Mathews leads from the front as Sri Lanka recover to reach commanding position

Angelo Mathews Sri Lanka Pakistan
Mathews is unbeaten on 77 as Sri Lanka’s lead near 300-run mark

Sri Lanka find themselves in a strong position at the end of day 3 as Angelo Mathews played a captain’s knock, leading his team’s recovery from a shaky start to their second innings of the third Test. The hosts are 228 for 5 at stumps with Mathews, unbeaten on 77, and Dinesh Chandimal looking comfortably placed to build on a lead that is inching near to the 300-run mark.

Earlier in the day, the Lankans made easy work of finishing off the Pakistan innings in just the second over. Sarfraz Ahmed was left unbeaten on 78 as Tharindu Kaushal dismissed Imran Khan, to finish off the visitors innings at 215, thus conceding a 63-run first innings lead.

Rain delayed proceedings before the Sri Lankan batsmen could make their way out to the middle. The Pakistan fast bowlers came out all guns blazing after the break as they picked up three early wickets to even out the match, at lunch on Day 3.

Rahat Ali especially looked pumped up and was able to extract movement and bounce off the pitch. Sri Lanka lost first-innings centurion Dimuth Karunarathne for just 10 runs, while Lahiru Thirimanne was out for a duck, after being dismissed by Ali of an inswinging yorker. Ehsan Adil picked up Kaushal Silva in between to leave the hosts were tottering at 35 for 3.

Upul Tharanga took the attack to the opposition smashing six boundaries in a 47-ball 48 that eased the pressure on the Sri Lankan innings. Having survived a strong appeal for leg before wicket in the first ball after lunch, Tharanga was eventually dismissed by Yasir Shah who had him caught at bat-pad.

The Sri Lankan skipper took on the mantle after Tharanga’s dismissal but in a much more reserved way, as Mathews along with Jehan Mubarak forged an 81-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Not surprisingly it was Shah yet again who broke the stand, as he dismissed Mubarak for 35.

Chandimal provided good support to his skipper as the duo have built up an unbeaten 67-run stand for the sixth wicket. The lead now stands at 291 with the dropping shoulders of the Pakistani fielders suggesting their long wait for a series win in the island nation is set to continue.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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