England win toss, bat in Sri Lanka second Test

Ruben Hill
November 15, 2018

Having taken his first wicket of the innings with a beauty late on the first day, Leach struck late in the morning session on day two as Ben Stokes took a superb catch at slip to remove Kusal Mendis.

However, Silva's failure to ground his bat and run short conceded a rare five penalty runs to England.

JACK LEACH: "We are a bit disappointed they got a 46-run lead - we felt we could even have a bit of a lead or at least be level". "But we're feeling good about bowling last on that wicket".

"We thought we should restrict them to 200".

His 107 in the first innings was key to England's comprehensive victory, also earning him the man-of-the-match award. But Silva put up a magnificent show, teaming with the tail to push the hosts in front.

Sri Lanka were tottering at 165-6 at that stage and needed a contribution from their lower order to stop England from gaining a sizeable advantage.

Silva and Niroshan Dickwella put on 46 runs for the seventh wicket but the stand that handed Sri Lanka the initiative back was the ninth worth 56 runs between Silva and Akila Dananjaya (31).

England played the same XI that won in Galle by 211 runs last week. Ten of the 11 wickets to fall Wednesday went to spinners.

Ben Stokes put down a hard chance at slip with Silva on 52. He whipped his third ball, from Lakmal, off his legs for four, then drove him through mid-off with the shot of the morning. The team management will be extremely delighted with Jennings' return to form as the left-hander looked at complete ease during his stay in the middle.

The hosts were handed a five-run penalty in a weird incident during the final session, after the match officials ruled Sri Lanka's batsmen to have breached the law governing deliberate short runs. Jos Buttler cracked back-to-back boundaries off the same bowler to bring up England's 100.

While England's score is not an imposing first-innings effort on the face of it, Curran is confident it is a healthy one given the state of the Pallekele pitch. Suranga Lakmal was unbeaten on 15.

He faced 174 deliveries for his 85 that contained four fours and one six. Herath is now gone, and to add on that, Sri Lanka will be without their regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who will be out of action for around two weeks because of a grade one muscle tear in his groin.

With England struggling to find a No3 before the match following Moeen Ali's unprofitable stint there I thought Curran should be promoted and his innings has strengthened my resolve. "They tried a lot of things but we managed to counter them", Karunaratne said. Instead it took a moment of brilliance in the field to make the breakthrough.

At 7-171 England might have been tentatively targeting 200. However, they day did not start in the best of fashions for them as they lost the nightwatchman early. The trio took 16 wickets between them and didn't allow any Sri Lankan batsman to come up with a big score.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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