Galle Test match delicately poised after day three

SUMMARY: Sri Lanka 204 (Nissanka 73, Karunaratne 42, Permaul 5-35, Warrican 4-50) and 46-2 (Nissanka 21*) vs West Indies 253 (Brathwaite 73, Blackwood 44, Mayers 36*, Bonner 35, Mendis 6-70, Jayawickrama 2-59, Embuldeniya 2-94)

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Sri Lanka are 46-2 at the end of the third day of the second Test against the West Indies at Galle on Wednesday, still three runs behind the visitors in a match that is delicately poised heading into Thursday’s fourth day.

Led by captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s patient 72 and propped up Kyle Mayers’ crucial unbeaten 36, the West Indies scored 253 all out in reply to the home side’s first-innings score of 204.

The visitors had resumed from their overnight score of 69-1 with Brathwaite on 22 and Nkrumah Bonner on one.

The pair extended their overnight partnership of seven runs to 75 when Ramesh Mendis claimed the first of his six wickets trapping Bonner lbw for 35.

Kraigg Brathwaite made 72 (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The visitors went to lunch at 145-2, still 59 runs behind the hosts, but they failed to build a commanding lead having lost wickets at regular intervals on the resumption after Brathwaite was bowled by Lasith Embuldeniya.

Shai Hope’s miserable Test form continued as he made only 10, while Roston Chase made 22 as the West Indies slipped from 166-3 to 197-7 as Mendis inflicted further damage on the West Indies batting order.

However, Mayers’ late innings heroics proved instrumental in giving the West Indies a 49-run lead with his unbeaten knock that guided the West Indies to a small but important advantage.

Mendis’ six wickets cost 70 runs, while Embuldeniya took 2-94 and Praveen Jayawickrama 2-59.

Trailing on first innings for the first time in the series, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start losing their leading run-scorer for the series, Dimuth Karunaratne, who was run out for six with only seven runs on the board.

Oshado Fernando was also run out, for 14, as the home team crawled to 39-2 as close of play approached.

However, at stumps, Pathum Nissanka remained unbeaten on 21 with debutant Charith Asalanka at the other end on four.

The West Indies trail 0-1 in the two-Test series. (Sportsmax)

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