England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Day 3: Anyone’s game after Sri Lanka fight back

Sangakkara became only the fourth player in history to score seven consecutive half-centuries in Tests

Sangakkara became only the fourth player in history to score seven consecutive half-centuries in Tests

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following their impressive counter-attack on the third day of the second Test at Headingley, which was led by half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka have now made it anyone’s game heading into the final two days.

While Sangakkara and Jayawardene stole most of the limelight for their outstanding knocks, England all-rounder Moeen Ali deserves a lot of credit as well as he dismissed Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne in the space of three deliveries to peg back Sri Lanka late in the day.

Starting out the day on 320/6, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior and pace bowler Chris Jordan only added 18 runs to their seven-run partnership before Jordan was caught by Jayawardene at second slip off the bowling of Shaminda Eranga.

Stuart Broad only made four runs before he was caught by Thirimanne at gully off the bowling of Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.

Liam Plunkett mustered two runs before he was clean bowled by Mathews.

England were bowled out for 365, which gave them a lead of 108, when James Anderson was caught and bowled by Eranga for a duck.

Prior remained unbeaten on 27 off 53 balls, which included one boundary and a six.

Mathews and Eranga picked up four wickets apiece, while Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Trailing by 108 runs, Sri Lanka got off to a solid start as their opening pair of Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva amassed a 40-run partnership before Silva was caught behind off the bowling of Plunkett for 13.

Karunaratne and Sangakkara made up for the early loss of Silva with a 53-run partnership before Karunarate was caught behind off the bowling of Plunkett for 45.

Karunaratne immediately reviewed the decision, but replays showed that the ball had struck his glove on the way to Prior behind the stumps, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene kept the runs flowing with a 73-run partnership, during which Sangakkara brought up his half-century, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Ali.

Sangakkara reviewed the decision straight away, but replays showed that the ball was going on to crash into middle stump, which led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.

Sangakkara’s fantastic knock of 55 came off 103 balls and included six boundaries.

Sangakkara also joined an elite club with his half-century as he equalled the world record of seven consecutive half-centuries in Tests after Sir Everton Weekes, Andy Flower and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Having dismissed Sangakkara on the last ball of his second over, Ali struck again on the second ball of his third over when he clean bowled Thirimanne for a duck.

Ali dismissed Sangakkara and Thirimanne in the space of three balls

Ali dismissed Sangakkara and Thirimanne in the space of three balls

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Jayawardene and Mathews amassed an unbeaten 38-run partnership, during which Jayawardene registered his half-century, before the umpires decided to bring play to an end for the day.

Jayawardene finished on 55 off 123 balls, which included five boundaries, while Mathews remained undefeated on 24 off 48 deliveries, which included three boundaries.

Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 55

Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 55

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Plunkett and Ali claimed two wickets each.

Sri Lanka ended day three on 214/4 and will continue batting tomorrow at 11:00 local time or 10:00 GMT.

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