Cricket - Karunaratne, de Silva fifties fuel strong Sri Lanka reply

Published On: November 24, 2018 03:56 PM NPT By: Reuters

COLOMBO, Nov 24: Sri Lanka made strong reply to England’s first innings total of 336 as Dimuth Karunaratne forged a 142-run partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva to guide the hosts to 183 for two at tea on the second day of the third and final test on Saturday.

After taking less than 30 minutes to claim the last three English wickets, the hosts got off to a cautious start before dominating a second session which yielded 109 runs for the loss of de Silva’s wicket.

Both Karunaratne and de Silva were lucky to bring up their fifties, each spilled by England skipper Joe Root at slip with Stuart Broad the luckless bowler on both occasions.

At the interval, Karunaratne was unbeaten on 81 with Kusal Mendis on six at the other end, with Sri Lanka 153 runs behind England, who hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Earlier, Dilruwan Perera (3-113) struck twice and Lakshan Sandakan (5-95) completed his second test five-wicket haul to polish off the England tail after the tourists resumed on 312-7.

Moeen Ali (33) made his attacking intentions clear when he danced down the crease to the first delivery of the day from Perera.

He hit Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal for a couple of boundaries but was dismissed in the third over of the morning, holing out to Angelo Mathews off Perera’s bowling.

Three balls later, Sandakan bowled Broad around his legs for a duck and Mathews took a brilliant running catch in the next over to send back Jack Leach.

Sri Lanka made a tentative start to their innings and Karunaratne got an early reprieve when he edged Broad and the ball hit Root’s wrist before racing to the boundary.

Keaton Jennings, at short leg, took a stunning catch to eventually end the opening stand.

Danushka Gunathilaka (18) stepped out to hit a Leach delivery and Jennings followed him to be in position to take a bat-pad catch after the ball hit his midriff.

Karunaratne was on 42 when Root dropped him, but Jennings continued to provide a safe pair of hands at short leg, pouching a second catch to end Sri Lanka’s highest partnership of the series after de Silva flicked an Adil Rashid ball towards him.

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