SL vs AUS: Chandimal's 118* puts the hosts in command
Sri Lankan batters grounded Australia on Day 3 of the second Test in Galle. Resuming from 184/2, the hosts rallied their way to 431/6 at stumps. Kusal Mendis (85) departed quite early, but the trio of Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, and Kamindu Mendis floored the visitors. Meanwhile, it wasn't an eventful day for Aussie bowlers. Sri Lanka lead by 67 runs.
Kusal would be gutted to have missed out on the eighth Test ton considering the way he progressed his innings. He resumed his innings from 84* but looked shaky on Day 3. A jaffa from Lyon got him out LBW but not before Kusal managed 85 off 161 deliveries, hitting nine fours. He now has 3,287 Test runs at 34.60 (seven hundreds, 14 fifties).
Mathews relished facing the Aussies. He scored a vital 117-ball 52 studded with four fours. It was his 38th half-century in Test cricket and third 50+ score in the last four Tests. He also shared a crucial 83-run stand with Chandimal after Kusal departed. The middle-order batter has raced to 6,867 Test runs. Against Australia, he now has 692 runs at 40.70.
Kamindu brought up a clutch fifty playing his maiden innings in whites. The 23-year-old rode on his luck as he was saved by a run-out early on in the game, and later, a stumping when he neared his fifty. He ran a single off Mitchell Swepson to bring up his maiden Test fifty. He hit seven fours en route to his 137-ball 61.
Chandimal came to Lanka's rescue with the score reading 186/3. He added a hefty stand alongside Mathews. That was followed by a 133-run partnership with Kamindu. The right-hander had his success over Lyon, sneaking in boundaries at regular intervals. He took a single to stamp his 13th ton in whites. So far, Chandimal has hit nine fours and a six in his 232-ball 118*.
Australia pocketed just four wickets by stumps. Lyon's off-break turned a long way to LBW a well-set Kusal. SL then fought back to add 78 runs in the first session. Mitchell Starc feasted on Mathews after lunch, forcing him to flick a good length delivery outside off. Post tea, Mitchell Swepson bowled out Kamindu and sometime later, Lyon managed to trump keeper-batter Niroshan Dickwella.