England set its sight on a significant first innings lead after offspinner Dom Bess took a career-best 5-30 to bowl out Sri Lanka for 135 on the primary day of the primary Test on Thursday.
Captain Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow additional thwarted Sri Lanka ambitions with a gritty, unbroken stand of 110 runs to shut the day at 127-2, trailing by simply eight runs.
Root reached his half-century off 94 balls and was unbeaten on 66 with 5 fours, whereas Bairstow was 47 not out.
It might have been 52-3 however Root escaped on 20 when he efficiently overturned a lbw choice via video referral.
Root and Bairstow got here collectively after left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya eliminated openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley to scale back the guests to 2-17 inside the primary 9 overs.
Both batsmen grew in confidence and neutralized the three-pronged spin assault of Embuldeniya, Wanindu Hasaranga and Dilruwan Perera via sweep pictures and maintained a wholesome run fee of three.4 runs an over to boost the century stand.
Earlier, stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal, who received the toss and opted to bat, top-scored with 28 after common skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was dominated out with a damaged thumb in Sri Lanka’s first house take a look at for the reason that pandemic started.
Stuart Broad picked up two early wickets in a single over and 3-20 total, whereas Bess discovered some sudden help from the Galle International Stadium pitch to dismiss the house workforce simply earlier than tea.
Bess, taking part in in Asia for the primary time, claimed his first wicket along with his second supply when Kusal Perera went for an formidable reverse sweep on 20 and gloved a easy catch to skipper Joe Root at first slip.
Broad, bowling across the wicket, had the left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne caught at leg slip on 4 in his fourth over. One ball later, Kusal Mendis fell for his fourth successive duck in checks as he acquired a faint edge off Broad’s sensible leg-cutter.
Senior professionals Chandimal and Angelo Mathews shared a 56-run, fourth-wicket stand till they departed in successive overs after lunch.
En path to 27, Mathews grew to become solely the fifth Sri Lankan to go 6,000 take a look at runs after Kumar Sangakkara (12,400), Mahela Jayawardene (11,814), Sanath Jayasuriya (6,973), and Aravinda de Silva (6,361).
But the previous skipper was dismissed by Broad after the break when a unfastened shot was caught at slip by Root at chest peak.
In the subsequent over, Chandimal, who reached 4,000 runs in checks, gave a tame catch within the covers off Jack Leach.
Bess ran via the tail shortly.
England gave a take a look at cap to Essex batsman Dan Lawrence, who dropped a straightforward catch of Chandimal within the covers simply earlier than lunch. The guests opted to relaxation James Anderson and picked Sam Curran and Mark Wood to companion Broad.
England wore black armbands in reminiscence of former England take a look at cricketers — John Edrich, Robin Jackman and Dom Smith — who died just lately.