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COLOMBO: Dinesh Chandimal smashed a career-best 206 not out to boost Sri Lanka’s hopes of a series-levelling victory in the second Test against Australia in Galle on Monday.

Resuming on 431-6, Sri Lanka were all out for 554 claiming a handy first innings lead of 190 on day four of the contest.

Australia, who hold a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series, were 52-1 at tea, still 138 behind.

Usman Khawaja was batting on 25 with Marnus Labuschagne on two at the other end.

Sri Lanka’s Karunaratne, Kusal hold fort in second Australia Test

David Warner (24) began positively but his 49-run stand with Khawaja was snapped when Ramesh Mendis dismissed him lbw in the penultimate over before the tea break.

Earlier, wasted reviews returned to haunt Australia when play resumed.

Mitchell Swepson trapped Ramesh Mendis plumb in front of the wicket but Australia’s lbw appeal was turned down and the tourists could not challenge the decision having used up all three reviews on Sunday.

Mitchell Starc (4-89) ended the 68-run stand soon after the first hour’s play, swinging back a fuller delivery to remove Mendis lbw for 29.

Debutants Maheesh Thiksana and Prabath Jayasuriya lost their off-stumps to Pat Cummins and Starc respectively but Chandimal was preparing a late assault at the other end.

Having reached 185, Chandimal smashed Starc for a boundary and followed it with back-to-back sixes to bring up the first double hundred by a Sri Lanka batter against Australia.

The batsman dropped to his knees and held his arms aloft soaking in applause from the crowd.

Five of Sri Lanka’s top six batsmen smashed 50-plus scores.

Sri Lanka opener Pathum Nissanka tested positive for COVID-19 and was substituted by Oshada Fernando, who had played a similar role when Angelo Mathews tested positive during the series opener.

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