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Cricket

England close in on third Test victory

25th November 2018, 13:31 by James Mason

England are close to sealing a series whitewash in Sri Lanka after the hosts reached stumps on 53-4 on day three of the third Test.

Resuming their second innings on 3-0, England made a poor start as they slipped to 39-4 with Keaton Jennings (1), Rory Burns (7), Jonny Bairstow (15) and Joe Root (7) falling cheaply.

Jos Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was caught twice off Lakshan Sandakan no-balls, put on a solid partnership of 89 to steady the ship before the latter was caught off the bowling of Dilruwan Perera for 42.

Buttler managed to pass his half-century before being dismissed by Sandakan for 64, with the same bowler then removing Moeen Ali for 22 to leave the tourists on 171-7.

Wicket-keeper Ben Foakes (36no) and Adil Rashid (24) produced a late flurry to help England to 230 all-out, setting the hosts a target of 327 on a difficult turning strip.

Moeen dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka for just six after the opener edged to Stokes at slip before Jack Leach trapped Dhananjaya de Silva LBW for a seven-ball duck in his first over.

Sri Lanka lost their third wicket shortly afterwards when Moeen bowled Dimuth Karunaratne for 23 before Angelo Mathews' (5) attempted pull shot from a Stokes delivery was caught superbly by a diving Stuart Broad

Kusal Mendis (15no) and Sandakan (0) managed to see out the remaining overs to reach stumps on 53-4, still requiring 274 more runs to win with just six wickets remaining.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.

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