quick succession for a six and four, Tector showed off his mastery of the spin by smashing Jayasuirya twice through the off-side for four before lofting him for six. Then, with Ireland on the verge of taking the lead and Tector nearing a magnificent century, Fernando was pulled for six.

But the game ended shortly after that. Fernando bowled Tector, getting some reverse swing off of the ball with the old ball. The Sri Lankan quick struck the mark again with the following ball, and Ben White castled to confirm an Irish loss by an innings and 10 runs.

Ireland will learn a lot from the match, even though they lost because they much outperformed the first Test. Ireland’s extensive voyage to Asia, which started in mid-March and included a multi-format tour of Bangladesh prior to this two-Test series, comes to a close with this outcome. Early in May, Ireland will play Bangladesh in a three-match Cricket World Cup Super League series that will take place in Chelmsford.

Ireland 492 (145.3 overs; Curtis Campher 111, Paul Stirling 103; Prabath Jayasuriya 5-174)

Sri Lanka 704-3d (151 overs; Nishan Madushka 205, Kusal Mendis 245; Graham Hume 1-87)

Ireland 202 (77.3 overs; Harry Tector 85, Andrew Balbirnie 46; Ramesh Mendis 5-64)

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