Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal struck his maiden double century on the fourth day of the second Test against Australia on Monday.
Chandimal, a former captain who began the day on 118, smashed fast bowler Mitchell Starc for four and two sixes to achieve the feat as he leaped in joy amid raucous applause from the home crowd in Galle.
Sri Lankans to score a double century against Australia:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 11, 2022
The senior batsman surpassed his previous best of 164 and launched an attack on the bowlers to extend Sri Lanka’s dominance in the match.
His double ton is the highest score ever by a Sri Lankan against Australia, surpassing former captain Kumar Sangakkara’s 192 in Hobart.
Chandimal is playing his 68th Test since he made his debut in 2011 and has an average of over 40, including 13 hundreds.
The hosts were 499 for eight at the interval in Galle after opening batsman Pathum Nissanka was ruled out with Covid-19, becoming their sixth Sri Lanka player to get the virus during the past two weeks.
Sri Lanka resumed their first innings on 431-6, the overnight pair of Chandimal and Ramesh Mendis adding 68 before left-arm quick bowler Mitchell Starc broke through.
Starc trapped Ramesh lbw for 29 in another inspired spell of bowling and nearly got debutant Maheesh Theekshana caught behind when the umpire gave it out but the batsman successfully reviewed.
Chandimal, who recorded his 13th Test hundred on Sunday, kept chipping away to reach 150 to applause from the crowd.
Skipper Pat Cummins bowled Theekshana for 10 to bring Prabath Jayasuriya, who took six wickets on his Test debut, to the crease.
Australia leads the two-match series 1-0 after a crushing opening win inside three days at the same venue.