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Herath hat-trick sinks Aussies in Galle

AAP logoAAP 5/08/2016 By Will Knight

Seventeen years after making his Test debut against Australia in Galle, Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath's hat-trick ripped the heart out of the tourists at the same ground on Friday and virtually ruined any hope they had of squaring the three-match series.

The veteran left-armer took 4-35 as Australia - in reply to Sri Lanka's 281 - were humiliated for 106 on day two of the second Test in the southern coastal city.

It was Australia's lowest total in the 28-match history between the two teams.

The 38-year-old took the wickets of Adam Voges, Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc as Australia lost 8-52 after resuming on their overnight score of 2-54.

He had Voges caught low at cover by Dimuth Karunaratne, Nevill plumb lbw and then Mitchell Starc also trapped in front off successive balls.

There was drama, with the lbw appeal against Starc turned down but given out when Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews reviewed the decision via DRS.

"Apart from school I've never taken a hat-trick... so I'm really happy (to do it) against the No.1 team," said Herath.

Herath's hat-trick was the 42nd in Test cricket and just the second by a Sri Lankan player after Nuwan Zoysa's in 1999 against Zimbabwe.

The only other instance of a left-arm orthodox bowler taking a hat-trick in Tests was by England's Johnny Briggs in 1892 against Australia in Sydney.

The action was frenetic even before Herath's hat-trick - he should've had Steve Smith stumped in the first over of the morning but wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal fumbled the opportunity after the skipper was beaten by drift and turn.

That didn't faze Herath; in his next over, he took Chandimal out of the equation by bowling Smith with a skidding delivery the skipper had been concerned about leading into the Test.

Herath has been bewildering international batsmen - mostly at home - since he made his Test debut in 1999 against Australia in Galle.

After snaring match figures of 9-107 in Sri Lanka's 106-run first-Test triumph last week in Kandy, Herath has 13 wickets in three innings at an average of 10.61.

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