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Written by Riley Taylor

Day 2 Scorecard:

England 342 (Foakes 107; Perera 5-76) & 38-0 (Jennings 26 not out)

Sri Lanka 203 (Mathews 52, Chandimal 33, Dickwella 28; Ali 4-66)

Ben Foakes made a century on his debut and Moeen Ali took four wickets as England took control of the first Test in Galle.

Foakes made 107 and took two catches as well as a stumping as he joined Matt Prior on the list of wicketkeepers to score a hundred on his Test debut for England. By stumps England lead by a formidable 177 with all second-innings wickets remaining.

Coming into day two 87 not out, Foakes looked for steady support from Jack Leach and moved onto 95 before Leach edged Dilruwan Perera to Dhananjaya de Silva at slip for 15 to hand the off-spinner his fifth wicket of the innings.

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Foakes was joined by James Anderson and soon had his heart in his mouth as Anderson edged a ball inches short of first slip. An over later and Foakes decided to take control, two boundaries in three balls bringing a brilliant century for the 25-year-old. He fell chasing quick runs in the same over as he top-edged a ball from Suranga Lakmal and De Silva held on.

It took Anderson just two balls to add to his record-breaking wicket tally of 564 as Dimuth Karunaratne feathered through to Foakes for four. Sri Lanka lost another wicket just three overs later as Sam Curran trapped Kaushal Silva leg-before for one.

Kusal Mendis joined de Silva as the pair looked to rebuild on a tough start. They added 24 before Ben Stokes took a sharp catch at slip off Leach to dismiss Mendis for 19. De Silva soon followed as he played a horrible sweep off Ali and was bowled for 14.

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This brought together the experienced duo of Angelo Mathews and captain Dinesh Chandimal who soon proved why they are so valuable to a struggling Sri Lankan side as they put on a steady 75. A combination of Adil Rashid and Foakes got the breakthrough as Chandimal was stumped for 33 after coming down the pitch.

Mathews brought up a half-century as he added a quick 21 with Niroshan Dickwella. A scary moment followed for England as Rory Burns was hit on the back on the head after ducking following a pull shot from Dickwella. This led to tea being taken early. Mathews, perhaps affected by this, was out on the first ball after the break for 52, caught at short-leg by Keaton Jennings off Ali.

Dickwella and new batsman Perera frustrated England as they looked to finish off the tail quickly. They put on 21 in 10 overs before Sri Lanka lost three wickets for four runs, Dickwella first out hitting a wider ball from Moeen straight to Buttler at short cover for 28. Moeen got his fourth in his next over as Akila Dananjaya edged to Foakes for a duck.

Leach then got his second wicket, having Perera caught by Buttler at cover for 21 as Sri Lanka faced a large first-innings deficit. Rangana Herath, the only active player to have played in the 20th century, then came out to a guard of honour from the England players, 19 years after making his debut in Galle. In traditional tail-ender fashion, Suranga Lakmal and Herath put on 28 for the last wicket, before Lakmal was caught by Anderson at gully off Rashid for 15.

In the remaining 12 overs Burns and Jennings put on 38 to cap an excellent day for England.

Day 1 Report:

Overtime Cricket:

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April 2024