Lankans close in on series win
GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP):
Sri Lanka are in sight of a series-clinching win in the second Test after Dilruwan Perera starred with bat and ball, along with a hat-trick by fellow spinner Rangana Herath yesterday.
Chasing a daunting 413 to win, Australia lost three second-innings wickets in the six overs they faced to end on 25 for three at stumps on the second day. The tourists need 388 more runs for an improbable victory, with three days remaining.
Perera added two more wickets to his four from Australia's first innings, when the tourists collapsed to 106 all out after resuming the day on 54 for two, with Herath taking a hat trick.
"It was a good achievement. I have taken a hat-trick only playing for school and not anywhere else. So very pleasing to do that against the No. 1-ranked team," Herath said.
LOST FOR WORDS
"After 17 years we are on the verge of winning the series. I am lost for words to explain that."
Sri Lanka achieved their only Test series win against Australia in 1999 under Sanath Jayasuriya's captaincy.
Perera also top scored with 64 in Sri Lanka's second innings total of 237. Captain Angelo Mathews made 47.
When the Australians came out to bat again on the same day, Herath had opener Joe Burns (2) caught by Kaushal Silva and Perera dismissed nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (0) and Usman Khawaja (0) in successive deliveries.
Captain Steve Smith carefully negotiated the hat-trick ball and remained at the crease with one run.
Earlier, Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc recorded career-best 11-94 match figures to help his side dismiss Sri Lanka for 237 in their second innings. Starc's previous best was 8-209 against South Africa in 2012.
As many as 21 wickets fell during the second day and 33 wickets have fallen in two days of play.
Sri Lanka made 281 in their first innings for a 175-run lead.
Australia started yesterday badly, quickly slumping to 59-4. Then Herath had Adam Voges (8) caught by Dimuth Karunaratne and trapped Peter Nevill and Starc leg before wicket to join retired left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa as the only Sri Lankans to have got Test match hat-tricks.
Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0.