Start of a new journey for Test team: Herath

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By 2018-02-12

Rangana Herath, the veteran spinner, became the highest wicket-taking left-arm bowler during Sri Lanka's 215-run victory in the second Test against Bangladesh as he surpassed Wasim Akram with 415 wickets under his belt. Terming it as a big achievement, the 39-year-old was lavish in his praise for Akila Dananjaya who registered the best figures by a Sri Lankan debutant when he finished with match figures of 8 for 44 including a maiden fiver in the second innings.

"It's good for Sri Lanka cricket. I would like to congratulate him (Dananjaya) for taking eight wickets on debut. I have seen him a lot even when he started. He played for Sri Lanka at the age of 18 in the 2012 World Cup. So, I can see a better and bigger future in him," Herath, who picked up a four-wicket haul in the second innings, said after Sri Lanka's series-clinching victory.

While the pitch aided the spinners, the Sri Lankan tweakers displayed better discipline in terms of their line and length, which meant that the Bangladesh batsmen couldn't free themselves of the stranglehold at any stage resulting in the home team being bowled out for 110 and 123. Herath, who mentioned that the pressure of the deficit had its effect on the Bangladesh bowlers, also mentioned that the Sri Lankan batsmen batted well against spin.

"If you see the scenario, we scored 220 and they got out for 110 runs. So, we had a lead of around 110 runs. So when such situations come you always get a bit of pressure off the bowlers. That's what happened. At the same time our batters batted well against spin," said Herath, summing up the performance of both sides. The left-armer was also pleased with the efforts of Roshen Silva, who scored half-centuries in both innings on a wicket that had plenty for the spin bowlers. "The surface did not give much assistance to the batters, more for spinners. It was not an easy surface to bat on. I know that he (Silva) has played for over 10 years and scored almost 7,000 runs. That experience helped him and I would like to congratulate him because it is a very big achievement especially on this surface.

"When Sanga and Mahela left the team, it was a lot of runs [that left as well]. Now, for the last three years, we are rebuilding the side... but now I can see the proper team with youth and experience, especially Roshen, Dananjaya and Kusal Mendis," added Herath, who also mentioned that the team was shaping up well with series wins against Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"Not only this one, even when we played in Dubai we won 2-0 against Pakistan. Had a bad series in India. So, all in all, I feel we have started another journey with the Test team and hopefully we can continue with that," Herath said.

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