Angelo Mathews © Getty Images
Angelo Mathews © Getty Images

Angelo Mathews’ excellent half-century has guided Sri Lanka to 228 for five at the end of play in the third Test, Day three at Pallekele. Sri Lanka have established a lead of 291 runs. Dinesh Chandimal is also unbeaten 39 and his unbeaten 67-run stand with Mathews has given Sri Lanka a chance of winning the match as well as the series. Full updates: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 3rd test Day 3 at Pallekele

Sri Lanka made a shaky start to the innings as they were 55 for three in the first session. Upul Tharanga played an excellent innings and his quick-fire 48 ensured Sri Lanka were not bogged down at any stage. But he yet again threw his wicket away after getting off to a good start. Mathews has yet again played a responsible innings and looks set to score a big hundred when play resumes on Day Four. Earlier, Sri Lanka lost their openers, including centurion from the first innings Dimuth Karunaratne cheaply. Full scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, 3rd Test Day 3 at Pallekele

Pakistan will be disappointed after being in command for the initial stages of the innings. Yasir Shah got a couple of wickets but he was not able to do much damage otherwise and the burden fell on the fast bowlers, who did not bowl as well as they should have in the last two sessions, Pakistan were earlier in the day bowled out for 215, adding just six runs to their overnight score. Wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahmed was the top scorer for the visitors with 76 not out.

The series is level at 1-1 and the winners of this match will take the series 2-1 and Sri Lanka are the firm favourites to do so. Pakistan had won the toss on Day One and decided to bowl first. Bith teams had made four changes to their side and the changes are proving out to be good ones. Sri Lanka star batsman Kumar Sangakkara had opted out of this match and by the looks of it, his side have done well without him.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka: 278  (Dimuth Karunaratne 130, Upul Tharanga 46;  Rahat Ali 3 for 74, Yasir Shah 5 for 7) & 228 for 5 (Upul Tharanga 48, Angelo Mathews 77*; Rahat Ali 2 for 58, Yasir Shah 2 for 70)  lead Pakistan 213 ( Azhar Ali 52, Sarfraz Ahmed 78*; Dhammika Prasad 3 for 78, Nuwan Pradeep 3 for 29, Tharindu Kaushal 3 for 37) by 291 runs.

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(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)