Galle - Sri Lanka took three late wickets as they
tightened the screws on Australia in the second Test in Galle on Friday
after setting the tourists a daunting target of 413 to save the series.
the end of an action-packed second day, which saw 21 wickets tumble and
a hat-trick from Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath, Australia were 25 for
three in their second innings - still 388 runs short of their target.
Warner was unbeaten on 22 while skipper Steve Smith will resume on
Saturday on one as the tourists face an uphill struggle to avoid an
embarrassing loss within three days at the Galle International Stadium.
Mitchell Starc took six wickets as Australia restricted Sri Lanka to
237 in their second innings, the tourists were effectively undone in the
first session of the day when they were skittled out for 106.
was their lowest total in 28 Tests against Sri Lanka who are on a high
after winning last week's first Test in Pallekele. Victory in Galle
would ensure the Sri Lankans win the three-match series with a game to
The 38-year-old Herath was the star performer after picking up only the second Test hat-trick by a Sri Lankan.
who resumed at their overnight score of 54 for two, struggled
throughout the morning session against both Herath and his fellow spin
bowler Perera, the duo sharing eight wickets between them.
Perera bowled overnight batsman Usman Khawaja in his second over of the
day before Herath took his first wicket by clean bowling the Australian
skipper Steven Smith.
But it was Herath's seventh over of the
innings which proved decisive as he dismissed Adam Voges, Peter Nevill
and Starc off consecutive deliveries to put Australia on the mat.
was a good achievement. I have only taken a hat-trick only playing for
school and not anywhere else. So, very pleasing to do that against the
number one-ranked team," a smiling Herath told reporters.
the only member from Sri Lanka's 1-0 series win against Australia in
1999, said winning the rubber with the current side would be more
"First Test is always special. At that time, we had
some big stars. Arjuna (Ranatunga), Aravinda (de Silva) and Sanath
"But we have not much experience here and I am really pleased with what I have done," he added.
Only Mitchell Marsh, who was the last man out for 27, offered much resistance for the Australians during the morning's play.
The visitors also struck early in the Sri Lanka second innings as the paceman Starc bowled his heart out on a flat pitch.
The left-arm paceman took six for 50 but the Sri Lankans were still able to set what should be a match-winning target.
17 years we are on the verge of winning the series. I am lost for
words... winning against the number one team is a big achievement," said
Dilruwan Perera top-scored for Sri Lanka with 64 and he
received good support from his skipper Angelo Mathews who followed up
his half-century in the first innings with 47.
response got off to a dreadful start when Joe Burns became Herath's
fifth victim of the day in the opening over of the Australian second
And the decision to send in Nathan Lyon as a
night-watchman backfired when he was bowled for a duck before Usman
Khawaja followed him back to the pavilion one ball later.
Full stop. Not up to international standards that performance today,"
Australian coach Darren Lehmann said on Friday.
"Obviously still a
long way to go, hopefully. But certainly we haven't played as we would
have liked. Sri Lanka have played well and we haven't."
the world number one team, had only ever lost one Test against Sri
Lanka before the current series. The final match is due to be held in
Colombo from August 13.