Angelo Mathews unbeaten half century puts Sri Lanka in command

Sri Lankan captain scored an unbeaten 77 to help his side gain advantage

Pallekele: Skipper Angelo Mathews battled his way to an unbeaten 77 as Sri Lanka seized the advantage in the series-deciding third and final Test against Pakistan in Pallekele on Sunday. The hosts gained a first innings lead of 63 runs and then recovered from 35-3 in their second knock to post 228-5 by stumps on a rain-interrupted, but absorbing, third day's play.

Mathews led from the front against a tiring Pakistani attack, adding 45 for the fourth wicket with Upul Tharanga (48) and 81 for the fifth with Jehan Mubarak (35). Mubarak marked his recall to the Test side after almost eight years with a gutsy 35 before he was caught at short-leg off Yasir Shah in the final session.

Dinesh Chandimal returned to form with 39 not out, helping his captain put on 67 for the sixth wicket before bad light ended the day's play early. Sri Lanka will begin the fourth day with a commanding overall lead of 291 runs with five wickets in hand, having a clear advantage on the wearing pitch to break the 1-1 deadlock in the series.

Sri Lanka (1st innings): 278.
Pakistan (1st innings): 215
Sri Lanka (2nd innings): D. Karunaratne b Rahat 10, K. Silva c Misbah b Ehsan 3, U. Tharanga c Azhar b Yasir 48, L. Thirimanne b Rahat 0, A. Mathews (batting) 77, J. Mubarak c Azhar b Yasir 35, D. Chandimal (batting) 39. Extras (b4, lb9, w3) 16. Total (for five wickets in 69.4 overs) 228.
FoW: 1-12, 2-22, 3-35, 4-80, 5-161.
Bowling: Rahat 15-3-58-2, Ehsan 14-4-46-1, Imran 10.4-2-27-0, Yasir 25-4-70-2, Azhar 5-1-14-0.

( Source : AFP )
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