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Last wicket pair give England handy lead over Sri Lanka


KANDY, Sri Lanka, March 9 (AFP) - England took a useful 90-run first innings lead over Sri Lanka at tea after they were dismissed for 387 in reply to Sri Lanka's 297 on the third day of the second Test played here Friday.

Alec Stewart was caught bat-pad by Tillekeratne Dilshan off Sanath Jayasuriya in the second over after the break without adding to his lunch score of 54.

Stewart shared a sixth wicket stand of 87 with Craig White (39), equalling the existing sixth wicket record for England against Sri Lanka between Allan Lamb and Richard Ellison at Lord's in 1984.

The Sri Lankan spinners ran through the rest of the batting, but were held up by Robert Croft and Darren Gough who put on 41 runs between them in 57 minutes.

Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya had to finally resort to his paceman Chaminda Vaas to separate the pair and end the innings.

Vaas trapped Gough lbw for 10, leaving Croft on an unbeaten 33, which included four boundaries.

Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan bowled a marathon 63 overs to finish with four wickets for 127 runs, while left-arm spinner Jayasuriya took three for 76.

Tea was taken shortly after England were all out.

Sri Lanka lead the three match-series 1-0.







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