Twitter Reactions: England six wickets away from sealing historic away series whitewash

Twitter Reactions: England six wickets away from sealing historic away series whitewash

Will Sri Lanka be able to spring a surprise?

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

England are the favourites to whitewash Sri Lanka in their own den in the three-match Test series. Chasing the improbable 327 runs, the hosts ended the day on 53/4 after 17 overs as rain forced early stumps with Kusal Mendis and the nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan fighting it out in the middle. It will take a herculean effort from the remaining batsmen now for Sri Lanka to salvage some pride in this game.

The openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Danushka Gunathilaka started off decently in the second innings. But soon the latter was snaffled by Moeen Ali who flighted the ball nicely over the batsman’s eyes and made him drive. The ball took the edge and was safely pouched by Ben Stokes. Karunaratne was saved by the review a couple of times but a wonderful arm ball by Moeen castled him.

Meanwhile, Jack Leach’s excellent tour continued as he pinned Dhananjaya de Silva in front of the stumps. The onus was now on the veteran Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis with the team down and out at 34/3. Accordingly, they played cautiously amidst the former played a superb backfoot punch through the covers. But Mathews fell in the short-ball trap from Stokes and Joe Root.

A well-directed bouncer from Stokes was pulled by Mathews and Stuart Broad took a good low catch at the deep mid-wicket position. With 274 runs still in the bag, England are the clear favourites to complete the series sweep over the home side on the fourth day unless Kusal Mendis and the other batters manage to do the unthinkable.

Earlier in the day

However, Sri Lanka started the day on an auspicious note. Dilruwan Perera dismissed Keaton Jennings off the very first delivery and soon reduced the opposition to 39/4. The ball was spitting from good length and their top-order clearly had no idea what was happening. But Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes weathered the storm. The duo attacked the spinners understanding the fact that they can’t only defend on this pitch.

Not that they weren’t dismissed. Buttler was given out LBW and reversed the decision on review and Sandakan had got Stokes’ number twice. But the chinaman had shockingly bowled the no-ball on both the occasions. The partnership was stretched to 89 runs for the fifth wicket and slowly the game went away from Sri Lanka.

The lower-order resistance has become inevitable now from the visitors and they eventually went on to post 230 runs on the board and extended their lead to 326 runs. It seems that the target will be more than enough for them to seal the series by 3-0 on the penultimate day of the tour.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the day:

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