England triple strike rocks Sri Lanka

LONDON: England picked up three early wickets as Sri Lanka struggled to 218 for six at lunch on the third day of the third and final test at Lord's on Saturday.

England lead by 198 runs and are in a strong position to complete a 3-0 whitewash in the series.

Sri Lanka, resuming on 162 for one, lost Kusal Mendis, Kaushal Silva and Angelo Mathews inside the first 40 minutes to an inspired England pace attack led by Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad.

Woakes struck first, trapping Mendis lbw for 25 and Broad forced Silva to edge a catch to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow without adding to his overnight score of 79.

Mathews, on three, nicked a rising Woakes delivery to Joe Root at fourth slip to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 169 for four.

Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal set about repairing the damage in a gritty fifth-wicket partnership of 33 but Steven Finn removed both batsmen before lunch.

The tall fast bowler dismissed Chandimal lbw for 19 and Thirimanne, on 17, drove loosely at a wide delivery and gave Root another catch at third slip.

Kusal Perera was unbeaten on 12 at the interval with Rangana Herath on two.