'Silent hero' Dilruwan's Galle response impresses Mathews


Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hailed the response of "silent hero" Dilruwan Perera after sinking Australia with a first 10-wicket Test haul to win the series.

Dilruwan became the first Sri Lankan to take 10 wickets and score a fifty in a Test match, top-scoring with 64 in his side's second innings and taking 10-99.

Australia had little answer for Sri Lanka's spin attack, the world's top-ranked nation falling to defeat for the fifth time in six tours of Asia, including a series loss to Pakistan in the Middle East in 2014.

And Mathews hailed Dilruwan for stepping out of first-innings hat-trick hero Rangana Herath's shadow in Galle, having taken 1-73 in the first Test in Pallekele.

"We talk a lot about Rangana Herath, but not as much about Dilruwan," Mathews said.

"But he's just become the fastest Sri Lankan to 50 Test wickets. When Murali was there, we didn't speak that much about Rangana, so I guess it's the same thing with Dilruwan. 

"He's a silent hero.

"In the last match he didn't bowl well, but he was very diligent and knows how to bowl in Galle. He worked very hard in training with the coaches. He's someone we can get a lot of profit from in the years to come.

"After having a quiet first Test, he backed his potential and came back really hard.

"He was one bowler who the Australians found it really hard to score off, especially on this track."

Mathews thanked Sri Lanka's cricket board (SLC) and fans for their patience after winless Test tours to New Zealand and England.

"My team backed me all the way through, so special thanks to them," he added.

"Also thanks to SLC for backing us right throughout and also the selectors. 

"They said we'll get a bit of stick when we lose a few games, but if we do our processes right, we will along the way win a few games. 

"To beat the number-one team is very satisfying. We also thank the fans for being there with us. It's never an easy task when you lose games to keep persevering. They kept believing in us and supporting us."