Anderson puts England in command on Day 1
A spirited knock from Mahela Jayawardene (168) ensured Sri Lanka made a highly regarded total on day one as they scored 289 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Skipper Jayawardene was the only man to resist the England pace-attack as the wicket was in favor of them. The wicket was too pacey and did not offer much for spinners. The England pace bowlers were able to make the most of it.
Sri Lanka after winning the toss, failed to make most of it as the openers were dismissed cheaply by James Anderson and Broad. Thereafter, after the loss of three wickets, Jayawardene propelled Sri Lanka’s innings by sharing 52 runs for the fourth wicket with Chandimal (27) and 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Samaraweera (20) who retrieved Sri Lanka after slumping to 11-3.
Sri Lanka’s innings revolved around the skipper. Though he lost Chandimal at a crucial period, he got good support from Herath. He was able to give a good stand of 48 runs for the eight wicket which helped Sri Lanka inch towards 300. But he was dismissed by Samit Patel as he was too lethargic in handling him.
Jayawardene who propelled the Lankan innings scoring a stupendous 168 deserved a bit of luck on this occasion. His initial couple of chances being difficult ones which required perfect reflexes. But the third one was too easy for the taking as he pulled a shot ball off Anderson to Panesar who was at deep-backward-square who failed to hold on to a simple catch.
On the other hand, England had an exceptional day in the field notching up three run-outs and some incredible bowling. Anderson got rid of the in-form Sangakkara as he edged the ball to wicket-keeper Prior. They were able to keep the heat on the Lions as Dilshan too fell early to Stuart Broad as he was caught at first slip by attempting to run the ball towards the third man area.
But later, it was Jayawardene who rescued Sri Lanka from a stringy situation to a respectable total on Day 1. England’s bowlers too rocked the sturdy Sri Lankan middle-order with some elegant run-outs and exceptional slip catching.
England would be high on confidence going into Day 2. They should be able to get the last couple of wickets in the first hour to keep the heat on the Lankans.