6th August 2016 will undoubtedly go down as a historic date for Sri Lankan cricket. The Lions won their first ever test series against Australia and that was the perfect remedy to silence people doubting the future of cricket in the island nation. It was a complete team performance from the Sri Lankans, as after Kusal Mendis’ brilliance in the first test, it was time for young off spinner Dilruwan Perera to strike form and create a niche for himself.
Perera has shown glimpses of a really bright future with his off spin, as his tactic of keeping things simple have reaped great dividends so far. The third day of the second test at Galle was just a formality, as the hosts completed Australia’s misery and registered a comprehensive win. The hero for Sri Lanka was the off spinner Dilruwan Perera, who was duly named the Man of the Match.
Post the game, skipper Angelo Mathews showered the young spinner with praises. “After having a quiet first Test, he backed his potential and came back really hard,” Mathews said. “He was one bowler who the Australians found it really hard to score off, especially on this track.”
“We talk a lot about Rangana Herath, but not as much about Dilruwan,” Mathews said. “But he’s just become the fastest Sri Lankan to 50 Test wickets. When Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) was there, we didn’t speak that much about Rangana, so I guess it’s the same thing with Dilruwan. He’s a silent hero. In the last match, he didn’t bowl well, but he was very diligent and knows how to bowl in Galle. He worked very hard in training with the coaches. He’s someone we can get a lot of profit from in the years to come.”
Mathews added that for the batsmen, just blocking and defending wasn’t the solution. The Sri Lankan captain mentioned the use of being unorthodox to be effective. “When you’re playing in extreme conditions you can’t just block the cricket ball,” Mathews added. “You’re eventually going to get out to the short leg or lbw. You’ve got to start scoring runs. You’ve got to sweep and reverse sweep. Sometimes you’re still going to make mistakes, but you’ll find a way to score runs and upset the lines and lengths of the bowlers. We had to be scrappy.”