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Sri Lanka celebrates first Aussie whitewash

Colombo (AFP): Sri Lanka’s president and former cricket legends Wednesday hailed the country’s first series whitewash against Australia after they registered an emphatic 163-run win in the final Test in Colombo.

Veteran spinner Rangana Herath claimed seven wickets on Wednesday to bowl out Australia for 160 on a tense final day’s play in the third Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC).

Sri Lanka, who made Australia lose their Test crown to India, recorded their first series sweep against a major nation since gaining Test status in 1981.

“Congratulations to the @officialSLC boys. So proud,” President Maithripala Sirisena said on Twitter.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief Thilanga Sumathipala said the victory wll have a “huge impact” on the entire cricket-crazy nation of 21 million people as he thanked Australia for touring the island nation.

Batting great and Sri Lanka’s chairman of selector Sanath Jayasuriya also congratulated the team for their effort against Australia, who lost their Test crown to India after the loss in Colombo.

“Whitewash over the No 1 Test team, one of the greatest Test series wins. proud of the boys, Congratulations #SLvAUS,” Jayasuriya, who was at SSC to savour the historis win, tweeted.

The 38-year-old Herath, who bowled with an injured groin in Colombo, remained the team’s go-to man throughout the series, claiming 28 wickets in the three matches.

“If @HerathRSL was English he would be knighted. I am so glad he is Sri Lankan. He deserves the highest credit and recognition. Great man,” former skipper Kumar Sangakkara tweeted.