From being a curator to becoming Australia’s first off-spinner to bag 200 Test wickets, Nathan Lyon has come a long way in Test cricket. Lyon, who made his debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka at Galle, achieved the feat against the same opposition during his team’s first Test in Pallekele.
Lyon,playing in his 55th Test, dismissed Sri Lankan batsman Dhananjay de Silva, to achieve the milestone. The offspinner’s three-wicket haul helped Australia to dismiss the hosts for a paltry total of 117 in the first innings.
Sri Lanka holds a special place in Lyon’s career. The spinner apart from making his debut on the island, also picked up his maiden five-wicket haul here in 2011.
“I can’t wipe the smile off my face that’s for sure,” Lyon told media after achieving the milestone.
“I’m very proud of it. But in saying that, it probably hasn’t really sunk in yet in the middle of a pretty hard Test match.
“I’ll look back on it at the end of this Test or at the end of the series and look at the achievement.
“It’s been a pretty good ride so far, so hopefully there are a few more (wickets) to come.”
Meanwhile, Lyon also became the fifth Australian spin bowler to take 200 Test wickets. The spinner joined Shane Warne (708 Test wickets), Richie Benaud (248), Clarrie Grimmett (216) and Stuart MacGill (208) after reaching the mark. He is the 16th Australian overall to achieve this unique feat.
Coming to the match, after batting poorly in the first innings, Sri Lanka have batted themselves to the driver’s seat after the end of third day’s play. After dismissing Australia for 203, the hosts ended the day with 282 runs on the board for the loss of six wickets. Sri Lanka’s overall lead is now extended to 196 runs. With the pitch assisting spinners, the visitor will have to play out of their skin to avoid a defeat.