Kusal Mendis' unbeaten 157 pulls Sri Lanka out of rut

Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis, left, celebrates scoring his maiden century with teammate Dinesh Chandimal on day three of the first test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
Eranga Jayawardena/AP

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) Kusal Mendis' maiden test hundred pulled Sri Lanka out of trouble as they reached 253 for five at tea on the third day of the first test against Australia.

Mendis was 157 not out at the break off 211 deliveries and hitting 19 boundaries and a six.

He shared 117 runs for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Chandimal (42) after Sri Lanka had slumped to 86 for four.

Sri Lanka now has a 167-run run lead with five wickets in hand. Dhananjaya de Silva (24) was batting with Mendis. The pair has added 50 runs for the sixth wicket.

Chandimal faced 100 balls and hit four boundaries before being trapped lbw by seam bowler Mitchell Marsh.

Sri Lanka scored 117 in its first innings and Australia made 203.