England set Sri Lanka huge target after Jennings ton

Tanya Simon
November 10, 2018

Former England wicket-keeper Matt Prior reckons Ben Foakes's hundred on his Test debut in the series opener against Sri Lanka has left the selectors with a "nightmare decision".

England were in trouble when Foakes walked out to bat but his century, which he completed on Wednesday, proved the cornerstone of an eventual first-innings total of 342.

"I'm very happy with the way Mathews conducted himself throughout the game, and his commitment for running between the wickets and for the batting", he said. We couldn't give him a really good farewell in his last game, so we apologise for that.

"Chandimal's injury is grade one, and it will take 10 to 14 days".

"Credit goes to England, they played some outstanding cricket".

Jennings' second Test ton was neither pretty nor dynamic - and offered no clues about how he might reverse his struggles on seaming decks at home - but it was a study in concentration, the kind of effort England might have feared had headed for retirement with Alastair Cook.

Supreme Court ban on firecrackers goes up in smoke
There were, however, no "green" fireworks available for sale and countless fireworks were let off through the evening. Diwali is one of their biggest festivals.

Even Angelo Mathews could easily have fallen for a trap that England set for him early in his innings, when he pulled a short ball from Ben Stokes to the midwicket fielder, but he earned a reprieve as he was dropped by James Anderson. "We can go to Kandy with huge amounts of confidence and look to still improve and get better". But him coming into runs is a good sign for us.

Sri Lanka´s spin bowling coach Piyal Wijetunge said however that the hosts still have a chance to win, in part because the notorious Galle wicket is behaving differently this time.

But both fell after attacking shots, with Kaushal leg before trying to sweep Leach for 30 and Karunaratne caught and bowled by Ali for 26 as he skipped down the pitch for an attempted heave.

Dhananjaya de Silva, after a confident start, was caught at first slip by Root off Stokes in the last over before lunch for 21.

Joe Root was the key wicket and retiring hero Rangana Herath (below) claimed it for the second time in the match, gripping the surface and taking the edge as the captain pushed forward.

First ball after tea, Stokes held a very fine catch at slip when Niroshan Dickwella stabbed at Moeen. With Herath's despairing dive to save himself from getting run-out which went in vain, Sri Lanka were bowled out exactly on 250 in the second innings and concede a lead in the three-match series.

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