The entirely appropriate focus on Rangana Herath’s role in Sri Lanka’s victory over Pakistan a t Abu Dhabi has obscured the important roles of Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal in fashioning a marvellous nail-biting win.
The Test Match at Abu Dhabi saw Sri Lanka and Pakistan amount similar totals in their first innings. So, it came down toa shoot-out n their second innings on a difficult batting pitch. Dickwella’s important contributions are obvious: a brave 40 not out (spiced with lots of luck and pluck) and two catches and one stumping in the coruscating Pakistani second innings.
But Suranga Lakmal that man from the deep south east of Sri Lanka? Well for one, he came out as night watchman on the 4th evening and ‘amassed’ 13 runs – about as much as Dilruwan and the three tail-enders scored that fifth morning. He then defeated Azhar Ali – Pakistan’s best batsman – with a peach of a ball for a golden duck ….. bringing Pakistan to 2 wkts down for 07 runs and spreading shivers in the dressing room. He ended with figures of 5-014-1.
Cricket is truly a team game, but Lakmal is behind Herath and Dickwella in the plaudits-queue. Take a bow, Suranga.