Mendis 169* propels SL lead towards 200
By stumps on the third day, Sri Lanka were remarkably on top in the Test as Kusal Mendis produced a stunning 169 not out
3.25pm Right then, that ends a terrific Test match to start this series. Been a pleasure from all of us here. Thanks for all your comments and time. Our coverage won't stop with this. For now, here's Brydon Coverdale's report on Test 1 of this series. Until next time, bye.
3.00pm Rangana Herath leads his team off the field. Splendid Test for Sri Lanka. They slumped to 117 in the first innings but have found a way to come back and beat the No. 1 Test nation in the world. The players shake hands as Sri Lanka take a 1-0 lead in this series. Steven Smith suffers his first loss as Australia's Test captain. Scenes of utter joy in Pallekele under cloudy skies. A staunch period of resistance from Nevill and O'Keefe but SL's spinners remained patient, bowled tight lines and finally found a way to bowl Australia out. Not many would have given SL a chance after they collapsed for 117 on the first day, but sublime performances from 21-year-old Kusal Mendis and 38-year-old Rangana Herath have given Sri Lanka the win they would have yearned for. Who deserves the Man of the Match more? I really don't know. Presentation soon.
Time for the presentation.
Kusal Mendis is the Man of the Match
Steven Smith: "Tough week, credit to SL the way they played this week. We let ourselves down with the bat, we weren't disciplined with the bat. Credit to Kusal, 176 turned the game. Tough to come back from there. (Would have been) nice to have a bigger lead than that. 20 on this wicket was always going to be tough. Wicket was pining quite a bit, tough to lose O'keefe but that's cricket. We have got to find our plans and find ways to play in these conditions. 1-0 down in a three-match series so have to turn it around quickly.
Angelo Mathews: "Don't have words to explain after a very hard few months. We regrouped, trained really well and prepared to the best. Brilliant effort by the whole team. Credit to Australians, they bowled really well. Not a good effort by our batters in the first innings. We needed that 200-plus lead. Special knock by a special young player. Fantastic effort. The old man Herath was brilliant once again. Sandakan a brilliant find for us. We knew this was going to take our turn, Sandakan responded brilliantly. I'm not trying to think about captaincy and the pressure too much."
Sid: "The injection of youth into this Sri Lankan side has made all the difference. They're still raw, but my word, this tiny island has no dearth of talent. Mendis played the innings of the year, in my opinion, and Sandakan and Dhananjaya showed flashes of brilliance, which augurs well for the future. Tremendous team effort. "
I don't see a weather interruption before tea. So SL will have at least 30 minutes to get this last wicket
Uwaisul Karnain: "Hats off for Dinesh Chandimal for his reaction after taking that catch as he made sure everyone in the ground knows that was a nick!"
Hazlewood is Australia's last man. A slip, gully, silly point, leg slip, leg gully, short leg and a second leg gully