Struggling SL follow-on against England

2016-05-29 14:36
Stuart Broad (Gallo Images)

Chester-le-Street - Sri Lanka made unwanted history as they were forced to follow-on in the second Test against England, before at last showing some fight with the bat at the Riverside on Sunday.

At lunch on the third day, Sri Lanka were 58 for one in their second innings.

That meant they were still a huge 339 runs behind England's first innings 498 for nine declared, which featured Moeen Ali's Test-best 155 not out.

Kaushal Silva was 23 not out and Kusal Mendis eight not out.

Sri Lanka had earlier become the first side since New Zealand in England back in 1958 to be bowled out for under 120 in three successive Test innings.

Sunday saw the tourists, 91 for over eight overnight, dismissed for 101.

That followed Sri Lanka's equally meagre totals of 91 and 119 during a crushing innings and 88-run defeat in the first of this three-Test series at Headingley last week.

Lahiru Thirimanne, the last of Sri Lanka's recognised batsmen, was 12 not out overnight, with tailender Suranga Lakmal unbeaten on nought.

Sunday's play started in overcast, seam-bowler friendly conditions of the kind which England pacemen James Anderson and Stuart Broad have often exploited to their advantage.

It took the pair a mere 3.3 overs to wrap up the innings.

Broad, with the third legitimate delivery of the day, had Lakmal, prodding outside off stump, edging a simple catch to wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.

The second over of the day saw Thirimanne, with nothing to lose, advance down the pitch to drive Anderson back over the bowler's head for four.

That was to prove the left-hander's lone boundary in an 80-ball innings, with Thirimanne last man out for 19 when he skied Anderson to Nick Compton at point.

Broad took four for 40, Chris Woakes -- only playing this match because fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes was injured -- three for nine and Anderson three for 36.

Only four Sri Lanka batsmen made it into double figure, Mendis top-scoring with 35.

It said something about their repeated collapses, that the 43.3 overs a Sri Lanka side without retired batting greats Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene lasted represented their longest innings of the series so far.

Sri Lanka's batting also raised questions as to whether a schedule with just two warm-up fixtures against Second Division county sides was sufficient preparation for a Test campaign in early-season English conditions.

But their second innings saw Dimuth Karunaratne (26) restore some self-respect with an on-driven boundary off Woakes, who had tormented Sri Lanka with three wickets in quick succession on Saturday.

But the Warwickshire paceman had his revenge Sunday when he drew left-hander Karunaratne into edging to Joe Root at second slip, with Sri Lanka then 38 for one.

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  england  |  cricket

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