GALLE, Sri Lanka (AP) — England made further inroads in the afternoon session against Sri Lanka and need five more wickets to win a test in Galle for the first time on Friday.
Chasing an improbable target of 461, Sri Lanka was 190-5 at tea on day four. Sri Lanka trail by 272 runs.
Having taken three wickets in the first session, England dismissed Kusal Mendis and captain Dinesh Chandimal after lunch. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach accounted for both dismissals.
They could have had a third in the session, but James Anderson put down a simple chance at midwicket with Angelo Mathews on 18 off the bowling of Ben Stokes.
Mathews, who top-scored in the first innings with 52, was unbeaten on 50 at tea and Sri Lanka need a big knock from its former captain if it is to take the game into the fifth day.
Mendis played well for his 45, using his feet fell against the spinners. He lofted Leach for a boundary over mid-off the ball before he was dismissed. England pushed the mid-off fielder, Moeen Ali, deeper and the batsman attempted a similar stroke but didn't get his timing right and was caught by Ali.
Chandimal, who was nursing a groin strain, batted at six and was bowled on 1 by a beauty, with the ball spinning away after pitching to dislodge the bails.
Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella and Mathews had added 36 runs for the sixth wicket but with Sri Lanka down to the last recognized pair, England was looking to wrap up the game early.
Allrounder Ben Stokes bowled a testing spell either side of the lunch break and was unlucky not to get a second wicket. Stokes had Dhananjaya de Silva caught at first slip for 21 by Joe Root in the last over before lunch. De Silva was dismissed in the last over before lunch in the first innings as well.
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