Sri Lanka had a much better outing on day three at Galle against England, after being thoroughly dominated by the visiting party on previous two days. After play resumed slightly early to make up for the time lost due to rain on the previous day, Joe Root continued with the same fluency that took him to an unbeaten 168 and went onto slam a double century (228 from 321). Jos Buttler, after adding 23 to his overnight score of 7 through some convincing strokes, fell to Asitha Fernando, who managed some tricks after the out-of-shape old ball was replaced with a new one.
Having undone Buttler for 30, Fernando struck on the immediately following delivery, this time to get rid of Sam Curran for a golden duck. Pitching it at a length, the ball shaped just enough to slit the gap between Curran’s bat and pad to uproot his stumps. Though Dom Bess ensured to deny Fernando his hat-trick, he was run-out for a duck in what was a lower-order collapse.
Root’s double grants massive lead
Dilruwan Perera claimed a four-for, as he trapped Jack Leach LBW and Mark Wood edged him to the wicketkeeper. Looking to add as many as possible, Joe Root – who breached the 8000-run mark during his knock – holed out Perera to midwicket, as England was all out for 421 at the stroke of Lunch, managing a significant lead of 286 runs.
After a session that fetched the home side 6 wickets for 101, the Sri Lankan batsmen ensured to play with admirable demeanor after a forgettable show in the first innings. It was after long that the Sri Lankan top-order showed such responsibility as they negotiated the spinners and pacers with equal poise. There was not much assistance on offer for pacers, however, both Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne looked stiff to take a chance against Broad, who bowled as many as 6 maidens in his 8-over spell.
Cautious openers frustrate England
England must be slightly disappointed by the way the spinners failed to pitch the right areas, going too short and bowling half-trackers, whereas overpitching on other occasions. Luck favored the Sri Lankans too, who edged balls in areas with no fielders, and the ones hitting on pad did not result in leg-before.
Thirimanne, who was dropped at gully by Dom Bess on 51, looked in no rush, taking his time; hell-bent to protect his wicket as he added 101 with Kusal Perera, who scored his third half-century, sweeping and driving with ease. However, he erred in judgment at 62, against Wood as a nothing delivery was deposited by him to Jack Leach at deep point.
At three, Kusal Mendis ensured that he did not make a fifth consecutive duck as he went into double figures. However, his 65-ball stay for 15 runs was ended by Jack Leach, who persuaded to hit a tossed up delivery, only to faintly edge it behind the wickets to Buttler. Sri Lanka finished the day trailing by 130, with Thirimanne unbeaten at 76, and even though they have managed to make England work hard to some extent on day 3, a tough fourth day awaits them.
Here are the best tweets
13 overs left, 5.20 and we are off for bad light…… worst thing in test cricket. Replace the red ball with a pink ball, doesn't have to be a day night test. Just replace the red ball with a pink, problem solved. It's ridiculous. No excuse for this. #SLvsENG
— Lucas 🇪🇸🇦🇺 (@3ptSpanishKing) January 16, 2021
Rohit Sharma against Dom Bess – Next month.. a lot many full toss, plenty long hops, many boundaries hit and then one false shot sending Rohit back in the hut. Hope this doesn't happen. #AUSvIND #SLvsENG #INDvsENG
— ABS (@AbhiBSarda) January 16, 2021
— Amulius Victor (@AmuliusVictor) January 16, 2021
Tbf Bess is bowling dangerous full tosses #SLvsENG
— Jordan Marks (@MarksJordan13) January 16, 2021
That’s unlucky ! Mendis couldn’t do anything about that . #SLvsENG
— MOKKUCRICKET (@Fullbunger) January 16, 2021
Trying to watch #SLvsENG but I’ve seen more coverage of the sea and fishing boats than actual cricket.
— Des Cole (@DesMCole) January 16, 2021
SL In first Inning – 135/10
SL In second Inning – 135 / 1#SLvsENG
— Ash (@Ash18492266) January 16, 2021
— Hasal Fernando (@hasalfernando) January 16, 2021
Half century from Thiri 👏🏼
Will be in the team for another 2 years. #SLvsENG
— ɖɛҳɬɛཞ (@Naazick) January 16, 2021
— Prem Rajpurohit (@Prem934) January 16, 2021
— Cricket tweets (@_stavros1) January 16, 2021
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