Sri Lanka has snatched control of the second Test away from Australia, which was left to rue a day of missed chances and wasted reviews that proved costly.
Alex Carey missed three stumpings on the day while Pat Cummins burnt Australia’s final two reviews inside the first session — and it bit the tourists hard.
Sri Lanka finished the day at 6-431, a lead of 67, with Dinesh Chandimal and Ramesh Mendis unbeaten on 118 and seven respectively.
Century-maker Chandimal escaped getting out on 30 when Mitchell Starc had him caught behind, only for the umpire to deny the call but ultra-edge showed a spike when the ball passed the bat.
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Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Carey missed a trio of difficult, albeit takeable stumpings on the day.
The first was when Chandimal was on 11, the second when Kamindu Mendis was on 43, and the third a leg-side missed stumping to Ramesh Mendis on 5.
Former South African Test batter HD Ackerman said in commentary: “It’s difficult to sit here and be critical. It’s a tough, tough job and it must be exhausting in these conditions where one bounces, one keeps low, one spins, turns, one doesn’t turn.
“But I know someone that does this as their job at this sort of level, the expectations is that they make those stumpings.”
In the first session, Nathan Lyon struck early in the day to send back Kusal Mendis, trapped lbw for 85, after the hosts resumed on 2-184 in response to Australia’s first innings total of 364.
Australia then burnt its reviews: The first revealed a slight edge that prevented Angelo Mathews from being out LBW, while the second was an appeal for a catch that Chandimal didn’t hit.
The drama with Chandimal’s reprieve happened after Angelo Mathews reached his fifty early in the second session but soon fell to Starc’s left-arm pace, caught at forward short-leg for 52.
Meanwhile, Australia finally broke a 133-run, 43-over partnership between Chandimal and Kamindu Mendis one hour before stumps when Mitchell Swepson bowled the latter for 61.
The wicket came just moments after Chandimal reached three figures, scoring his 13th Test career century off 195 balls.
Mendis’ wicket opened the door to a late Australia fight back as a loose Niroshan Dickwella shot to Lyon saw him punished, caught out for just five.
Ramesh Mendis offered the Australians a chance for a third wicket in the final session, but Carey missed the stumping as Sri Lanka reached stumps six down.
Play resumes at 2.30pm (AEST) Monday.
Sri Lanka XI: Dimuth Karunarathne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Prabath Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson