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Sri Lanka vs England: Visitors on cusp of victory after Jack Leach’s 5-wicket-haul, need 36 on final day


Angelo Matthews toiled hard with the tail-enders but Sri Lanka could post a target of just 74 runs for England, who are now 36 away from a victory in Galle Test.

Jack Leach took a five-for on Day 4 of the Galle Test (Courtesy- ICC)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • England need just 36 runs on Monday to win the Galle Test
  • Jack Leach took a five-wicket haul to restrict Sri Lanka for 359 in 2nd innings
  • Lahiru Thirimanne starred with the bat for Sri Lanka and brought up his 2nd Test hundred

Sri Lanka tried giving it their all but their horror show in the first innings (135 all out) came to haunt them again when the fourth day of the match ended on Sunday evening. Defending a target of just 74 runs, Sri Lanka took 3 quick wickets in the final session but 36 runs is all Joe Root’s men need on Monday to win the first Test in Galle.

The hosts had ended Day 3 of the first Test match against England on a high but could not carry forward the momentum when the teams took the field at Galle on Sunday. Lasith Embuldeniya departed in the starting minutes without scoring as Sri Lanka were on backfoot all over again.

Lahiru Thirimanne was then joined by former captain Angelo Mathews in the middle. The two held the innings from collapsing and joined hands to partner for 52 runs off 116 balls. This partnership saw Thirimanne complete his second hundred in the longest format. When things appeared to be settling down for Sri Lanka, Thirimanne lost concentration and edged one into the gloves of Jos Buttler.

Thereafter, captain Dinesh Chandimal (20) and Nirsohan Dickwella (29) tried forging partnerships with Mathews but departed after getting starts. Dom Bess, who took a five-for in the first innings got both the middle-order batsmen.

Jack Leach took cue from his spin partner Bess and ran through Sri Lanka’s tail to register his own five-wicket-haul in the match. Mathews battled hard and went down fighting for 71 as Sri Lanka’s 2nd innings ended on 359.

With England needing 74 in the final session, Sri Lanka tried striking back for one final time. For once they even succeeded in that as visitors lost opener Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley for just 12 runs. The situation further deteriorated for the visitors when Joe Root got run-out 6 balls later.

However, Jonny Bairstow (11) and Dan Lawrence (7) closed the floodgate and made sure that their team lose no further wickets. England’s scorecard read 38 for 3 when stumps were called.



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