PALLEKELE: Wickets continued to tumble on the third day of the decisive third Test as Sri Lanka limped to 55 for three wickets at lunch to lead overall by 118 runs over Pakistan at Pallekele International Stadium.
Pakistan was earlier dismissed for 215 giving Sri Lanka a handy first innings lead of 63 runs.
Sri Lanka’s second innings was interrupted by a passing shower but by that time they had already lost three wickets.
Rahat Ali got an early breakthrough for Pakistan dismissing first innings centurion Dimuth Karunaratne for 10 and then following it up with the wicket of the out of form vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne who was bowled for a duck failing to negotiate an outswinging yorker.
Eshan Adil picked up his first wicket of the match when he had Kaushal Silva (3) edging a catch to Misbah-ul-Haq at first slip.
Upul Tharanga started off positively as he had done in the first innings and at the interval was unbeaten on 29 scored off 25 balls with Angelo Mathews on 11 not out.
Sri Lanka did not take too long to capture the final Pakistan wicket on the third morning requiring just two overs before they dismissed them for 215.
Sarfraz Ahmed was left unbeaten on 78 scored off 104 balls (6 fours). He had been farming the bowling despite the deeply spread out field and trying to protect his no. 11 Imran Khan. But Imran lasted only one ball – the first he faced for the day when he played down the wrong line to Tharindu Kaushal and was bowled without scoring, to give the bowler his third wicket of the innings.
Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep were also rewarded with three wickets apiece for their consistency with line and length which tested the patience of the Pakistani batsmen.
Scores: Sri Lanka 278 and 55-3 at lunch (Upul Tharanga 29 not out, Rahat Ali 2/25)
Pakistan 209-9 contd 215 (Sarfraz Ahmed 78 not out, Dhammika Prasad 3/78, Nuwan Pradeep 3/29, Tharindu Kaushal 3/37).