Captain Mathews puts Sri Lanka in driver’s seat

Monday, 6 July 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Sri Lanka lead by 291 runs with six wickets in hand
  • Mathews remains unbeaten after composed 77


Upul Tharanga missed a half century getting out in his 40s for the second consecutive innings. 


Jehan Mubarak (right) and Captain Angelo Mathews put on 81 run stand for the fifth wicket before Mubarak was out for 35.​ 24

Opener Dimuth Karunaratnes was bowled by Rahat Ali 


Captain Angelo Mathews led from the front with an unbeaten 77


Reuters: Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews led by example, hitting an unbeaten 77 to help his team overcome a top order wobble and take a 291-run lead against Pakistan at the end of the third day’s play in the third and final test at Pallekele on Sunday.

At 35-3, Sri Lanka looked in deep trouble but Mathews added 81 runs with Jehan Mubarak (35) for the fifth wicket to steady the innings.

He and Dinesh Chandimal (39 not out) then added 67 runs to stretch the lead before bad light forced early stumps with Sri Lanka in firm control of the series-deciding contest.

Having claimed the last Pakistani wicket in the morning to bowl out the visitors for 215, Sri Lanka wobbled early in their second innings with Rahat Ali troubling their batsmen in a brilliant display of swing bowling.

The left-arm paceman first pegged back the off stump of Dimuth Karunaratne, a first innings centurion, then repeated the feat against Lahiru Thirimanne to wreck the top order.

His new ball partner Ehsan Adil got in on the act when he coaxed an edge from Kaushal Silva to claim the other Sri Lanka wicket to fall in a stop-start morning session interrupted by several rain delays.

Upul Tharanga (48) looked the most fluent of the Sri Lankan batsmen, hitting six boundaries in his nearly run-a-ball knock as he counter-attacked with aggression.

The southpaw, however, fell short of his fifty with Azhar Ali taking a smart bat-pad catch at forward short leg off Yasir Shah.

Back in the test squad after nearly eight years, Mubarak joined his captain in rebuilding the innings but was dismissed for 35 by Shah, who claimed his 24th wicket in the series.

Chandimal ensured Sri Lanka kept piling on runs, hitting five boundaries in his innings.

Earlier, Sarfraz Ahmed remained not out after a defiant 78 as Pakistan conceded a 63-run first innings deficit.

Spinner Tharindu Kaushal deceived the scoreless Imran Khan with a straighter delivery that hit the off stump, leaving Sarfraz stranded as Pakistan could only add six runs to their overnight 209-9.