Sri Lanka stage tremendous comeback before bad light ends day four
Sri Lanka 117 & 353 (Mendis 176) v
Australia 203 & 83-3 (Burns 29)
First Test, day four, Pallekele
Sri Lanka managed to set a target of 268 runs and then followed it up with three wickets, reducing Australia to 83 for three in 27 overs before bad light brought a premature end to the rain-affected fourth day of the first Test in Pallekele.
The start of the day’s play was delayed due to a wet outfield. It then began to rain and the first session was delayed by more than an hour.
Sri Lanka began on their overnight score of 282 for six. Two overs into the game, Kusal Mendis (176) was caught behind off Mitchell Starc (4-84).
A little while later, Rangana Herath (35) was given out LBW but a review showed the ball to be pitching outside leg and the onfield call was overturned.
Nine balls later, it began to rain once again. The umpires waited for about 15 minutes and called for an early lunch.
The second session began on time and Josh Hazlewood (2-59) trapped Dilruwan Perera (12) off the very first ball. A review from Perera was unsuccessful.
In the next over, Lakshan Sandakan (9) hit two boundaries and played a Starc delivery onto the stumps.
Herath played a useful cameo and was the last batsman to be dismissed, helping Sri Lanka score 353 runs before being bowled out in 93.4 overs. The target for Australia was 268 runs.
David Warner (1) once again failed to get going as he was castled by Herath (1-35) off the very second over.
Usman Khawaja (18) struck three boundaries in his 22-ball stay but he was trapped LBW by Dilruwan (1-19).
Joe Burns (29) and Steven Smith (26 not out) used their feet quite often to counter the spinners and shared a brief 30-run partnership. In the 18th over, Burns played a Sandakan (1-13) delivery onto his stumps leaving Australia at 63 for three.
In the next over, Adam Voges (9 not out) was given out LBW but a review showed that the ball was missing the stumps and Voges survived.
As Sri Lanka began to bowl tighter lines, Smith and Voges settled down. With gloomy overhead conditions, the light soon faded enough for the umpires to halt the play and call for an early tea break.
The light did not improve and eventually forced the umpires to call off the fourth day’s play losing yet another third session in the game. At stumps, Australia still needed 185 runs with seven wickets in hand.
© Cricket World 2016