Sri Lanka set Australia 268 to win 1st test after Mendis 176

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) " Sri Lanka set Australia 268 to win the first test after Kusal Mendis hit a fighting 176 to lift the host team into a strong position on Friday.

Resuming Friday on 282-6, and trailing by 86 runs after the first innings, Sri Lanka was all out for 353 in its second innings.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc dismissed Mendis for 176 during a rain-shortened morning session, having him caught behind by Peter Nevill. Mendis batted for more than five hours and hit 21 fours and a six off-spinner Nathan Lyon which brought up his century.

His 117-run stand for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Chandimal (45) and 71-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva (36) proved crucial for Sri Lanka.

Mendis is the youngest Sri Lankan to score a century against Australia and his innings is the second-highest score by a Sri Lankan against Australia after Kumar Sangakkara's 192 in 2007.

Rangana Herath contributed 35 runs at No. 9 to help Sri Lanka stretch the lead.

Starc returned 4-84 while paceman Josh Hazlewood had 2-59.

Sri Lanka was dismissed to 117 in its first innings and Australia made 203.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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