Cricket: Perera Five-for Takes Sri Lanka Closer To Win

Cricket: Perera five-for takes Sri Lanka closer to win

GALLE, Sri Lanka,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 6th Augst,2016) - Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera's five-wicket haul took the hosts closer to a historic series win as a struggling Australia were still 280 runs behind their target with three wickets remaining in the second Test in Galle on Saturday. Australia, who were set a mammoth target of 413, were 133 for seven at lunch on the third day with Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc battling to survive Sri Lanka's spin test.

Overnight batsmen David Warner and skipper Steven Smith offered some resistance with their 51-run fourth wicket partnership but both of them fell to Perera's guile. Warner, who tried to counter attack during his 31-ball 41, was trapped lbw off a straighter Perera delivery that hit the batsman on the front pad. Smith (30), who used his feet well against the spinners during his 58-ball stay, was the next to go as he gave away a catch at backward short leg.

Perera, who also took two wickets on Friday, then bowled Adam Voges for 28 to register his fourth five-wicket haul in 11 Test matches. But it was veteran spinner Rangana Herath who set up Sri Lanka's chances of victory after bagging his maiden Test hat-trick to help dismiss Australia for a record low of 106 in their first innings. Herath and Perera shared four wickets between them on a chaotic second day which saw the fall of 21 wickets and put the match on the fast track. Sri Lanka, who last won a series against Australia in 1999, are on the cusp of creating history after winning the first of the three Tests in Pallekele.