Home News England close to victory after shaky second innings start

England close to victory after shaky second innings start

England need 36 more runs on the last day of the Galle Test against Sri Lanka with seven wickets in hand, after the tourists were stuttering at 38 for three before bad light stopped the penultimate day’s play.

After resuming the fourth day with the overnight score of 76-not out, Lahiru Thirimanne went on to pick up his first Test century in more than seven years to help the home side post a belligerent second innings of 359 runs, keeping themselves in the field for a total of 136.5 overs.

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Despite such a big total in Sri Lanka’s second innings, the lion’s share of it could only erase England’s 286-run lead in the first innings, and hence the final target for England to win the match was reduced to just 74 runs.

Apart from Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews was also impressive with the bat, making a solid 71 runs for the home side before becoming their last man to be dismissed.

Jack Leach was the pick of the bowelrs for England, picking up a fifer and finishing with figures of five for 122 in 41.5 overs. Dom Bless also took three while Sam Curran bagged two.

Chasing a paltry target of 76 runs, England found themselves in a shaky start, as at one point they were brought down to three for 14, with first innings double centurion falling prey to a run out scoring just one.

Jonny Bairstow (11*) and Daniel Lawrence (7*) survived the rest of the day, and will resume England’s innings on Monday with a view to scaling down the required 36 runs without any further hiccups.

Sri Lanka’s Lasith Embuldeniya (2-13), with already two wickets in the innings, will look to hunt more and further improve his figures as he got three wickets in the first innings as well.

Brief Scores: England 421 (Joe Root 228, Dan Lawrence 73; Dilruwan Perera 4-129, Lasith Embuldeniya 3-176) & 38/3 (Jonny Bairstow 11*; Lasith Embuldeniya 2-13) need 36 more runs to beat Sri Lanka 135 (Dinesh Chandimal 28, Angelo Mathews 27; Dom Bess 5-30, Stuart Broad 3-20) & 359 (Lahiru Thirimanne 111, Angelo Mathews 71; Jack Leach 5-122).


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