England set Sri Lanka 327 runs to win after Jos Buttler fifty
Last Updated: 25/11/18 12:15pm
England set Sri Lanka a victory target of 327 in the third Test after Jos Buttler hit a half-century to steer the tourists to 230 all out.
The tourists - at one stage 39-4 before Buttler (64) and Ben Stokes (42) shared a crucial fifth-wicket stand of 89 - have already won the series 2-0 and now have a whitewash in their sights.
Stokes rode his luck before smearing a catch to mid-on, earning two reprieves from Lakshan Sandakan no balls after hitting to cover and slip respectively. Buttler also successfully overturned an lbw dismissal against Dhananjaya de Silva with the ball shown to be bouncing over the stumps.
Buttler used his feet well until he advanced down the track and missed a leg-side Sandakan delivery to be stumped by a distance. The spinner struck again three runs later when Moeen Ali (22) poked a catch to slip to leave England 171-7.
Ben Foakes (20no) and Adil Rashid (21no) were at the crease at tea, having compiled an unbroken stand of 39.
The day began in inauspicious fashion for the tourists when Keaton Jennings was out to the first ball of Sunday's play when he was pinned lbw by Dilruwan Perera from a ball that skidded on to depart for one.
Jonny Bairstow made 110 in his first outing as England's No 3 but scored just 15 in his second before he fell to a superb Keaton Jennings-esque catch from substitute fielder Kaushal Silva at short leg.
Jennings' opening partner Rory Burns (7) was sent packing in almost identical fashion by the same bowler, while England skipper Joe Root (7) then chipped back to Malinda Pushpakumara to leave the tourists 39-4 before Buttler and Stokes turned the tide.
Ben Foakes (36no) put on 44 for the eighth wicket with Adil Rashid (24), extending England's lead past 300 in the process.
Watch continued live coverage of the third Test between Sri Lanka and England on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401).