The first innings scorecard of both Sri Lanka and England looks almost identical to each other. Dimuth Karunaratne played the part which Rory Burns played. It's just that the way his innings culminated was quite unfortunate, inspired by a moment of brilliance from Ben Stokes on the field.
This threatened to change the momentum of the game. However, Dhananjaya de Silva's 59, which was quite similar to the innings from Jos Buttler, kept Sri Lanka in the hunt.
Now came the differentiator. The way Roshan Silva not only equalled, but went past Sam Curran's knock lower down the order, has actually led the game to where it is standing right now.
What further went in Sri Lanka's favour is that their lower order contributed a little more than the English lower order. The 56-run partnership between de Silva and Akila Dhananjaya in particular helped Sri Lanka to take a 46-run first innings lead.
Not surprisingly, all Sri Lankan wickets went to the spinners. Jack Leach and Adil Rashid were the highest wicket-takers with three scalps each.
Sri Lanka have gone a notch above than the visitors due to their lower order heroics. The pitch on day three would not be easy to bat on, given the amount of turn it is offering. But if England's top order fails, they would look once again towards either or both of Jos Buttler and Sam Curran to help them make a match out of it.
Let's have a look at the playing XIs of both teams.
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Malinda Pushpakumara
England- Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson
Who will win? – Sri Lanka
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Jos Buttler (England)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Dilruwan Perera (Sri Lanka), Moeen Ali (England)
Most Fours – Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka), Ben Foakes (England)
Team Scores Batting at the end of Day 3 – England 170+ all out, Sri Lanka 100+ for four,
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018