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November 8, 2018

Foakes, spinners put England in the driving seat


November 8, 2018

GALLE, Sri Lanka: England spinners led by Moeen Ali helped dismiss Sri Lanka for 203 and build on their advantage after wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes’ debut ton in the first Test on Wednesday.

The islanders conceded a 139-run lead in response to England’s 342 after being bowled out in the final session of play on day two on a turning Galle pitch notorious for its low scores.Ali claimed four wickets and was ably supported by fellow spinners Jack Leach and Adil Rashid who took two each.

England were 38 for no loss at stumps in their second innings, stretching their lead to 177 runs. Debutant Rory Burns, on 11, and Keaton Jennings, on 26, were batting at close of play.But it was Foakes who stood out with his patient yet effective batting in England’s first essay to give the team a challenging total after electing to bat first.

The 25-year-old Foakes, who replaced injured Jonny Bairstow converted his overnight 87 to 107 in the morning session to become only the fifth wicketkeeper-batsman to score a hundred in his first Test.

For Sri Lanka, Angleo Mathews top-scored with 52 and put on a crucial 75-run stand for the fifth wicket with skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who made 33, to frustrate the opposition bowlers. Rashid broke the key stand after getting Chandimal stumped on a classic leg-spinner but Mathews went on to register his 30th Test 50.

He did not trouble the scorers after the tea break as Ali got the dangerman trudging back to the pavilion in the first over of the final session.Dilruwan Perera, who picked up five wickets in the England innings, crossed 1000 Test runs on his way to 21. He became the fastest Sri Lankan to claim a double of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs.

England were troubled by a nasty hit to Burns while fielding at forward short leg, prompting the umpires to call for early tea.Burns, who injured his shoulder blades at the base of his neck after trying to duck under a sweep shot from Dickwella, came back to field, much to the delight of the English fans. The biggest cheer though was reserved for the retiring Rangana Herath who walked in amid a rousing reception as the English team lined up to receive the spin legend in the middle.


ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS (overnight 321-8)

Burns c Dickwella b Lakmal 9

Jennings b Perera 46

Ali b Lakmal 0

Root b Herath 35

Stokes b Perera 7

Buttler c Dickwella b Perera 38

Foakes c De Silva b Lakmal 107

Curran c Chandimal b De Silva 48

Rashid c De Silva b Perera 35

Leach c de Silva b Perera 15

Anderson not out 0

Extras (B-1, LB-1) 2

Total (all out, 97 overs) 342

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-10, 3-72, 4-98, 5-103, 6-164, 7-252, 8-306, 9-330, 10-342.

BOWLING: Lakmal 18-5-73-3, Perera 31-6-75-5, Dananjaya 20-2-96-1, Herath 25-4-78-1, De Silva 3-0-18-0.


Karunaratne c Foakes b Anderson 4

Silva lbw b Curran 1

Mendis b Ali 14

de Silva c Stokes b Leach 19

Mathews c Jennings b Ali 52

Chandimal st Foakes b Rashid 33

Dickwella c Buttler b Ali 28

D Perera c Buttler b Leach 21

Dananjaya c Foakes b Ali 0

Lakmal c Anderson b Rashid 15

Herath not out 14

Extras (LB-2) 2

Total (all out, 68 overs) 203

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-10, 3-34, 4-40, 5-115, 6-136, 7-171, 8-173, 9-175, 10-203.

BOWLING: Anderson 10-0-26-1, Curran 6-1-16-1, Leach 18-2-41-2, Ali 21-4-66-4, Rashid 9-1-30-2, Stokes 4-0-22-0.


R. Burns not out 11

K. Jennings not out 26

Extras (LB-1) 1

Total (no loss, 12 overs) 38

BOWLING: Perera 5-0-12-0, Lakmal 3-0-14-0, Herath 3-0-10-0, Dananjaya 1-0-1-0.

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