On Day 1 of the opening Test at Galle, England took control over Sri Lanka by restricting them for just 135. Dom Bess spun his web over the hosts’ batsmen and claimed a five-wicket haul and registered his career-best figure in Test innings – of 5/30. While England managed to take control of the game despite losing their openers early.Also Read - Sri Lanka Name 24-Member Squad For England Series, Kusal Perera to Lead
Skipper Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow are in the middle for England at Stumps with 127/2 on the scoreboard. Root has scored 66 in 115 balls while Bairstow is unbeaten on 47 off 91 balls. Also Read - SL vs ENG: Joe Root Surpasses David Gower and Kevin Pietersen's Tally to Become 4th Highest Run-Scorer For England
Bess took full advantage of the spin-friendly conditions in Galle to end with figures of 5/30, his second five-wicket haul in the longest format of the game. Fellow spinner Jack Leach took the solitary wicket of Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, who was also the hosts’ highest run-scorer with 28 runs, while fast bowler Stuart Broad took three scalps. Also Read - SL vs ENG Test Highlights: Joe Root Stars With 186-Run Knock, Lasith Embuldeniya Takes Seven as England Close Gap Versus Sri Lanka in 2nd Test on Day 3
Bess, playing in Asia for the first time, claimed his first wicket with his second delivery when Kusal Perera went for an ambitious reverse sweep on 20 and gloved a simple catch to skipper Joe Root at first slip.
Earlier, Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and opted to bat but the decision didn’t go in his favour as the hosts lost three wickets for just 25. Senior players Chandimal and Angelo Mathews then tried to rebuild the Lanka innings with a 56-run partnership. However, a sudden collapse put Lanka on matte.
Meanwhile, England got off to a shaky start to their innings with openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley falling early to spinner Lasith Embuldeniya. However, Root and Bairstow, who is playing his first Test since December 2019, then consolidated the innings, scoring 110 runs between them in just 194 balls before stumps.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 135 all out (Dinesh Chandimal 28, Angelo Mathews 27; Dom Bess 5/30) vs England 127/2 (Joe Root 66 not out, Jonny Bairstow 47 not out; Lasith Embuldeniya 2/55). England trail by eight runs