Dinesh Chandimal struck an unbeaten 118 off 232 balls in coming to full measure in re-establishing his test place as Sri Lanka ended the third day of the second Test on 431 for 6 wickets to lead Australia by 67 runs at the Galle International Stadium on Sunday. It was a truly ebullient comeback in the thick of three figure business for the 32-year old former captain who did mount a pitfall that that had threatened his career that he reclaimed in the touch and go.
The elegant right hander brought up his second century against Australia and the13th in his career off 195 balls when he nudged Nathan Lyon on the off for a single as he shared in a 133-run fifth-wicket partnership with debutant Kamindu Mendis who sounded his arrival by a peach of a knock of 61. The duo lifted Sri Lanka having come together with the score 269 for 4 at the fall of Angelo Mathews wicket for 52 after overnight batsman Kusal Mendis had fallen for 85 adding just a single leg before wicket to Lyon.
Chandimal’s unfinished 232-ball knock was filled with 9 boundaries and a six off Lyon early in his innings. If Chandimal’s fronting to raising his stock was of an old soldier who broke into the big stage at 18 years when he smashed a brilliant ODI ton against England at The Oval, it was the perfect Sunday setting forged by the former Sri Lanka U19 prodigy Kamindu Mendis whose 137-ball 61 laced with 7 hits to the ropes was brilliant stuff. The Lankan innings did revolve as much on Angelo Mathews’ 117-ball 52 containing 4 boundaries. Chandimal will resume Sri Lanka’s thrust for a sizable first innings lead to pressurise Australia with Ramesh Mendis who was unbeaten on 7 off45.
Nathan Lyon came in for quite some stick conceding 160 runs for his two wickets. CHIEF SCORES: Australia 364 (Steve Smith n.o. 145, Marcus Labuschagne 104, Prabath Jayasuriya 6/118) Sri Lanka 431/6 (149 Overs) (Dinesh Chandimal n.o. 118, Dimuth Karunaratne 86, Kusal Mendis 85, Kamindu Mendis 61, Angelo Mathews 52, Ramesh Mendis n.o. 7, Mitchell Starc 2/47, Mitchell Swepson 2/90, Nathan Lyon 2/160).