Stubborn Silva inches Sri Lanka past England

Lynette Rowe
November 16, 2018

Sri Lanka's spinners claimed some big-name England wickets on the first day of the second Test on Wednesday before Jos Buttler and Sam Curran rescued the innings.

A regulation delivery from Malinda Pushpakumara bowled captain Joe Root for 14 through the gate to leave England teetering at 65 for three and Burns' assured knock ended at the hand thanks to a beauty from Akila Dananjaya, whose action was reported after the first Test.

Adil Rashid had struck twice after lunch to raise the tourists' hopes of securing a crucial first innings lead on a seemingly turning pitch. Silva guided the hosts out of trouble when they found themselves in trouble with six wickets down and more than 125 runs behind.

It didn't cost England much as they were able to make the breakthrough when Moeen Ali trapped Dananjaya leg before wicket on 31, but Anderson failed to pick up a wicket in the innings. Suranga Lakmal was unbeaten on 15.

England trail Sri Lanka by 46 runs.

Stokes, who batted at number five in his team's opening win last week, had been sent up the order following Moeen's twin failures at number three in Galle.

Then Stokes showed his uncanny ability to swing a game in his side's favour, producing a wonderful direct hit to see off Karunaratne (63) and an equally memorable one-handed slip catch off Kusal Mendis' edge.

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It summed up a frustrating second day for England, who reduced Sri Lanka to 165-6 only for Roshen Silva's 85 to push them up to 336 in response to England's 290.

"We're a little bit disappointed that they've got a lead", Leach said. "They are going for big shots, and we are trying to play with their patience".

"If we can get England before 250 it will be a gettable target for us", he added.

"I don't think Roshen did it deliberately", said Dimuth Karunaratne at the close.

"Rooty (captain Joe Root) has been massive in the dressing room saying "don't worry about making mistakes" and we're just trying to go out with a positive mindset".

The best performance with the willow, though, came from Roshen Silva, who was the last Sri Lankan wicket to fall in the innings.

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