Colombo : With six stitches in his left hand and his place under threat, the home boy, Kaushal Silva has looked solid in his patient unbeaten knock of 78. Sri Lanka made good progress in the session. After seeing off the first session, Mathews came out with a positive intent. He scored just 26 runs, but a very handy knock given the circumstances.
Lyon broke the 58-run partnership which looked dangerous – Mathews bowing out to a sweep shot again. Kaushal Silva and Chandimal have steadied the innings by playing patiently and slowly ticking along. The Australians will be in a spot of bother as the lead has marched onto 163.
Already it was the kind of target that could pose Australia some problems, particularly given the pitch was offering significant turn, but if Sri Lanka were to lift their lead well into the 200s, they would unquestionably be favourites to win the match. Australia had given themselves a chance by collecting three wickets – including two controversial ones – during a hectic opening session, but Silva calmed proceedings after lunch.
Australia managed only one wicket during the post-lunch session: Angelo Mathews on 26 tried to sweep Nathan Lyon but only succeeded in top-edging a catch that lobbed up to Steven Smith at slip. There were a few causes for Australian heads in hands – balls that fizzed past the outside edge, a run-out chance that was missed by Mitchell Marsh – but the net result was that by tea, Australia already needed a strong second innings to avoid defeat. Sri Lanka were 187/5 before Tea.
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