Jayasuriya's rally gives Australians headache

<preform>Australia 120 &amp; 442 Sri Lanka 211 & 301-7</preform>
Click to follow

Sanath Jayasuriya fired a brilliant 131 to give Sri Lanka a chance of winning a finely-balanced second Test against Australia in Kandy.

Sanath Jayasuriya fired a brilliant 131 to give Sri Lanka a chance of winning a finely-balanced second Test against Australia in Kandy.

The hosts finished an action-packed fourth day on 301 for seven in their second innings, needing a further 51 to secure a series-levelling win with three wickets remaining.

Opener Jayasuriya scored almost half his side's runs before he was eventually dismissed when he edged a Jason Gillespie delivery to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, leaving the score on 218 for five.

"I was determined to make a big score here and I am glad I did it," he said, "though I am a bit disappointed that I couldn't go on and make it bigger.

"I tried to concentrate hard and also didn't allow the Australian bowlers to settle down. I wanted to get to 50 when I had reached 30, and then get a big one and win the match."

It was an excellent innings from Jayasuriya, scored from 145 balls and with 17 fours and two sixes, and had the other Sri Lankan batsman shown half the confidence and resolve as Jayasuriya then the hosts would have wrapped this match up by now.

As it is, they now face an anxious final day against an Aussie side who thrive in this kind of situation.

In stark contrast to yesterday, when the scoring was slow before rain forced an early end to play in the afternoon session, today was a thriller which saw the balance of power swing to-and-fro throughout.

After finally being bowled out for 442 just prior to lunch, Australia started the afternoon session well and claimed two early wickets.

Jayasuriya's fellow opener Marvan Atapattu was the first to fall when he was trapped lbw for eight by Jason Gillespie with the score on 18.

Number three batsman Avishka Gunawardene did little better, adding just nine before also being given lbw after misreading Michael Kasprowicz's inswinger .

Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara added a partnership of 62 as Sri Lanka finally got the scoreboard ticking over, but Shane Warne ended that promising coupling when he caught and bowled the latter for 29.

In the previous over to Sangakkara's dismissal, Jayasuriya passed his 50.

Mahela Jayawardene and Jayasuriya then cobbled together a partnership of 76 even though the former made only 13 of those runs.

The Gillespie-Gilchrist combination which would later account for the Sri Lankan centurion also saw off Jayawardene in the 39th over, leaving the home side on a shaky 174 for four.

Jayasuriya was dismissed 10 overs later and he was quickly followed by Hashan Tillekeratne who added seven before being brilliantly caught by Ricky Ponting at mid-off from Warne's well-flighted delivery.

A quickfire stand off 33 between Tillekaratne Dilshan and Chaminda Vaas was ended when Dilshan was clean bowled by Warne, as Australia turned the screw.

It all means Vaas, unbeaten on a classy 30, and Kaushal Lokuarachchi (13 not out) will resume tomorrow looking to score the 51 required to secure an excellent win.

Earlier Damien Martyn scored a battling 161 as Australia set Sri Lanka a tough victory target before lunch.

The Australians were finally all out for 442 just before lunch as Muttiah Muralitharan claimed five for 173.

Muralitharan is now on 505 Test wickets, just one behind Shane Warne in the race to break Courtney Walsh's world record of 519.

Resuming on 320 for five, Australia lost Andrew Symonds for 23 when he was adjudged lbw to Muralitharan with the score on 360.

Warne was the seventh wicket to fall when he tried to hit Muralitharan out of the ground and Gillespie also attempted a big hit off the spinner and was caught at mid-on to leave the tourists on 393 for eight.

Kasprowicz was dismissed before Martyn's marathon effort was finally ended when he was stumped attempting to hit Muralitharan for six.

Fourth day of five; Australia won toss

Australia - First Innings 120 (M L Hayden 54; M Muralitharan 4-48, D N T Zoysa 4-54).

Sri Lanka - First Innings 221 (W P U J C Vaas 68no; S K Warne 5-65, M S Kasprowicz 4-83).

Australia - Second Innings

(Overnight: 320 for 5)

D R Martyn st Sangakkara b Muralitharan 161

A Symonds lbw b Muralitharan 23

S K Warne c Zoysa b Muralitharan 6

J N Gillespie c Atapattu b Muralitharan 11

M S Kasprowicz c Jayawardene b Zoysa 8

S C G MacGill not out 17

Extras (b2 lb7 nb1) 10

Total (134.3 overs) 442

Fall (cont): 6-360 7-376 8-393 9-408.

Bowling: Vaas 33-6-103-3; Muralitharan 50.3-8-173-5; Zoysa 33-11-102-2; Lokuarachchi 12-2-33-0; Jayasuriya 5-0-16-0; Dilshan 1-0-6-0.

SRI LANKA - Second Innings

M S Atapattu lbw b Gillespie 8

S T Jayasuriya c Gilchrist b Gillespie 131

D A Gunawardene lbw b Kasprowicz 9

ÝK C Sangakkara c and b Warne 29

D P M D Jayawardene c Gilchrist

b Gillespie 13

T M Dilshan b Warne 43

*H P Tillakaratne c Ponting b Warne 7

W P U J C Vaas not out 30

K S Lokuarachchi not out 13

Extras (b4 lb13 nb1) 18

Total (for 7, 67 overs) 301

Fall: 1-18 2-36 3-98 4-174 5-218 6-239 7-272.

To bat: D N T Zoysa, M Muralitharan.

Bowling: Kasprowicz 17-1-55-1; Gillespie 17-1-61-3; Warne 18-1-83-3; Symonds 3-0-16-0; MacGill 12-0-69-0.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and D L Orchard (SA).

Auckland scoreboard,