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De Silva, Chandimal lead Sri Lanka recovery

Batting pair weather early strikes by Starc to take home team to 214 for 5 on opening day of third Test

De Silva, Chandimal lead Sri Lanka recovery - Cricket News
A fighting maiden Test century from Dhananjaya de Silva and an equally stubborn half-century from Dinesh Chandimal helped Sri Lanka recover from deep trouble on the first day of the third and final Test against Australia at Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Saturday (August 13).
Sri Lanka was reduced to 26 for 5 within 17 overs, and was in danger of being shot out cheaply, but the sixth wicket pair of de Silva (116 not out) and Chandimal (64 not out) fought back with a stunning unbroken 188-run stand to take their side to 214 for 5 from 90 overs.
Sri Lanka opted to bat first after winning the toss, but it was Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon who called the shots early on, wiping out the top order.
Starc set the tone early, having Kaushal Silva edging to the slip cordon for a 15-ball duck. He then bowled Dimuth Karunaratne, getting the better of the Sri Lankan for the fifth time in the series, before forcing Kusal Mendis to edge to slip for one.
Lyon, meanwhile, kept the pressure from the other end, having Kusal Perera edging to slip. A lot depended on the experienced Angelo Mathews but the Sri Lankan skipper too fell cheaply, sweeping Lyon to fine leg.
At 26 for 5, Australia completely dominated the first hour but little did they realise that that would be their last celebration for the day.
The remaining part of the day was all about de Silva and Chandimal. The impressive aspect of their stand was that it wasn't a counter-attack, but a fightback through grit and incredible temperament. It was backed by a sturdy technique too - de Silva and Chandimal played late to negotiate testing spells from the spinners and paced their knocks well.

While Chandimal took 204 balls for his 64, de Silva impressed with some classical strokes, flicking the spinners and driving the pacers for boundaries. He went past his maiden ton cutting Steven Smith to the boundary and had faced 240 balls by the end of the day. 
De Silva rode his luck too, with two dropped chances, though both came after he had been well set – on 73 and 104.
But far more than luck, it was down to the grit, skill and temperament shown by the batting duo that allowed the home team to end the day on a high, in complete contrast to how it had begun.

To see full scorecard, click here

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