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Harmison applies brakes on Lanka

Galle: England pace bowler Steve Harmison claimed two late wickets to leave Sri Lanka on 147 for four at the close on the opening day of the third and final Test on Tuesday.

Harmison trapped Upul Tharanga (16) in the morning and then bowled England back into the game with a superb five-over spell after tea, dismissing Kumar Sangakkara (46) to break a dangerous stand and then Chamara Silva (one) just before the close.

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0.

Harmison finished with three for 28 from 13 overs as Sri Lanka, well placed at tea on 132 for two, added just 15 runs in 11 overs after the interval.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene finished the day on 51 not out having faced 129 deliveries with six boundaries. Tillekeratne Dilshan was on seven not out.

England won the toss and opted to bowl, spilling an early chance to remove Tharanga as Paul Collingwood dropped a straightforward slip catch in the 10th over.

Sidebottom made the breakthrough, however, courtesy of a poor decision from umpire Asad Rauf, who ruled Michael Vandort (18) lbw to a delivery going over the top of the stumps.

Another dubious lbw decision sent Tharanga back to the pavilion for 16 from a Harmison delivery that pitched marginally outside leg stump.

Sri Lanka’s innings was left in the balance on 44 for two but Jayawardene and Sangakkara showed their experience as they consolidated the innings and laid a useful foundation for a large score.

The pair batted through the afternoon session, adding 61 runs in 26 overs.

England fortunes changed for the better after the tea interval as Sangakkara was surprised by some extra bounce and top-edged a hook to Monty Panesar at deep square leg.

The innings then lost momentum as Harmison and Sidebottom probed away accurately while the light faded fast.

Finally, just minutes before the close, Silva edged a lifting delivery to Ian Bell at first slip.

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