Chandimal Hundred Pulls Sri Lanka Towards 300

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Colombo: Dinesh Chandimal scored the seventh century of his Test career as Sri Lanka continued to advance slowly on the second morning in Colombo. Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland each picked up a wicket but those two breakthroughs were accompanied by 85 Sri Lankan runs during the session, as the total moved on to 299 for 7 at lunch, with Chandimal on 105 and Rangana Herath on 14.

Dhananjaya de Silva, who was the stand-out on the first day when he scored his maiden Test hundred, moved on to 129 before he was drawn forward by Lyon’s length and then deceived by the dip. The inside edge off de Silva’s leg was snapped up by Shaun Marsh at bat-pad, ending a 211-run partnership between Chandimal and de Silva.

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That stand had started with Sri Lanka in serious peril at 26 for 5, and it was the highest sixth-wicket partnership in Test history from a score of five down for fewer than 50. After de Silva’s departure, Chandimal carried on in his patient method and eventually brought up his century from his 281st delivery, with a single worked behind square leg off Lyon.

It was a fitting way for Chandimal to register his milestone, for the nudged and nurdled ones and twos had been such a key feature of his innings. When he did provide a chance to the Australians, on 100, they failed to take it – the unlucky Holland turned one enough to catch Chandimal’s edge, but Steven Smith at first slip could not cling on to the straightforward opportunity.

After de Silva fell, Dilruwan Perera made a quick 16 before he holed out to long-off from the bowling of Holland. Herath joined Chandimal and frustrated the Australians with a couple of boundaries, and by lunch his partnership with Chandimal had reached 32.

AP

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