England sniffs victory after Mathews wicket in second Test

Sri Lanka, which trails the three-match series 0-1, needs another 75 to win the Kandy Test with three wickets and three sessions in hand.

England players celebrate the dismissal of Angelo Mathews on Day 4.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Spinners led by Jack Leach helped England close in on a series-clinching victory after Sri Lanka lost a fighting Angelo Mathews for 88 in the second Test on Saturday before rain stopped play.

Moeen Ali trapped Mathews lbw in the first over after tea to end the senior batsman's solid resistance that had kept alive Sri Lanka's hopes of chasing down a target of 301.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Leach struck soon to get Dilruwan Perera for one when torrential rain halted proceedings for the day with Sri Lanka on 226 for seven in Kandy.

The host, which trails the three-match series 0-1, needs another 75 to win with three wickets and three sessions in hand. Niroshan Dickwella was batting on 27 when play was stopped.

Leach has claimed four wickets with his left-arm orthodox spin while Ali has taken two on a turning pitch.

Mathews, who hit his third half-century of the series, took crease with Sri Lanka on a shaky 26-3.

The former captain played a gritty innings that lasted 137 deliveries and also built crucial partnerships.

RELATED | Day 3 report

His 73-run fifth wicket stand with Roshen Silva (37) frustrated the English spinners in the afternoon session.

England spinner Jack Leach claimed four wickets in the second innings.   -  AFP

 

Ali had Silva caught behind with a faint edge. The umpire had given Silva not out before England successfully reviewed the decision in its favour.

Leach had rattled the Sri Lankan top-order with three early wickets after the tourist was bowled out for 346 in the morning session.

Left-handed opener Dimuth Karunaratne then put on 77 runs with Mathews before falling to Adil Rashid for 57.

England, which had resumed the day on 324-9, stretched its second innings lead to 300 with overnight batsman Ben Foakes hitting an unbeaten 65.

Foakes, who hit a ton on debut in Galle, added 14 to his overnight 51 and shared 41 runs for the last wicket with James Anderson (12).