Dhanajaya de Silva made his Test debut at Pallekele © AFP
Dhanajaya de Silva made his Test debut at Pallekele © AFP

Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka’s middle order batsman registered his maiden Test hundred in the third and final Test against Australia. De Silva who came out to bat after Angelo Mathews departed, in what was a succession of wickets. He along with Dinesh Chandimal controlled Sri Lanka’s innings after the visitors had reduced them to 26-5. De Silva made his debut in this series at Pallekele. He was able to get starts in the first two Tests but could not convert them to half-centuries or big ones. But his talent and ability was enough for Sri Lanka to pick him up, going into the Colombo Test, with the series already won. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test at Colombo

A fighting 150-plus partnership from De Silva and Chandimal helped Sri Lanka recover from a precarious position to reach 141 for 5 at Tea.

The hosts, who elected to bat first on a bright sunny morning, lost five wickets for 55 runs before lunch with Australian bowlers Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon wiping out the top order. Starc and Lyon shared five wickets between them to rattle the Sri Lankan batting line-up, but De Silva and Chandimal put together a 115-run unbeaten stand to keep the hosts in the hunt.

Earlier, the visitors dominated the morning session with Starc striking early to have Kaushal Silva trudging back to the pavilion after a 15-ball duck.

Lyon, who had had been criticised for failing to utilise the turning conditions, also proved effective at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground with his two wickets. The spinner seemed to have learnt his lessons on these pitches after getting Kusal Perera caught at first slip and then the prized wicket of Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews, who was out for just one.

The left-handed Perera looked good during his 32-ball 16 which included three boundaries, but was done in by a beauty from Lyon that pitched and turned to take an outside edge of the bat. Starc also kept the other end busy with his wicket-taking as he bowled opener Dimuth Karunaratne for the fifth time in the series.

(With inputs from AFP)