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Sri Lanka sack selectors as England cruise toward whitewash series win

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka sacked their selectors Sunday as the national team headed toward a whitewash defeat in their Test series against England.

The home side were reeling at 53-4 at the close of the third day of the third and final Test, chasing an unlikely 327 to avoid another crushing defeat.

The selection panel headed by former Test bowler Graeme Labrooy and also including Gamini Wickremasinghe, Eric Upashantha, Chandika Hathurusingha and Jeryl Woutersz were only appointed in June.

Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapa summoned the panel on Sunday and "thanked them for their services", said a national cricket board statement.  

Sri Lanka Cricket said a four-member panel headed by former Test player Asantha de Mel, 59, will choose the squad to play two Tests, three one day internationals and a T20 game in New Zealand starting next month.

De Mel will be backed up by former players Brendon Kuruppu, Hemantha Wickramaratne and Chaminda Mendis.

Sri Lanka will be lucky to get through the fourth day of the Colombo Test after letting England off the hook to take a dominant position.

Dilruwan Perera took Keaton Jennings lbw with the first ball of the day to shake England who at one stage looked in trouble on 39-4 after more failures by their top-order batsmen.

But after the scare, spinner Lakshan Sandakan made basic blunders that set the tone for England to score 230 and set their sights on a third straight win.

The left-arm spinner had Ben Stokes caught at cover on 22, then at slip on 32, only for replays to show Sandakan had overstepped the bowling line on each occasion.

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