Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Sri Lanka vs England

Sri Lanka vs England

Replying to England's first innings total of 285, the hosts reached 139 for four at the break, still trailing by 146 runs, with Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 57 and former captain Angelo Mathews not out on two.

England take to the field in Sri Lanka looking to record their first series victory there since 2000-01. The nightwatchman negotiated six deliveries from Dilruwan Perera without further drama on a day where momentum swung both ways. Rory Burns was accompanying Leach at close of play.

Perera made 15 before falling leg before to Leach while Dananjaya frustrated England before falling to Moeen Ali, also leg before for 31.

Jack Leach (1-7) ensured the hosts did not get to stumps without loss, bowling Kaushal Silva on six as Suranga Lakmal's team closed on 26-1.

Roshen Silva top-scored with 85 and enjoyed support from fellow half-centurions Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva.

The tourists' batting order is set to be rejigged, though, with Ben Stokes replacing Moeen Ali, who managed zero and three in Galle, at number three, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on its website.

Then Stokes showed his uncanny ability to swing a game in his side's favour, producing a wonderful direct hit to see off Karunaratne (63) and an equally memorable one-handed slip catch off Kusal Mendis' edge.

"We've come to Sri Lanka to win this tour".

"We're a little bit disappointed that they've got a lead", Leach said. "Spinners are going to have a huge role and we've got three great spinners all bowling very nicely".

Sri Lanka were docked five penalty runs in the third session of the second day at Pallekele, following a odd interpretation of the law governing deliberate short runs by the umpires.

"We've got a nice score on the board and it was a great positive for Leachy to bowl a lovely ball to get rid of their opener". "The team manager spoke to the umpires and they thought Roshen did it deliberately".

"As we were walking back Burnsy [Rory Burns] said to me 'I've been waiting a long time to open the batting for England and you've done it too quickly".

Sri Lanka hit back to reduce England to 109-4 but Root, Buttler (34) and Foakes built an imposing target in Pallekele, despite the pitch perhaps not being as hard to bat on as first thought.

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