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Sri Lankan spinners make England struggle


COLOMBO, March 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's spinners fought back to have England struggling at 117 for four at tea on the second day of the third and final cricket Test played at the Singhalese SC grounds here Friday.

Test debutant Dinuk Hettiarachchi captured two wickets in his opening spell after Michael Atherton and Marcus Trescothick had put on 45 for the first wicket.

Hettiarachchi sent back Trescothick for 23 after he was dismissed in bizarre fashion when the ball he hit lodged into silly mid-on fielder Russel Arnold's left armpit.

Nasser Hussain, batting with a runner after pulling a hamstring while fielding on the first day, made only eight before he mis-hit an easy catch to short extra cover.

He failed to capitalise on a let-off when on four.

He had been given out caught at slip by Mahela Jayawardene off Hettiarachchi and took a few steps towards the pavilion but didn't leave the field when he noticed umpire De Silva consulting the third umpire to further check on the fairness of the catch.

The third umpire ruled in Hussain's favour and he celebrated by cutting the next ball to point for four before his innings ended.

Chaminda Vaas had given Sri Lanka the initial breakthrough when he trapped Atherton lbw for 21 in the second over after lunch.

Muttiah Muralitharan picked up Alec Stewart's wicket when the former England captain misread a straight ball and was bowled for three.

Left-hander Graham Thorpe remains not out on 42, with Michael Vaughan on five.

England are replying to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 241.







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