Pakistan need 377 to win series-deciding third and final match against Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, July 5, 2015 (MAMOSA Report) — Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hit his fifth test century as his team set Pakistan a daunting 377-run victory target in the series-deciding third and final match at Pallekele on Monday.

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Sri Lanka were all out for 313 in their second innings at the stroke of lunch after resuming on 228-5 and Mathews was the last man to fall after a captain’s knock of 122.

Pakistan fast bowler Imran Khan (5-58) mowed down the bottom half of the Sri Lankan innings with the second new ball for his first five-wicket haul.

Mathews, who was unbeaten on 77 overnight, added 117 for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal (67) to stretch the team’s lead.

The 28-year-old all-rounder, without the services of the retiring Kumar Sangakkara in this test, held the middle order together after Rahat Ali had helped Pakistan reduce the hosts to 35-3 on the third day.

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Mathews, on 88, survived a run-out opportunity and went past the three-figure mark with a clip off his hip against Rahat for two runs.

Imran came back after captain Misbah-ul-Haq took the new ball immediately when it was available and the right-arm paceman dismissed Chandimal with his second delivery of the morning’s second spell.

He was on a hat-trick after getting Dhammika Prasad to edge behind next ball but Tharindu Kaushal (eight) managed to block an incoming delivery.

The 27-year-old bowler went on to dismiss Kaushal and Suranga Lakmal and picked up his first five-for when Mathews fell caught behind after a 252-ball knock that included 12 boundaries and a six.

Pakistan won the first Test by ten wickets in Galle and Sri Lanka responded with a seven-wicket victory in the second match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

Both tests were hit by rain interruptions and the trend could continue in the decider at Pallekele. Matches here often get affected by rain.

The venue has hosted three tests and all of them have ended in draws, it has emerged.

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