Dananjaya only third Lankan bowler to take a five-for on Test debut | Sunday Observer

Dananjaya only third Lankan bowler to take a five-for on Test debut

Spinner Akila Dananjaya became only the third Sri Lankan bowler in Test history to take five wickets or more in a debut.

Dananjaya took five wickets for 24 runs in the second Test at Dhaka yesterday to help spin out Bangladesh for 123 in the second innings and give Sri Lanka a thumping win by 215 runs that enabled them to clinch the two-match series 1-0.

Dananjaya’s selection was a surprise move made by the team management at the expense of regular spinner Lakshan Sandakan, but it eventually proved to be a master stroke as the spinner caused enough problems for the Bangladesh batsmen with his varieties of deliveries on a responsive pitch that saw them being put out for totals of 110 and 123.

Dananjaya ended up with a match bag of 8 for 44 which is the best match figures by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut bettering the 8/132 achieved by Ajantha Mendis on his debut against India at the SSC in 2008.

The last Sri Lankan bowler to take five wickets on Test debut was leg-spinner Upul Chandana who had figures of 6 for 179 against Pakistan in the final of the Asian Test Championship at the same venue Dhaka in 1999. However Sri Lanka finished on the losing side to Pakistan by an innings and 175 runs. Those figures are Chandana’s career best in the 16 Tests he represented his country in.

Left-arm fast bowler Kosala Kuruppuarachchi was the first Sri Lankan bowler to capture five wickets in a Test on debut. Kuruppuarachchi’s spell of 5 for 44 was achieved against a strong Pakistan side led by Imran Khan at the CCC grounds in 1986.

Kuruppuarachchi ran through the Pakistan batting for 132 in the first innings taking the wickets of Mudassar Nazar, Mohsin Khan, Saleem Malik, Wasim Akram and Zulqarnain. He added the wickets of Mudassar and Zulqarnain in the second innings also to finish with match figures of 7/85 and give Sri Lanka their maiden Test victory over Pakistan by eight wickets in what turned out to be a match full of incidence due to poor umpiring.

Despite a dream start to his international career Kuruppuarachchi played in only two Tests and was lost to international cricket thereafter.