Sri Lanka fight back against England on 4th Day to within 75 runs of victory
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.
What a Test match we have on our hands in Pallekele!— ICC (@ICC) November 17, 2018
Sri Lanka close the day on 226/7, 75 runs away from victory.
Both sides will harbour realistic aspirations of victory going into the final day.#SLvENG LIVE ??https://t.co/5vr8plkNtF pic.twitter.com/Gz4FgBexsw
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.
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
©Cricket World 2018