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RESULT
2nd Test, Galle, April 24 - 28, 2023, Ireland tour of Sri Lanka
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492 & 202
704/3d

Sri Lanka won by an innings and 10 runs

Player Of The Match
5/174 & 2/88
prabath-jayasuriya
Player Of The Series
385 runs
kusal-mendis
Report

Karunaratne, Madushka tons ease Sri Lanka into control

Mendis' 96-ball 83* helped the hosts put on 276 runs in 59 overs on a rain-curtailed day

Kusal Mendis and Nishan Madushka cruised along in the afternoon session  •  AFP/Getty Images

Kusal Mendis and Nishan Madushka cruised along in the afternoon session  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka gathered 276 brisk runs for the loss of just the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne, as they eased into control of the second Test, on a rain-curtailed day. Nishan Madushka's maiden Test century was a highlight, as he added 108 to his overnight score. Karunaratne also hit his second hundred in as many innings, before being dismissed for 115 shortly before the scheduled lunch.
Ireland had another torrid day in the field, with their spinners - with the exception of Andy McBrine - unable to keep a lid on the scoring, let alone put together seriously menacing spells. The surface isn't taking a lot of turn yet, and as such, it does not allow bowlers a lot of margin for error.
By stumps, Sri Lanka had scored at 4.63 runs an over, with Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis having been especially busy at the crease. Bad light forced players off the field shortly before scheduled tea, and then rains arrived to wash out the rest of the day's play. Madushka was not out on 149 off 234 balls; Mendis was on 83 off 96. After the openers had put on 228 together, the partnership between these two was worth 129. The rain allowed only 59 overs in the day.
Having moved the team score smoothly to 81 for no loss the previous evening, Sri Lanka's openers didn't take long to find rhythm on day three. Karunaratne was especially fluent in the early exchanges; he slashed Curtis Campher for four to start the second over, and later flicked Graham Hume for four through midwicket to bring up the team 100.
Madushka had his outside edge beaten occasionally, and there were a couple of half-hearted lbw shouts against him as well. But eventually he too began to appear comfortable. Karunaratne, by this stage, was really getting the drives humming - he hit Campher for two fours in one over, one shot going past mid-on, the other just wide of mid-off. Both batters completed their half-centuries in the first 40 minutes of play.
McBrine was really the only spinner to put appreciable pressure on the batters - he kept his lines tight, and got the odd one to spin, to test the edge. But the batters took the other spinners apart. Debutant left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys' eight overs went for 56 (three of these overs had been bowled on day two). Legspinner Ben White wasn't quite as expensive but did not particularly impose himself either, going at 5.35 in his 17 overs.
Late in the first session, Karunaratne completed a 16th Test century, off the 116th ball he faced. He had been so efficient at picking up singles and twos into the outfield that the milestone almost snuck up. He then coached Madushka to his own century, which the latter reached with a six over deep midwicket, having come down the track to turn a Harry Tector delivery into a full toss.
Karunaratne would be out next over, however. He top-edged a short ball from Campher, sending it into the hands of Humphreys at fine leg. He'd made 115 from 133 balls.
Mendis was immediately confident at the crease, getting to 15 off 20 balls, as he attacked even McBrine by using his feet. He got Sri Lanka to 300 with a big slog sweep over deep square leg off White, before sending McBrine scorching through cover point to complete his fifty. Mendis' real big-hitting came as the stormclouds began to gather - he struck Humphreys for three consecutive sixes in the 72nd over, depositing him over deep midwicket each time - the first off a full toss, the second and third off long hops.
As had been the case in the opening stand, Madushka was the quieter partner.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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