Spinners Lasith Embuldeniya and Ramesh Mendis took all 10 wickets as Sri Lanka demolished the West Indies to win the second Test in Galle on Friday with a session to spare.
Chasing an improbable target of 297 to secure their maiden Test win on the island, the visitors lost only two wickets in the first session and looked determined to save the Test match.
But in a sensational collapse, they lost eight wickets for 40 runs after lunch to leave them all out for 132 and hand the hosts a 164-run victory.
Not a single batsman managed a half-century in the second innings with Nkrumah Bonner’s 44 being the highest.
Off-spinner Ramesh Mendis triggered the collapse when he claimed three wickets in an over in the afternoon session.
He started off by breaking the 27-run third-wicket partnership between Nkrumah Bonner and Shai Hope when Hope clipped one straight to Suranga Lakmal at square leg.
Then Roston Chase was superbly caught by Osada Fernando at short leg. Kyle Mayers survived the hat-trick ball but four balls later edged one to Dhananjaya de Silva at first slip.
It was a first 10 wicket Test for Mendis after he claimed career-best figures of 6-70 in the first innings. He has been the main tormentor for the West Indies with 18 wickets in the series.
Playing just his fourth Test match, the 26-year-old Mendis has been a real find for Sri Lanka, bowling long spells and becoming his captain’s most trusted bowler.
“One thing Ramesh does is he spins the ball really big,” said outgoing Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur after he signed off with a win.
“We’ve just had to work on him being really consistent with his lines and with his lengths – the attacking lines that he’s worked on. I just think he’s getting his just rewards now.”
Mendis finished with a match bag of 11 wickets and was named Man of the Series, while Dhananjaya de Silva – who hit an unbeaten 155 in Sri Lanka’s second innings – was declared the Man of the Match.
Mendis was well supported by left-arm orthodox spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, who also finished with a five-wicket haul in the second innings – his fifth in Test cricket.
Embuldeniya dismissed Jermaine Blackwood in the last over before lunch and then came back to polish off the tail as the West Indies’ troubles with spin continued.
Sri Lanka retained the Sobers-Tissera Trophy and moved up to seventh in the ICC Test rankings, with the West Indies slipping to eighth.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was disappointed with the result but sought to single out positives for his side. “When you are playing in these conditions, it is always a learning curve,” he said. “I am sure we will get better.”
Sri Lanka also collected 24 points on offer in the ICC Test Championship by winning both games. They had won the first Test by 187 runs.
© Agence France-Presse