Sri Lanka handed rare run penalty in England Test

Sri Lanka handed rare run penalty in England Test

Sri Lanka handed rare run penalty in England Test

On a day of high drama, punctuated by two pieces of brilliant fielding involving Keaton Jennings, England's hero with the ball was Jack Leach, who captured Sri Lanka's first three wickets in the space of 15 balls and then removed Dilruwan Perera lbw just as the rain arrived.

England's Rory Burns and tail-ender Jack Leach had to see out one nervy over before the end of the second day in Kandy. But if England's top order fails, they would look once again towards either or both of Jos Buttler and Sam Curran to help them make a match out of it. Dilruwan Perera was the pick of the Lankan bowlers as he scalped four wickets and Malinda Pushpakumara picked up three wickets.

The 20-year-old's excellent, attacking knock frustrated Sri Lanka as he motored from 16 to 51 in the space of 27 deliveries, building a 60-run partnership with James Anderson (7 not out) for the final wicket.

England had taken three wickets in the first session, to seize the initiative, and resumed after lunch with another piece of fielding magic - the likes of which has kept them in the game a few times.

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

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"We said we were going to play in a certain manner and we've backed that up completely in the two games. He was probably the one telling me to calm down and trust him". The umpire had given Silva not out before England successfully reviewed the decision in their favour. By lunch Sri Lanka were 139 for four.

Leach then made the breakthrough at the other end, getting a ball to break sharply off the surface and beat Kaushal Silva's forward defence, to rattle off stump - the batsman dismissed for 6.

His display with the bat has placed Sri Lanka in a strong position to go for a series-levelling win if they can reproduce their first innings bowling performance on a pitch that has increasingly become hard for batsmen to survive.

"Then guys like Akila Dananjaya and Suranga Lakmal are no mugs with the bat".

Bowling: Anderson 14-2-40-0, Curran 4-0-19-0, Leach 29-5-70-3, Ali 25-1-85-2, Rashid 22-2-76-3, Root 8-0-26-1, Stokes 1-0-9-0.

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