Galle: Sri Lanka’s lead crossed the 300-run mark after an excellent performance from Ramesh Mendis with the ball and some handy contributions from their batters.
Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali did put up a resistance in the morning of day three, but once the stand was broken, Sri Lanka cleaned up the tail relatively quickly. The pair established a 32-run stand, which was ended by Prabath Jayasuriya, who bowled Ali for 21. Nauman Ali was the next to walk, getting stumped off the bowling of Ramesh Mendis for 1. Mendis would scalp his fifth wicket, trapping Yasir for 26, as Pakistan’s innings ended on 231, with the hosts taking a 147-run lead.
With skipper Dimuth Karunaratne suffering from back spasms, out walked a new opening pair of Oshada Fernando and wicketkeeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella. The latter played a couple of cracking shots to get going, but could not stay in for the long haul. The opening stand between the pair would only last for 27 runs, with Dickewella being dismissed on 145 by a beauty from Naseem Shah.
Fernando would be the next one to depart, with Yasir Shah striking off his very first delivery, trapping him in front for 19. A similar story to the first innings was again playing out, as all the Sri Lankan batters got starts, but failed to convert it into a substantial score. Kusal Mendis (15), Angelo Mathews (35), and Dinesh Chandimal (21), all failed to punish the Pakistan bowlers.
For the visitors though, their bowlers were bowling with great discipline that the hosts were not running away with the scoring.
Karunaratne, de Silva steady the ship before bad light plays spoilsport
A partnership finally took shape for Sri Lanka, as their lead crossed the 300-run mark. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne walked out to bat at No.6 and was joined by Dhananjaya de Silva. The pair embarked on a solid unbeaten 59-run stand, which helped their target of fattening up the lead.
Karunaratne was unbeaten on 27, while de Silva was batting on 30*, as the Sri Lanka lead had reached the 323-run mark. Bad light would then intervene to lead to an early end to the contest, but Sri Lanka would be happy with a solid day of play.