Bess puts England on top in first Sri Lanka Test

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Spinner Dom Bess enactment England successful a comfy presumption with his five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka connected the opening time of the archetypal Test successful Galle.

The hosts were dismissed for conscionable 135 arsenic the off-spinner returned figures of 5-30.

Paceman Stuart Broad, who took 3 wickets, arsenic Sri Lanka were each retired successful 2 sessions arsenic the two-Test bid resumed successful Galle aft the archetypal circuit was aborted implicit the coronavirus successful March.

But the off-spinner admitted helium got distant with a fewer casual strikes.

“I astir apt haven’t bowled arsenic good arsenic I could person done, and astir apt got distant with 1 oregon two, but that’s cricket,” Bess told reporters aft the day’s play. “Flip it and look however good Broady and Sammy (Sam Curran) bowled astatine the top. It was exceptional and surely acceptable the code aboriginal on.”

Bess got wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella caught retired astatine constituent connected a agelong hop aft the batsman played a sloppy changeable and the off-spinner said it “isn’t my champion wicket”.

Dasun Shanaka’s wicket was besides fortunate aft his changeable caught Baristow’s footwear astatine abbreviated limb and lobbed disconnected for an casual drawback to glovesman Jos Buttler.

England mislaid their openers aboriginal but skipper Joe Root, connected 66, and Jonny Bairstow, connected 47, steered the tourists to 127 for 2 astatine adjacent of play. They inactive way Sri Lanka by 8 runs.

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The batting duo enactment connected an unbeaten concern of 110 aft Dom Sibley, for four, and Zak Crawley, for nine, fell to Lasith Embuldeniya’s left-arm spin.

Root, who successfully reviewed an lbw telephone successful his favour aft being fixed retired by the on-field umpire connected 20, reached his 50th 50 successful 98 Tests. He has 17 centuries.

“They’re quality. Leachy (Jack Leach) and I surely cognize however bully they are erstwhile we vessel astatine them successful the nets,” said Bess. “There’s a crushed they are immoderate of the champion successful the world. They showed a precise calm manner, it acceptable the platform, present it’s astir going into time to hopefully physique a monolithic score.”

‘Worst batting’

Bess remained the leader of the time with his 2nd five-wicket haul successful his 11th Test arsenic the venue witnessed its lowest first-innings score, good beneath Sri Lanka’s 181 against Pakistan successful 2000.

Sri Lanka suffered a pre-match jolt erstwhile skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled retired of the archetypal of the 2 Tests with a fractured thumb.

Stand-in-captain Dinesh Chandimal scored 28 and enactment up immoderate absorption successful a 56-run basal with Angelo Mathews, who made 27 connected his instrumentality from a hamstring injury.

Broad struck doubly successful an implicit to nonstop backmost opener Lahiru Thirimanne, who had scored four, and Kusal Mendis for nought – his 4th consecutive duck – to spell aboriginal occupation for the hosts.

Spin was introduced successful the 11th implicit and Bess, with his 2nd ball, got Kusal Perera for 20 erstwhile the batsman top-edged a reverse expanse to England skipper Joe Root astatine archetypal slip.

Sri Lanka had slumped to 25 for 3 but Mathews and Chandimal stood steadfast till lunch.

Broad came backmost successful the 2nd league to interruption the basal arsenic helium got Mathews caught astatine gaffe and Chandimal, who survived a dropped drawback by debutant Dan Lawrence earlier luncheon connected 22, departed 2 balls aboriginal disconnected Jack Leach.

Mathews, whose hamstring wounded kept him retired of the 2-0 Test bid decision successful South Africa, went past 6,000 Test runs during his sound earlier Bess soon ran done the mediate and little order.

“I person been with the squad for a twelvemonth and that’s the worst batting I person seen from the team,” Sri Lanka batting manager Grant Flower said. “It’s purely intelligence I think, I don’t spot different another crushed to explicate that.”

In reply, the tourists slipped to 17 for 2 aft Sibley was caught astatine archetypal gaffe and Crawley besides backmost successful the pavilion wrong 9 overs.

Root and Bairstow past batted cautiously but steadily to bring up England’s champion concern for each wickets astatine the venue. The crippled is being played down closed doors.

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