Sri Lanka fight back against England on 4th Day to within 75 runs of victory

Sri Lanka's Roshen Silva plays a shot
©Reuters
 
England's Keaton Jennings drops a catch hit by Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews
©Reuters
 
Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne (L) plays a shot next to England's Ben Stokes
©Reuters
 

England added a further 22 runs to their overnight score of 324-9 before Anderson was out, bowled by Dilruwan Perera for 12, leaving Ben Foakes not out 65.

Match Summary                                                              

England 285 (Jos Buttler 63, Sam Curran 64; Dilruwan Perera 4-61, Malinda Pushpakumara 3-89) and 324-9 (Joe Root 124, Rory Burns 59, Ben Foakes 65*; Akila Dananjaya 6-115)

Sri Lanka  336 (Dimuth Karunaratne 63, Dhananjaya de Silva 59, Roshen Silva 85; Jack Leach 3-70, Adil Rashid 3-75) and 226-7 (Dimuth Karunaratne 57, Angelo Mathews 88; Jack Leach 4-73)

At the Close of Play - Sri Lanka need 75 runs to win

Scorecard

That last wicket stand of 41 could prove to be match winning for England, as rain interrupted Sri Lanka’s reply with the score on 226-7, with 75 runs still needed to win for Sri Lanka.

Dimuth Karunaratne 57 and Angelo Mathews 88 starred with the bat for Sri Lanka today and Jack Leach 4-73 and Moeen Ali 2-65 with the ball for England.

Comment

The whimsical nature of the second Test between Sri Lanka and England continued on day four before the fluctuating contest between bat and ball was brought to a grinding halt by rain.

Quite unexpectedly, first Dimuth Karunaratne partnered with Angelo Mathews after the loss of a few quick top-order Sri Lanka wickets. That was followed by a partnership between Angelo Mathews and Roshan Silva.

However, Sri Lanka looked the most convincing when Angelo Mathews and wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella were batting in tandem. Dickwella is a naturally attacking batsman and the way the two were reducing the deficit gave the Sri Lankan fans good reason to get excited.

But after the break, England chipped in with quick wickets and the all-important scalp of Angelo Mathews. Just when a win for England looked imminent, rain decided otherwise and further play was not possible.

This was a very characteristic 4th innings. It has occured on several occasions that the chasing team gets a semblance of hope when they have a couple of partnerships, only to fall short of the target. This match is likely to end with a similar result.

What Dickwella would like to do is to score some quick runs first up on day five to create pressure on the English bowlers. With the defecit down to 30 runs or thereabouts and three wickets still in the bank, only then can Sri Lanka hope for a favourable result. For now, England is at the doorsteps of a historic series win in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella(wk), Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal(c), Malinda Pushpakumara

England - Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes, Joe Root(c), Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes(wk), Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson

 

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