Tuesday , October 4 2022

Cricket-Leach gets four, as England closes in the win of the series


PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka: England's left arm clone Jack Leach led a powerful sports bowling that put tourists in three wickets of a victory over Sri Lanka on an exciting fourth day of the second test on Saturday.

Chriking 301 to win on a Pallekele turn, Sri Lanka reached 226 for seven when the rain ended the game for the second consecutive day with the hosts still need 75 to finish the three-test series at 1-1.

Some half centuries ago, former captain Angelo Mathews and open Dimuth Karunaratne, put Sri Lanka in a nice shot after the bright spell of sports bowling with a new ball that had reduced them to 26-3.

But Moeen Ali and Leach, who have already taken a better career 4-73 in a innings, brought England back in the game, rejecting Mathews for 88 and Dilruwan Perera for two respectively in a fast succession after the tea.

Sri Lankan's hopes for the last day will be based on wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, who was undefeated at 27 at the end of the game.

Leach had given England the ideal start when he accepted Kaushal Silva from his aspect with a ruddy tradition ending for four.

Dhananjaya de Silva went into a smart fall from Keaton Jennings on a short leg for one, while Kusal Mendis was also trapped for the same scoring, with England overturning the referee's decision not to be sent.

Karunaratne made an aggressive 57 and was the fourth-wicket stop of 77 with experienced Mathews who revived Sri Lanka's pursuit.


England lost the chances of pulling Karunaratne and Mathews away from Ben Stokes, the culprit and rower Moeen Ali, the unfortunate bowler in both cases.

Karunaratne, who made 63 in the early stages, was on the 21st when his Moean tip flew over Stokes in the slip and the batsman also successfully overturned one foot before Adil Rashid's decision to reconsider .

Karunaratne finally came out in a brilliant short leg fight by Jennings, who predicted a shot from the batsman and cleverly moved to his left to defeat the ball to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to prevent Rashid.

Stokes lost a relatively easier opportunity when he threw Mathews in a slider with the batsman seven. The right player made England pay dearly with another 73 with Roshen Silva for the fifth wicket.

England missed the chance to reject Silva, which had a top score for the 85-star guest in the first ring at 32 when they failed to review a non-verdict on a lbw off Moeen call. The repetitions showed that they would have been overturned to their advantage.

Moeen sent Silva back to 37 with England captain Joe Root choosing to re-examine another decision not for out of a catch-pad catch.

Mathews and Dickwella threw England further with a 45-run stand for the sixth wicket before Moeen dismissed Mathews's foot before.

England had hit for about 20 minutes in the morning before everyone reached for 346 for a lead of 300. Foakes followed the debut of the century during the Galle victory with an undefeated 65.

Akila Dananjaya, who was reported for suspicious bowling action after the Galle test but is free to play, put curves up to the best 6-115 figures for the guests.

(Reference by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; edited by Ian Ransom / Amlan Chakraborty / Ken Ferris)

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