Dinesh Chandimal celebrates scoring double ton against Australia.© AFP
Getting a double ton in Tests is special, and getting to the mark with a maximum is extra special. Veteran Sri Lanka batter Dinesh Chandimal did exactly that on the fourth day of the second Test against Australia on Monday. His maiden double century put Sri Lanka in control with a first-innings lead of 190. Former captain Chandimal began the day on 118 and finished with an unbeaten 206 as Sri Lanka were all out for 554 after lunch in Galle. Sri Lanka won the match by an innings and 39 runs to draw the two-Test series 1-1.
The first half of Day 4 belonged to Chandimal, who launched an assault on the opposition bowlers as he began to run out of partners with his final 47 runs coming from just 28 balls. Chandimal, 32, smashed left-arm quick Mitchell Starc for a four and two sixes on consecutive balls to go past 200 as he leapt in joy amid raucous applause from the crowd. The first of sixes hit a boy who was walking outside the stadium, while the second one took him past the 200-run mark.
Watch: Dinesh Chandimal reaches double ton in style
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Starc took four wickets while leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson took three to polish off the tail. The hosts began the day on 431-6 in response to Australia’s first innings 364. Opening batter Pathum Nissanka was ruled out before play started Monday with Covid-19, becoming the sixth Sri Lanka player to contract the virus during the past two weeks.
The overnight pair of Chandimal and Ramesh Mendis added 68 before 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, took on the opposition bowlers after losing Prabath Jayasuriya for nought as he went past his previous best of 164. Starc rattled the stumps of Jayasuriya for nought, before Swepson got the final wicket.
Australia lead the two-match series 1-0 after a crushing opening win inside three days at the same venue.
With AFP inputs
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