Report

Deficit decreased to 44 as England’s spinners wrestle to exert management

Sri Lanka 135 and 242 for 4 (Mathews 30*, Chandimal 20*) path England 421 by 44 runs

Lahiru Thirimanne‘s first Take a look at century in nearly eight years has helped Sri Lanka take one other step in the direction of parity on the fourth morning in Galle.

Thirimanne’s solely different century at this degree got here on this floor in March 2013. However, since that match towards Bangladesh, he had averaged 19.16 in 27 Assessments coming into this sport. Having failed within the first innings, it’s no exaggeration to recommend that, by the point he walked out to bat on the third day, his profession – and Sri Lanka’s hopes of salvaging something from this sport – had been hanging by a thread.

However he has revived his aspect’s hopes of survival, or doubtlessly setting a tough fourth-innings goal, with an impressively assured innings right here. Displaying each endurance and composure, he demonstrated an honest defensive method and put away the unfastened ball successfully in reaching his first century in 54 Take a look at innings.

He did survive a few nervous moments on the fourth morning. On 83, he drove a boundary off Dom Bess which was simply out of attain of a diving Dom Sibley at quick extra-cover, whereas on 91 he top-edged a sweep off Bess that fell between a number of fielders. Shortly afterwards, an inside edge off Jack Leach flew simply over short-leg.

However such moments solely went to indicate what may need been for England. For whereas Leach and Bess did beat the bat on events, in addition they served up a good variety of launch deliveries. When Thirimanne was on 98, for instance, Bess bowled him a full toss which he was capable of punch for a single and, shortly afterwards, he delivered a long-hop which Thirimanne reduce for 4 to achieve his century. There may be definitely help for spinners on this floor, however England’s have not, at this stage, managed to land the ball in the fitting place typically sufficient to take advantage of it.

In the long run, it was the brand new ball that did for Thirimanne. After Sam Curran had moved a pair away from him, he obtained one to carry its personal and take the within fringe of Thirimanne’s bat. Jos Buttler, who’s having an honest sport as keeper, held on to a testing likelihood.

The day had began nicely for England. The nightwatchman, Lasith Embuldeniya, fell within the second over to Bess as he pressured one to cowl. However by the lunch break, with Dinesh Chandimal, specifically, batting positively, the deficit had been reduce to only 44 runs. Sri Lanka nonetheless had work to do to save lots of the sport, however maybe England, figuring out they should bat final, had been rising just a bit nervous.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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