SL vs IRE 2nd test: Sri Lanka secure second-successive innings victory against Ireland

Toby Marshall
1 May 2023
SL vs IRE 2nd Test

Sri Lanka achieved an emphatic victory over Ireland in the second Test, with Ramesh Mendis taking five wickets and Prabath Jayasuriya becoming the fastest-ever spinner to reach 50 Test wickets. The hosts won both matches in the two-match series, which was played in Galle, by an innings and 10 runs. This also marked Sri Lanka’s 100th Test win, while Ireland is still looking for their first victory in cricket’s longest format.

On the final day of the match, Harry Tector’s efforts to rescue Ireland went in vain despite scoring 85 runs and a 41-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Kusal Mendis proved to be too strong for the Irish side, claiming 5-64 as they were all out for 202 in their second innings. Asitha Fernando contributed to the win by bowling Tector with a yorker and accounting for last-man Ben White with the very next ball.

At the end of the first innings, Ireland had amassed an impressive 492 runs, which is among the highest-ever scores to result in an innings defeat. Ireland, who had started their second innings on 54-2, were looking to bat out for a draw on a pitch that was still conducive to batting. Sri Lanka declared their first innings on a massive score of 704-3.

Jayasuriya set a new record by becoming the fastest-ever spinner to take 50 wickets in just seven Tests by dismissing Stirling in the fourth over of the morning. Mendis added to his accolades by removing Curtis Campher and captain Balbirnie, who was caught by Mathews on 46. Mendis claimed his fourth five-wicket haul by dismissing McBrine and Hume in successive overs.

Ireland reached 319/4 on day one of the second Test, as Andy Balbirnie scored 95 and Lorcan Tucker was unbeaten on 78 at stumps. Paul Stirling returned to score 74 but had to retire hurt due to cramps. Ireland’s highest partnership in their Test history was achieved between Balbirnie and Stirling, who put up 115 runs.

Ireland scored 492 all out on day two, their highest Test score ever. Paul Stirling and Curtis Campher both scored maiden centuries, while Sri Lankan bowling looked uninspired. In response, Sri Lanka reached 81-0 at stumps, with Nishan Madushka unbeaten on 41 and Dimuth Kurunaratne not out on 39 before bad light and rain suspended play.

On a rain-affected Day 3, Sri Lanka amassed 357-1 with openers Karunaratne and Madushka hitting centuries in a record opening stand. Madushka scored his maiden Test century and remained unbeaten on 149, while Karunaratne reached his 16th career ton and was dismissed for 115.

Sri Lanka declared their innings at 704-3 with a lead of 212 runs after Mathews reached his century. During his innings, Mendis hit 11 sixes and scored 245 runs, breaking the record for most sixes in an innings for Sri Lanka previously held by Kumar Sangakkara. Ireland ended the day on 54-2, still trailing by 158 runs.

Author Toby Marshall