Pallekele - Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath dismissed four Australian wickets
including one from skipper Steven Smith to derail the tourists' chase on the
tense final day of the rain-hit first Test in Pallekele on Saturday.
Australia, who started on the day on 83 for three, were 141 for seven at
lunch, with the visitors needing another 127 to avoid an embarrassing loss for
the top Test side.
Smith (55) made a gritty half-century before becoming Herath's third victim
of the morning session as the Australian batting crumbled on a turning pitch.
Adam Voges, who survived a successful umpire review on Friday after being
judged LBW, was Herath's first wicket of the morning session which started late
due to rain.
Smith, who looked settled during his 125-ball stay at the crease that
included a single boundary, then built a 43-run fifth-wicket partnership with
Mitchell Marsh (25) to raise some hopes of recovery.
A persistent Herath trapped Marsh LBW with a successful umpire review after
the batsman was given the benefit of the doubt by the on-field umpire, who had
to overturn his decision.
But it was Smith's prized wicket that got the Lankan camp in a celebratory
huddle as the left-arm spinner got the gritty batsman plumb in front of the
Debutant spinner Lakshan Sandakan, who grabbed four wickets in the first
innings, soon joined the party to send Mitchell Starc back in the pavilion and
help the hosts inch closer to taking a vital lead in the three-match series.