Mendis masterclass scripts Sri Lanka comeback on day three
Sri Lanka 117 & 282-6 (Mendis 169no) v
Australia 203 (Voges 47)
First Test, day three, Pallekele
A masterful unbeaten 169 from Kusal Mendis led the way for Sri Lanka as they staged a comeback in the game and scored 282 for six in 80 overs, ending the third day’s play in the first Test in Pallekele with a lead of 196 runs over Australia.
Sri Lanka resumed batting in the second innings on the overnight score of six for one. Mitchell Starc (2-44) started from where he left off and trapped Dimuth Karunaratne (0) LBW off the third ball of the day.
A short partnership between Mendis (169 not out) and Kaushal Silva (7) was broken in the 13th over when Steve O’Keefe (1-42) struck Silva on the pads. A review from Silva upheld the onfield call.
Soon, Mendis brought up his fifty in 63 balls which is also the first in this Test. Soon after Sri Lanka drew level with Australia, Nathan Lyon (2-98) had Mathews caught at short leg in the 28th over.
Two overs later, Mendis survived an LBW review from Australia with the ball from O’Keefe pitching outside leg. Eventually Dinesh Chandimal (42) and Mendis took Sri Lanka to 116 for four at the lunch interval.
In the second session, Mendis and Chandimal batted with caution and took a diligent approach.
Mendis completed his maiden Test century in the 43rd over and went on to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Meanwhile, O’Keefe suffered a hamstring injury in the 49th over and left the field. By the end of the first hour in the second session, Sri Lanka had posted 184 for four.
However, four overs later, Mitchell Marsh (1-33) trapped Chandimal in front of the stumps, ending the 117-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Mendis went past 150 and along with Dhananjaya de Silva (36), he took Sri Lanka to 253 for five at the tea break, stretching the lead to 167 runs. Sri Lanka had scored 137 runs in the second session.
The third session began with some tight bowling from Australia. As the clouds gathered overhead, de Silva holed out to mid-off giving Lyon his 200th Test wicket.
Two overs later, with the light fading, the umpires took the players off the field. Nearly 20 minutes later, it began to rain and eventually forced the umpires to call off the play for the day.
Sri Lanka ended the day on 282 for six, commanding a 196-run lead with four wickets in hand.
© Cricket World 2016