Jayawardenes lead the way as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by nine wickets in second test
Captain Angelo Mathews was impressed with the performances of the two Jayawardenes after Sri Lanka rolled over Pakistan by nine wickets in the second cricket test in Dubai on Sunday and ensured it can’t lose the three-match series.
Mahela Jayawardene made a spirited 129 with three stitches in his left hand to win the man of the match award while wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene took nine catches in the test to equal Sri Lanka’s 29-year-old record.
“They made a huge impact in the team and Prasanna has the best hands,” Mathews said.
“They are very senior players and have a lot of ideas when it comes to the game ... they’re really great to have in the team.”
Mahela could score only five and 0 in the drawn first test before he came back hard with his 32nd test century in Dubai after batting for seven hours. He hit 15 fours in his 278-ball knock.
“There’s a good saying that ‘class is permanent and form is just temporary’ and that’s what Mahela showed us in this game,” Mathews said.
Mahela put on 139 runs for the third-wicket stand with his clubmate Kaushal Silva, who again narrowly missed his maiden test century by being out for 95. He also hit 81 in the first test.
Mathews was hopeful that Mahela would be fit before the third and final test begins at Sharjah on Thursday.
“We all hope that he’ll get better and better and I’m sure he’ll play the next match as well,” Mathews said. “Fielding might be a problem, but he might be able to field in the outfield or in the ring without fielding in the slips.”
Mathews himself contributed a stand of 93 runs with Mahela and gave Sri Lanka a decisive 223-run first innings lead.
Sri Lanka seamers Nuwan Pradeep, Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal exploited the advantage of bowling first after Mathews won the toss and Pakistan was dismissed for 165 on the first day.
“They actually set it up for us,” Mathews said. “The toss was a bit crucial but I thought you need to bowl in the right areas to get them out. They did exactly that.”