Sri Lankan batsmen found the Australian fast bowlers too hot to handle on the third day’s play to have themselves in a losing position. As many as 10 wickets fell down for Sri Lanka including two second innings wickets after they were made to follow-on.
The visitors started the day at 31 for 2 only to be bowled out in less than 82 overs for 211 leaving a first innings deficit of 340. The wickets were shared by all the five bowlers used by Ponting. Lee finishes with superb figures of 4 for 26 in nearly 18 overs while his fellow fast bowlers – debutant Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark finished with a couple of wickets each. Leg Spinner Stuart MacGill and medium pacer Andrew Symonds chipped in with a wicket each. For Sri Lanka, the top scorer was Marvan Atappatu who had scored 51 after surviving 183 balls. Chamara Silva (40 from 45 balls) and Prasanna Jayawardene (37 from 104 balls) were the two bright performers for the tourists putting on decent partnerships with Marvan Atappatu. Farveez Maharoof too did his bit in prolonging the innings with a stubborn 21 after lasting for 54 balls.
Sri Lanka finished the third day’s play at 80 for 2 having batted 22 overs before the close in their second innings. That was after an improved start from Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atappatu. However, both couldn’t finish the day unbeaten. Interestingly the first breakthrough of the innings was provided by Symonds after he had got Atapattu (16) caught down the legside by the keeper in the 14th over. Jayasuriya’s attacking innings came to an end after a careless shot off Lee found an edge in the 19th over. The left hander made 39 with 6 fours and a six lasting just the 49 balls. At stumps, Michael Vandort has got to 15 while Mahela Jayawardene is battling along with him with 8.