Ramesh Mendis and Jayasuriya combine to give Sri Lanka 147-run lead

Lunch Sri Lanka 378 and 22 for 0 (Dickwella 11*, Fernando 8*) lead Pakistan 231 (Salman 62, Imam 32, Ramesh 5-47, Jayasuriya 3-80) by 169 runs

Sri Lanka’s spinners removed the last three Pakistan wickets for just 40 runs in the first 90 minutes of day three, establishing a 147-run first-innings lead. Then Oshada Fernando and makeshift opener Niroshan Dickwella went unscathed into lunch, having put on 22 together.
With the lead now 169, Sri Lanka continue to make strong headway in the match. They have been led so far by Ramesh Mendis, who completed a five-wicket haul by taking the last two Pakistan wickets, having also earlier contributed valuable lower-order runs. His take for the innings was 5 for 47. Prabath Jayasuriya, who took the other wicket on the day, ended with 3 for 80.
Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah resisted Sri Lanka for 14 overs to start the day. Neither went looking for boundaries too often, choosing instead to focus on defence, while picking up what singles they could. There was one occasion when Hasan came down the pitch to launch Jayasuriya over deep midwicket, but otherwise things were quiet. In fact, that six was the only boundary hit in this 30-run stand.

While Sri Lanka’s spinners were occasionally threatening in the first hour, they operated with a lot more menace with the second new ball, which they took as soon as it became available. Jayasuriya raised a big lbw appeal against Hasan when the batter was on 13, but although that appeal was turned down, Jayasuriya soon made the breakthrough. Attempting to sweep Jayasuriya in his next over, Hasan managed only to get a bottom edge to the ball, which then clattered into the stumps.

The other two wickets didn’t take long to come, though there was a catch dropped off the bowling of Jayasuriya, at gully, in between. Ramesh turned one sharply to take Nauman Ali’s outside edge, before getting Yasir Shah lbw in his next over. This was his third Test five-for.

With Dimuth Karunaratne unable to take the field because of back sprain, Dickwella was moved up the order and appeared comfortable against the 18 deliveries he faced, making 11. Although Hasan struggled for rhythm in the three overs he bowled, he thought he had got Fernando nicking behind in the last over before lunch, even convincing his captain to use a review when the on-field umpire turned down the appeal. But Fernando had missed this yorker-length delivery completely, and the noise Hasan and the fielders heard likely came from his bat hitting the pitch.

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