PALLEKELE: Angelo Mathews scored his fifth Test century as Sri Lanka set Pakistan a tall task of chasing 377 for a series clinching victory on the fourth day of the third and final Test played at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Sri Lanka was all out on the stroke of lunch for 317 with Mathews playing a captain’s knock of 122 in 400 minutes after his team had been in trouble at 35-3 when he came to bat.
He hit 12 fours and a six facing 252 balls in a chanceless innings and shared in a stand of 117 with Dinesh Chandimal who went onto score a stylish 67 off 103 balls (8 fours).
Following Chandimal’s dismissal at 278, Mathews tried his best to bat as long as possible with the tail before he was finally dismissed by Imran Khan who picked up his first five-for in a Test playing in his fifth match.
Imran in fact picked up the remaining five Sri Lanka wickets to fall today in a spell of 5.4 overs conceding 19 runs bowling with the second new ball taken at the end of 80 overs.
Sri Lanka who resumed at 228-5 lost their last five wickets for 35 runs.
His victims included Dhammika Prasad who became only the second Sri Lankan player and 18th overall to bag a ‘King pair’ in Tests being dismissed first ball in both innings. It was the first instance in Sri Lanka.
Rangana Herath was the first Sri Lankan to be similarly dismissed against Pakistan at Sharjah in 2014.
The way Sri Lanka played the pitch seems to be still good for batting with the bowlers getting help off it only when the ball is new, as Imran proved.
No team has chased over 300 runs in the fourth innings and won a Test in Sri Lanka and Pakistan faces a tall order to bat out the next five sessions of the Test weather permitting.
Pakistan’s highest successful run chase in the fourth innings is 315 against Australia at Karachi in 1994.
The three-match series stands at one-all after two Tests.
Scores: Sri Lanka 278 and 228-5 contd 313 (A Mathews 122, D Chandimal 67, Rahat Ali 2/82, Imran Khan 5/58, Yasir Shah 2/80)