Silva calls for Sri Lanka positivity after counter-attacking fightback


Sri Lanka opener Kaushal Silva has called for his side to continue batting positively to increase their chances of saving the Test series against England.

The tourists started day three of the second Test on 91-8 in response to England's first-innings declaration on 498-9, and were promptly bowled out for 101 and forced to follow on.

However, Sri Lanka finally found some form with the bat in their second innings, reaching stumps at Chester-le-Street on 309-5, trailing by 88 runs.

Silva set the tone for Sri Lanka's resistance on Sunday with a patient 60 before he was caught by Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Steven Finn, then captain Angelo Mathews made an aggressive 80 to continue the tourists' fightback.

Dinesh Chandimal (54) and Milinda Siriwardana (35) displayed similar resiliency and will be tasked with maintaining an unlikely recovery on day four.

And Silva insisted Sri Lanka's counter-attacking strategy is the plan his team must continue to follow if they are to keep England on the back foot.

"We have to bat positively tomorrow," he told Sky Sports.

"The first session will be crucial - we have to start well and set the tone. We have to get those 80 runs and then set a target."

Silva explained how a change in his batting style helped him to reach 50 for the first time in the series.

"With the seam movement that they have I think we need to cover the off stump," he said.

"I wanted to bring my head forward and reach the length and line of the delivery so it's easier for me to adjust to the delivery."