KANDY, Sri Lanka, July 13, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan batsmen took advantage of a rain-free period to set themselves for a big total in the third and final cricket Test against Bangladesh here on Friday. The hosts, who bowled out Bangladesh for 131 in the first innings, replied with 161-2 by lunch on the third day, a lead of 30 runs with eight wickets in hand.
Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene put on 87 for the unbroken third wicket before a brief shower over the Asgiriya stadium halted play five minutes before lunch.
Left-handed Sangakkara followed up his century in the second Test with 47 not out.
Jayawardene, who survived a confident leg-before appeal on zero, was unbeaten on 52 with a six off Shahadat Hossain and five boundaries.
Sri Lanka, seeking a 3-0 sweep of the series after winning the first two Tests, were frustrated by rain interruptions on the previous two days which restricted play to only 57.3 overs.
Bangladesh’s left-arm seamer Syed Rasel, who moved the ball about in overcast conditions, was rewarded with the wickets of openers Upul Tharanga and Michael Vandort in his opening spell of 10 overs.
Tharanga, returning to the side after missing the