Ireland made to toil in the field following record-breaking day in Sri Lanka
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Openers Nishan Madushka and Dimuth Karunaratne both registered centuries in a 228-run opening stand while Kusal Mendis was unbeaten on 83 when rain brought an early end to day three of the second Test.
Sri Lanka, resuming on 81 without loss in response to their opponents’ highest-ever Test total of 492, raced along at more than four and a half an over with Karunaratne reaching his ton off only 116 balls.
The Sri Lanka captain perished for 115 off 133 deliveries after injudiciously top-edging seamer Curtis Campher – one of Ireland’s centurions on Tuesday – to Matthew Humphreys at deep fine leg.
It was a fleeting moment of respite for Ireland, who lacked a cutting edge although Andy McBrine was unlucky not to be in the wickets column as Andy Balbirnie shelled a slip chance to reprieve Madushka.
Madushka was on 132 at the time, having gotten to his maiden Test century by whipping a Harry Tector full toss for six, and went to stumps on 149 not out on a day where only 58.5 overs were sent down.
Slow left-armer Matthew Humphreys came in for some clatter later on his Test and first-class debut, leaking 56 runs in eight wicketless overs and being clouted for five sixes by the rampaging Mendis.
Three of them came off three balls as the 20-year-old Humphreys was punished when he erred in length.
Bad light interrupted play just before tea before the heavens opened bringing a conclusion to the day, with the action set to resume 15 minutes earlier on the last two days to make up for the time lost.
Sri Lanka, 1-0 up in the two-Test series, will want to eke out a healthy lead on the penultimate day in a bid to wrap up a win although quick wickets could bring Ireland back into the fray.