England are in complete control of the test match against Sri Lanka after taking a lead of 177 runs after the end of second day’s play at the Galle International Stadium. The visitors were 321 for 8 when the second day of the test got underway.
Debutant Ben Foakes looked solid in his batting technique as he started the day batting at 87. Jack Leach, on the other hand, provided brilliant support to Foakes. The first wicket of the day belonged to Dilruwan Perera when he picked up Leach for 15 runs. But Foakes didn’t lose his concentration despite losing his partner. The wicket-keeping batsman made it a debut to remember for a long time after he completed a well deserved century. He was finally picked up by Suranga Lakmal as England finished their innings for 342 runs.
Sri Lankan innings started in the worst possible manner. They lost their opener Dimuth Karunaratne on the second delivery of the innings to James Anderson. Sam Curran made it 2 for the visitors when he dismissed Kaushal Silva in the fourth over. The situation worsened for the hosts as Jack Leach and Moeen Ali picked up Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya De Silva respectively to reduce the batting side to 40-4.
Sri Lanka now had their two senior most batsmen on the crease in the form of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. Both the veteran batsmen ticked the score for the batting side. They constructed a much-needed partnership for Sri Lanka. However, a great delivery from Adil Rashid combined with impressive glove work from Ben Foakes brought about the demise of Chandimal as the 75 runs stand was finally broken.
The very first ball after tea brought the end of Mathews who departed for a well made 52. Moeen was successful in picking up two wickets as he sent Niroshan Dickwella and Akila Dhananjaya back to the pavilion and reduced the hosts to 173-8. Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal made useful contributions with the bat at the back end of the innings. However, wickets from Ali and Rashid brought an end to the Sri Lankan innings for 203 runs, thus handing England a lead of 139 runs.
England had hoped for a positive start from their openers. And the batsmen responsibly obliged. Both the openers, especially Keaton Jennings looked in good touch. They rotated the strike perfectly and found boundaries at regular intervals to move the batting innings without any glitches. They ended the innings without losing a wicket and added 38 runs to help the visitors get a lead of 177 runs.
With still 10 wickets remaining for England, they would hope to add as many runs as possible to put the match beyond Sri Lanka’s reach. Sri Lanka need a herculean effort to make a comeback in the match. But with spin destined to play a major role, it would be naive to count out Sri Lanka as yet.
England: 342-10(97 o.)
Ben Foakes: 107(202)
Sam Curran: 48(104)
Dilruwan Perera: 31-6-75-5
Sri Lanka: 203-10(68 o.)
Angelo Mathews: 52(122)
Dinesh Chandimal: 33(72)
Moeen Ali: 21-4-66-4
England: 38-0(12 o.)
Keaton Jennings: 26*(44)
Rory Burns: 11*(28)
Akila Dhananjaya: 1-0-1-0