London - Suranga Lakmal rocked England with a double strike shortly before
lunch as Sri Lanka fought back on the first morning of the third Test at
Lord's on Thursday.
At lunch, England, who had been 56 without
loss, were 71 for three after paceman Lakmal (two for 22 in seven overs)
had accounted for both Nick Compton (one) and Joe Root (three).
captain Alastair Cook, who won the toss in ideal sunny batting
conditions and on a placid pitch, was 48 not out, with James Vince
unbeaten on three.
England had already won this three-match series at 2-0 up.
the build-up Cook insisted they were determined to correct their habit
of losing 'dead' Tests in series they'd already won following heavy
defeats at the end of victorious campaigns at home to Australia in 2015
and away to South Africa earlier this year.
Fielding an unchanged
side from the team that thrashed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the second
Test at the Riverside, England made a serene start.
who retained Shaminda Eranga in their side despite the paceman being
reported for a suspect action after concerns emerged in the second Test,
made little impression as Cook and Alex Hales compiled a fifty stand in
Left-hander Cook, presented with a commemorative bat
before play to mark his achievement in becoming the first England
batsman to score 10 000 Test runs - a landmark he reached at the
Riverside -- leg-glanced Eranga for four.
Meanwhile, Hales cover-drove Lakmal for a resounding boundary.
Rangana Herath succeeded where the pacemen had failed when, with just
his fourth ball, the left-arm spinner had Hales (18), slogging across
the line of a ball that turned, caught by Sri Lanka captain Angelo
Mathews at slip.
By his own admission, Compton was playing for his Test place.
on his Middlesex home ground he fell when he was caught behind after
failing to get to the pitch of a gentle Lakmal away-swinger.
then made it two wickets for two runs in five balls when he had Root
(three) lbw, hitting across the line, although Sri Lanka needed to
review Australian umpire Rod Tucker's original not out decision.