Herath bowls Sri Lanka to historic whitewash
Thirteen wickets in the match from their leading spinner helped Sri Lanka complete their first whitewash over Australia in Test cricket
Thank you for your company and your comments so far. That's all we have from this series, do look out for the ODIs on Sunday. As for everyone asking about the rankings, a story will be up on the site very soon. Look out for it. Here's Brydon Coverdale's report, and plenty to come from Dan Brettig and Andrew Fernando from the SSC
Janmay : "So Muthu, where do SL end up in the ranking table now ?" India are at No. 1, but they need to win the Port of Spain Test to retain that ranking. Australia pushed down to No. 3 losing 10 points. Sri Lanka at No. 6 having gained 10 points.
2.30 pm Rangana Herath is the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series. "No secret, if you do well, just a lot of hard work [getting these awards]. Experience counts a lot, every day we learn, it all helps me so thank you very much to all those people. We had a tough time for seven-eight months, we stayed together, we knew we were one win away. And when we won in Pallekele, we just kept going. [Break from one-day] It's good for me, having some time to spend with familiy, I have retired at the right time from ODI and T20. I haven't decided anything on Tests, we will go series by series. Hopefully I wish to play next series"
Huge roar as Angelo Mathews comes up to collect the Warne-Muralitharan trophy. A yelp of "3-0" as well. "What a fantastic moment, especially after being 26 for 5 to come back this strong, credit to de Silva the way he batted and then Chandimal the way they got us through the second and third sessions on the first day and then Herath, doing his thing. You can't keep him out. He was fantastic with one leg, one leg was enough for him. We thank everyone, the president of the SLC, the office-bearers the fans and most importantly my team as well. We had a tough few months, but thanks for your support. Thanks to the Australians as well, you guys didn't have a great series, but we had to fight all the way through,"
"It's been a tough series, outplayed in all three matches. Think Sri Lanka have played some great cricket, disappointing but a great learning curve," Steven Smith says, "Can't fault the prep, got here early, worked as hard as we can. But in the matches, after getting Sri Lanka at 117, we couldn't get ahead of the game and from there it came down. [One-dayers?] Different format, new guys come in, Test guys will feel flat, but that's the challenge for us. There's been quite a lot of fans travelling, thank you to the supporters for following us, Apologies for what we've done over here."
Sri Lanka take a lap of honour around the Sinhalese Sports Club, the audience clapping for them, and they clapping back and thanking the crowd for the continued support. Didn't look like this when Sri Lanka were coming back without a single victory in England, having played in bone-chillingly cold weather and exhibiting batting that led Mathews to say he felt humiliated. Here he is leading his men with a big smile on his face. Mathews posing with the groundsmen now as the papare blares on. 'Happy Birthday to you' going on now, to wish Kusal Perera on his 26th. His wicketkeeper was excellent, has a definite case to take it over permanently. And more positives include Kusal Mendis, that 176 earlier in the series could possibly be one of the greatest ever innings played by a Sri Lankan. Dhanajaya de Silva finishes the top-scorer of either team in his debut series. Playing at home, they appear impossible to beat
Shyamprasad: "Turning point of the series was the knock by Kusal mendis... It has been Sri Lankans series since then and they never let Aussies comeback.. Well played... "
Dan Brettig on twitter: "Aust obliterated by world's 7th team and lost No. 1 ranking in process. Technical, mental issues in Asia only worsening, 9 losses on trot!"
2.15 pm Sri Lanka form a huddle on the pitch, Mathews leading a little war chat and up go the roars. Rangana Herath is duly given the ball, he's picked up 28 wickets in the series, and while his team-mates pump fists and flash smiles, he just looks relieved that he has done the job each of his countrymen has expected of him ever since Murali had retired. Percy, the Sri Lankan fan, has found his way onto the field and is with the team as they pose for pictures. Steven Smith is waiting on the outfield to shake hands with his opposite number, but they aren't quite ready to leave yet. Soaking it all in.
Australia have had the series they have dreaded. One ball spins, the other doesn't. What to do? They have resisted, like in the first innings when Marsh and Smith hit centuries. And in this one, where Warner did well, picking the length well and playing positively. Then there is Mitchell Starc, who has 24 wickets in the series at an astounding strike-rate, better than any bowler ever with more than 20 in a three-Test series in Asia if I'm not wrong.
Yashas: "Gotta feel for Smith. Had never faced a loss as a captain before this series and now 3 in row. And judging by the way Aussies have played spin this series, there is more hell to come, come the India series."
umair: "hey muthu, does this win for SL mean Pakistan or India are the only two teams in contention for number 1 test ranking spot?" It's all a bit murky, but I believe India might become No. 1 if they win in West Indies. If not Pakistan at No. 1
This from Brydon's preview to this Test: "In nearly 140 years of Test cricket, Australia have played 177 series of three or more matches and only four times have they been whitewashed: 0-3 to England in 1886; 0-4 to South Africa in 1969-70; 0-3 to Pakistan in 1982-83; and 0-4 to India in 2012-13"
Jon Holland is the last man in. Sri Lanka are within sight of a first-ever Test-series whitewash against Australia
ajit: "Herath, of course is the everyman to Murali's genetic exceptions, and will never rival his overall statistics. But in terms of peak performance, for the last couple of years he seems to be almost Murali's equal."