Sri Lanka bat themselves into driving seat

Sri Lanka bat themselves to the driving seat
Angelo Mathews notched an unbeaten 77 as Sri Lanka lead Pakistan by 291 runs on day three of the third Test in Pallekele.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 278 & 228-5 (Mathews 77no) v
Pakistan 215 (Sarfraz Ahmed 78no) 
Third Test, Pallekele, day three

Angelo Mathews played a captain’s knock to hold the Sri Lankan innings together and take his team to a lead of 291 runs after Pakistan were bundled out for just 215 on day three of the third Test in Pallekele.

Pakistan resumed the day on 209 for nine. However, they made little further progress as Sarfraz Ahmed (78 not out) was left stranded when Imran Khan (0) lost his stumps to Tharindu Kaushal (3-37).

Pakistan were all out for 215 conceding a first innings lead of 63.

Dimuth Karunaratne (10) was the first to go for Sri Lanka in the seventh over, losing his stumps to a cracker of a delivery from Rahat Ali (2-58).

Kaushal Silva (3) went the very next over edging one to Misbah-ul-Haq in the slips off Ehsan Adil’s (1-46) bowling.

Upul Tharanga (48) crunched a couple of fours but Sri Lanka’s bad start only got worse when Lahiru Thirimanne (0) missed a lovely, in-swinging yorker from Rahat which moved late and dangerously to dismiss the vice-captain even before he opened his account.

That was just couple of balls after he was hit on the wrist by a bouncer. At that point, Sri Lanka were 35 for three after 11 overs.

There was a minor interruption due to rain but play resumed after a few minutes.

Sri Lanka went to lunch at 55 for three after 15 overs, after Mathews (78 not out) and Tharanga steadied the ship a little bit.

Tharanga was a bit lucky at times but cashed in with two fours off Yasir Shah (2-70) in the 21st over taking Sri Lanka to 79 for three.

He survived a review as well by Pakistan for an lbw in the 23rd over. However, the very next ball, he edged one to short leg missing out on a quickfire half-century, having hit six fours in his 47 ball knock.

Jehan Mubarak (35) and Mathews rebuilt the innings with a 32-run partnership before there was a rain interruption yet again.

Imran went for some runs too in the 46th over although Mathews managed a six thanks to the top edge as Sri Lanka went to 152 for four.

Mathews brought up his half-century in 104 balls with a four, charging down and slamming a drive down the ground.

However, Mubarak missed out yet again, done by the leg-spin from around the wicket, inside edging the ball to short leg.

That ended an 81-run fifth-wicket partnership. Dinesh Chandimal (39 not out) made sure he stuck it out with his skipper.

At one point, umpire Ian Gould warned Yasir for bowling a negative line to Mathews down the leg-side. Sri Lanka reached 200 in the 63rd over.

Chandimal was a little lucky with a streaky outside edge that went for four in the 67th over, as Sri Lanka moved to 217 for five after 67 overs.

By the time the umpires ended the day’s play due to poor light, Sri Lanka had managed to score 116 runs in the post-tea session for the loss of just one wicket reaching 228 for five after 69.4 overs.

Chandimal and Mathews added an unbeaten 67 runs for the sixth wicket. They have also pushed Sri Lanka’s lead to 291 runs. 

© Cricket World 2015