Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test Day 4: Australia require 185 to win, Sri Lanka need seven wickets

Bad light brought play to a premature end

Bad light brought play to a premature end

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

It is all set to come down to the wire on the fifth and final day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele as the tourists are 185 runs away from victory while the hosts need seven wickets to go 1-0 up.

Starting off the day on 282/6, Sri Lanka lost batsman Kusal Mendis early on as he was caught behind off the bowling of Mitchell Starc for a career-best 176, which came off 254 balls and included 21 boundaries and a six.

Mendis etched his name in the history books as a result of his magnificent innings as he made the highest score in a Test match in Pallekele.

Dilruwan Perera and debutant Lakshan Sandakan fell soon after, but a quickfire 35 by Rangana Herath saw Sri Lanka finish on 353 and set Australia a target of 268 to win.

Starc was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon snapped up two wickets apiece. Mitchell Marsh and Steve O’Keefe, meanwhile, chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 268 to win, Australia were dealt a huge blow early on as opener David Warner was clean bowled by Herath for just one run.

Usman Khawaja joined Warner in the pavilion a short while later as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Perera.

Warner’s opening partner, Joe Burns, got off to an encouraging start, but he was unable to convert it into a big score as he was cleaned up by Sandakan for 29.

With Australia struggling at 63/3, captain Steven Smith and batsman Adam Voges amassed an unbeaten 20-run stand before bad light brought play to an end earlier than expected.

Smith finished on 26, while Voges remained undefeated on nine.

Herath, Perera and Sandakan claimed one wicket each.

Australia ended day four on 83/3 and will continue batting on Saturday at 09:45 local time or 04:15 GMT.

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