Roles reverse as English spinners put visitors in command

Sri Lanka vs England - 1st Test


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.

The perfect advertisement for Test match cricket

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.

Read: Ben Foakes resurrects England – Sri Lanka begin to sweat

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.

Photo Album – Sri Lanka vs England | 1st Test – Day 2

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.


Full Scorecard


342/10 & 322/6

(93 overs)


Sri Lanka

203/10 & 250/10

(85.1 overs)

England ‘s 1st Innings

Rory Burns c N Dickwella b S Lakmal912
Keaton Jennings b D Perera4653
Moeen Ali b S Lakmal01
Joe Root b R Herath3546
Ben Stokes b D Perera719
Jos Butler c N Dickwella b D Perera3872
Ben Foakes c D De Silva b S Lakmal107202
Sam Curran c D Chandimal b A Dananjaya48104
Adil Rashid c D De Silva b D Perera3538
Jack Leach c D De Silva b D Perera1531
James Anderson not out04
2 (b 1, lb 1)
342/10 (97 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-10 (R Burns, 2.3 ov), 2-10 (M Ali, 2.4 ov), 3-72 (J Root, 16.1 ov), 4-98 (K Jennings, 21.1 ov), 5-103 (B Stokes, 23.3 ov), 6-164 (J Butler, 43.6 ov), 7-252 (S Curran, 77.2 ov), 8-306 (A Rashid, 87.4 ov), 9-330 (J Leach, 95.2 ov), 10-342 (B Foakes, 96.6 ov)
Suranga Lakmal185733 4.06
Dilruwan Perera316755 2.42
Akila Dananjaya202961 4.80
Rangana Herath254781 3.12
Dhananjaya de Silva30180 6.00

Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne c B Foakes b J Anderson42
Kaushal Silva lbw by S Curran16
Dhananjaya de Silva b M Ali1447
Kusal Mendis c B Stokes b J Leach1932
Angelo Mathews c K Jennings b M Ali52122
Dinesh Chandimal st B Foakes b A Rashid3372
Niroshan Dickwella c J Butler b M Ali2839
Dilruwan Perera c J Butler b J Leach2149
Akila Dananjaya c B Foakes b M Ali03
Suranga Lakmal c J Anderson b A Rashid1520
Rangana Herath not out1416
2 (lb 2)
203/10 (68 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-4 (D Karunarathne, 0.2 ov), 2-10 (K Silva, 3.3 ov), 3-34 (K Mendis, 13.2 ov), 4-40 (De Silva, 16.3 ov), 5-115 (D Chandimal, 43.2 ov), 6-136 (A Mathews, 49.3 ov), 7-171 (N Dickwella, 59.6 ov), 8-173 (A Dananjaya, 61.3 ov), 9-175 (D Perera, 62.6 ov), 10-203 (S Lakmal, 67.6 ov)
James Anderson100261 2.60
Sam Curran61161 2.67
Jack Leach182412 2.28
Moeen Ali214664 3.14
Adil Rashid91302 3.33
Ben Stokes40220 5.50

England ‘s 2nd Innings

Rory Burns (runout) D Karunarathne2365
Keaton Jennings not out146280
Moeen Ali c R Herath b D Perera311
Joe Root c N Dickwella b R Herath319
Ben Stokes b D Perera6293
Jos Butler c K Silva b R Herath3558
Ben Foakes c K Mendis b A Dananjaya3734
Sam Curran not out00
13 (b 4, lb 7, nb 2)
322/6 (93 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-60 (R Burns, 22.6 ov), 2-67 (M Ali, 26.3 ov), 3-74 (J Root, 31.3 ov), 4-181 (B Stokes, 60.5 ov), 5-258 (J Butler, 83.1 ov), 6-319 (B Foakes, 92.5 ov)
Dilruwan Perera303942 3.13
Suranga Lakmal92300 3.33
Rangana Herath231592 2.57
Akila Dananjaya18.52871 4.70
Dhananjaya de Silva12.12410 3.39

Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings

Dimuth Karunarathne c & b M Ali2686
Kaushal Silva lbw by J Leach3059
Dhananjaya de Silva c J Root b B Stokes2144
Kusal Mendis c M Ali b J Leach4577
Angelo Mathews c J Butler b M Ali5392
Dinesh Chandimal b J Leach111
Niroshan Dickwella c B Stokes b M Ali1632
Dilruwan Perera c B Stokes b A Rashid3049
Akila Dananjaya c B Stokes b M Ali818
Suranga Lakmal not out1425
Rangana Herath (runout) B Stokes518
1 (b 1)
250/10 (85.1 overs)
Fall of Wickets:
1-51 (K Silva, 22.3 ov), 2-59 (D Karunarathne, 25.2 ov), 3-98 (De Silva, 37.2 ov), 4-144 (K Mendis, 50.5 ov), 5-154 (D Chandimal, 54.4 ov), 6-190 (N Dickwella, 66.1 ov), 7-197 (A Mathews, 68.4 ov), 8-229 (A Dananjaya, 76.6 ov), 9-239 (D Perera, 79.3 ov), 10-250 (R Herath, 85.1 ov)
Sam Curran51150 3.00
James Anderson122270 2.25
Moeen Ali202714 3.55
Adil Rashid18.10591 3.26
Jack Leach211603 2.86
Ben Stokes82161 2.00
Joe Root1010 1.00