Colombo: Having started the day at 312/8, Sri Lanka raced to 347/8 on Wednesday in just four and a half overs before declaring, with Dhananjaya de Silva (65) and Suranga Lakmal (4) finishing not out, leaving Australia with 83 overs to bat. Sri Lanka set Australia 324 for victory on the final day in Colombo, where Angelo Mathews allowed his side to bat on for almost five overs for the addition of 35 runs.
Dhananjaya de Silva finished unbeaten on 65 and Suranga Lakmal was on 4 when the declaration came with the total on 347 for 8. De Silva is likely to finish the series as the highest scorer from either side, with a tally of 325 from six innings, a fine achievement in his debut series.
To win, Australia would need their highest ever fourth-innings total in Asia, their current best being the 307 for 7 that delivered them victory against Bangladesh in Fatullah in 2006. But on a turning pitch against Sri Lanka’s high quality spin attack, victory seemed a distant prospect for the Australians, who alternatively can aim to bat out the day to secure a draw.
Sri Lanka need 9 wickets for a historic whitewash against Australia, which would be the fourth in their history against all comers – they have beaten Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies 3-0 once each. Chasing down 300 on the final day to win a Test is rarity. To do this in the sub-continent is cricket’s equivalent of impossibility. But this is what great teams do and no other team – arguably- has held that tag of great for longer than Australia.
Australia lost Shuan Marsh just before Lunch Break.After lunch, merely 61 overs are to be bowled ,where Australia require another 247 runs to Win the 3rd Test Match. Sri lanka need 9 wickets for a tame whitewash. The match could go either way. All three possible gates are open for the match.
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