The Englishmen took control of the opening Test with their spinners leading the way on day two, after Ben Foakes hit a century to remember on debut at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.
Sell-out crowds, home team’s early dominance, woeful…
England resumed on 321/8 with all eyes on Benjamin Thomas Foakes who was 13 runs short of what would be a remarkable century on debut. His overnight partner Jack Leach though soon fell prey to Dilruwan Perera who captured his 5th wicket in the innings, but Foakes continued to go on his merry way before becoming only the 5th wicket-keeper in the history of Test cricket to register a century on debut.
He was also the second English wicket-keeper to achieve the unique feat while two Sri Lankans Brendon Kuruppu and Romesh Kaluwitharana are also on the list. Unfortunately he lasted only two balls after his century as he was dismissed by Suranga Lakmal – who ended with three wickets – in search of quick runs as England were bowled out for 342.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s controlled edge got Sri Lanka going with a boundary off the first ball, but things soon turned sour when Karunaratne nicked-off James Anderson while also burning a review on his way out. England’s golden boy in Test cricket Sam Curran joined in the English party when he trapped the returning Kaushal Silva in front for 01 to have Sri Lanka reeling at 10/2 in the fourth over of their innings.
The introduction of Jack Leach’s left arm spin accounted for Mendis while De Silva looked to take the attack to Moeen Ali in his first over only to see his stumps rattled while looking to play a paddle sweep, as Sri Lanka fell into a deeper hole.
The experienced duo of Angelo Mathews and skipper Dinesh Chandimal survived a couple of testing overs of spin on the stroke of lunch before being involved in a vital stand of 75 runs for the 5th wicket. Chandimal’s dismissal for 33 sparked a collapse as Mathews fell soon after making a half century as the English spinners led by Moeen Ali – who captured four wickets – were all over the hosts like a rash. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 203 conceding a lead of 139 with Adil Rashid and Jack Leach also picking up two wickets apiece.
England drove home the advantage as their openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings batted till close of play and England were 38/0; more importantly with a lead of 177 runs with three days to go in the match.
342/10 & 38/0
203/10 & 0/0
England ‘s 1st Innings
|Rory Burns||c N Dickwella b S Lakmal||9||12|
|Keaton Jennings||b D Perera||46||53|
|Moeen Ali||b S Lakmal||0||1|
|Joe Root||b R Herath||35||46|
|Ben Stokes||b D Perera||7||19|
|Jos Butler||c N Dickwella b D Perera||38||72|
|Ben Foakes||c D De Silva b S Lakmal||107||202|
|Sam Curran||c D Chandimal b A Dananjaya||48||104|
|Adil Rashid||c D De Silva b D Perera||35||38|
|Jack Leach||c D De Silva b D Perera||15||31|
|James Anderson||not out||0||4|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||3||0||18||0||6.00|
Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||c B Foakes b J Anderson||4||2|
|Kaushal Silva||lbw by S Curran||1||6|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||b M Ali||14||47|
|Kusal Mendis||c B Stokes b J Leach||19||32|
|Angelo Mathews||c K Jennings b M Ali||52||122|
|Dinesh Chandimal||st B Foakes b A Rashid||33||72|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c J Butler b M Ali||28||39|
|Dilruwan Perera||c J Butler b J Leach||21||49|
|Akila Dananjaya||c B Foakes b M Ali||0||3|
|Suranga Lakmal||c J Anderson b A Rashid||15||20|
|Rangana Herath||not out||14||16|
England ‘s 2nd Innings
|Rory Burns||not out||11||28|
|Keaton Jennings||not out||26||44|
Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings