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England fight back after Murali magic

Galle: Spinners Gareth Batty and Ashley Giles hauled England back into the first Test after Muttiah Muralidharan took seven wickets to put Sri Lanka in charge on Thursday.

Sri Lanka, who dismissed England for 235 to lead by 96 runs on first innings, collapsed in the final hour, losing four wickets for 13 runs to end Day III on 99 for five. Mahela Jayawardene was unbeaten on 14 with Chaminda Vaas on six.

Batty triggered the mini-collapse with a sharp turn and throw to run out Kumar Sangakkara for 19. Maravan Atapattu was stumped for 35 three balls later and Hashan Tillekeratne was adjudged leg before wicket for one as he padded away a straight delivery.

Giles then induced Thilan Samaraweera to edge another juggling catch to the same fielder.

Earlier, Muralidharan finished with figures of seven for 46 from 31.4 mesmerising overs, the 39th time in 83 Tests the off-spinner has taken five wickets in an innings.

(Reuters)

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