Sri Lanka has had a bad 2011. How bad? Well, as a commentator on espncricinfo.com puts it:
Sri Lanka have hurtled from one low to another after a sizzling run to the World Cup final. Their board ran into losses, their Twenty20 league was forced to be scrapped. The cash-strapped board couldn’t pay the players, and one defeat followed another. They hurtled to an embarrassing loss in Cardiff, in a Test where it rained for more time than there was play, and proceeded to lose every single Test and ODI [One Day International] series they played in the year. They took a hammering of epic proportions in the first Test here [in South Africa].
And yet they’ve just won their first ever Test match in South Africa, comprehensively beating the Proteas, mainly due to the titanic mental strength and discipline of Kumar Sangakkara and nine wickets from Herath Herath. As the commentator notes, it caps a fantastic year for Test cricket of all kinds, showing that, for subtlety and excitement in equal turns, you can’t beat the longest form of the game.