Advantage Sri Lanka at Pallekele


Sri Lanka have worked their way into a solid position after the fourth day of the first Test against Australia in Kandy.

Australia still require 185 runs to seal victory with seven wickets in hand but Sri Lanka's spinners are causing no end of trouble for Steve Smith's men, and those runs will not come easy.

Sri Lanka could only add 69 runs to their overnight total, losing centurion, Kusal Mendis, early as the host's saviour poked at a Mitchell Starc delivery in the corridor of uncertainty.

Dilruwan Perera (12) and Lakshan Sandakan (9) made minor contributions, before a gutsy tenth wicket partnership between Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep, added 39 runs to see Sri Lanka to 353 all out, setting Australia a target of 268 for victory on a turning wicket.

Sri Lanka opened with Rangana Herath, who bowled David Warner in the second over of the innings to put the tourists on the back foot.

Usman Khawaja failed to execute his sweep shot well enough and was trapped leg before by Dilruwan, Khawaja walked off without even a thought about a review.

Sandakan produced what may yet prove to be the ball of the series to bowl Joe Burns, his stock ball gripping, and getting huge turn back into the right hander and clattering into his stumps.

Adam Voges was given out lbw off the bowling of Dilruwan but he reviewed the decision with hawkeye showing the ball had turned too much and was missing leg stump.

Australia struggled to 83 for 3, a draw seems unlikely after seeing 33 wickets fall in a Test match that has lost four sessions to bad light and rain already.

We are in for a fascinating final day.