Sydney Test, Day 3: Bowlers put Australia in command
Zeenews Sports Bureau
Dinesh Chandimal remained unbeaten on 22 as Sri Lanka ended Day 3 at 225/7. They led by 87 runs with 3 wickets remaining.
The highlights of the day were a fine 85-run knock by opener Dimuth Karunaratne and a fluent 60 by Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardeene. They put on a solid 138-run stand which laid the solid foundation of Sri Lankan innings but unfortunately they failed to capitalise on that.
Sri Lanka will be terribly unhappy with the performances from their middle-order and lower middle-order batsmen after the partnership between Karunaratne and Jayawardene.
They were 132/1 at one stage and looking all set to put up a fighting total on the board. But once Karunaratne was out off Jackson Bird, wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals. They lost 5 more wickets and finally settled for 225/7 at the end of day.
For Australia Mitchell Johnson picked up 2 wickets while Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon took a wicket each.
Earlier, David Warner’s superb ability as a fielder came to the fore once again as he ran Angelo Mathews out for 16. Soon after Peter Siddle also joined the party as he removed Mahela Jayawardene for 60. Sri Lanka were 178/6 after Jayawardene’s departure and things are not looking good for the tourists who made a very good beginning to their innings and looked all set to make the match of it.
Sri Lanka lost two wickets very quickly. First, Johnson removed Lahiru Thirimanne for 7 while Nathan Lyon, who was bowling with a lot of guile, sent Thilan Samaraweera for a duck. From 155/2, Sri Lanka were reduced to 158/4.
Mahela Jayawardene completed his second fifty of the match when he flicked one from Jackson Bird for a four though the square-leg area. Jayawardene took 89 balls to reach his half-century with the help of nine fours. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka took lead over Australia as they reached 147/2 at the end of 38 overs. They are now 9 ahead of Australia with 8 wickets remaining.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne missed out on a well-deserved century as he was caught behind by wicket-keeper Matthew Wade off pace bowler Jackson Bird soon after the tea break. Karunaratne played really well for his 85 with 10 silken fours and a six off Lyon. His 138-run stand with Jayawardene laid the solid foundation to Sri Lankan innings. Sri Lanka were 132/2 and were trailing by 6 runs.
At tea, Sri Lanka were 130 for the loss of one wicket. They are now just 8 runs behind of Australia with 9 wickets remaining. Dimuth Karunaratne was undefeated on 83 while Mahela remained not out on 38. They have put on an unbeaten 136-run partnership so far which gave the tourists a perfect platform to take a reasonable lead and press for a win in this third and final Test after being beaten in the series 0-2.
Dimuth Karunaratne scored an impressive fifty off 71 balls with 6 fours and a six. He reached his half-century when he hit Nathan Lyon over deep mid-wicket for a six. Karunaratne showed tremendous temperament and technique to bring up the milestone. Sri Lanka were 86/1.
Soon after lunch Sri Lanka lost their first wicket as Tillakaratne Dilshan was removed by fast bowler Mitchell Johnson caught at third slip by Phillip Hughes for 5. Sri Lanka were 24/1.
Trailing by 138, Sri Lanka were 18 for no loss at lunch. Karunaratne were unbeaten on 17 while Dilshan was on 0 at the break.
Wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade slammed a fine century as Australia made 432 runs in their first innings in 107 overs. For Sri Lanka, Rangana Herath took four wickets while Nuwan Pradeep and Dilshan claimed two and a wicket each to wrap up the Australian innings in the first session of the Day 3.
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