BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Ben Foakes has given selectors a nice headache… while I loved it when Joe Root took his cap off and shook Rangana Herath’s hand as he came out to bat
- England are well set to a first away Test victory in 14 matches after a brilliant second day during their first Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday
- I’m sure Jonny Bairstow will have something to say about Ben Foakes’ brilliant debut during a second day where England gave a 10 out of 10 performance
- Rangana Herath, playing his final Test, is an unsung hero of Sri Lankan cricket
England tamed Sri Lanka in their own conditions on day two of the second Test in Galle, with Ben Foakes’ dream debut and a ruthless display of spin bowling putting them in full control.
The tourists batted at the start and the end of the day – all out for 342 then 38 without loss at stumps – and in between rolled Sri Lanka over for 203 in just 68 overs.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD takes us through his own perspective on the action…
It was touch and go whether Ben Foakes would reach his hundred when Jack Leach went but Jimmy Anderson did his job before the new man came to a very unselfish end chasing runs. The first England keeper to make a century on Test debut since Matt Prior, who was here to see it. Very nice headache for the selectors now. I’m sure Jonny Bairstow will have something to say about it….
Ben Foakes’ display with the bat and gloves has been a bright spot for England in Sri Lanka
I’m doubling up here doing commentary stints for talkSPORT and I have to say they’ve been excellent. They have some very accomplished broadcasters and have been great to work with. Nice to catch up with Darren Gough again, too. He doesn’t change. Goughie is the same Barnsley lad I remember from my time as coach. The only thing is he’s a little bit bigger…
Alec Stewart must be so proud of the Surrey contingent here. I don’t really know these lads well but what little contact I’ve had with Foakes, Rory Burns, Sam Curran and Ollie Pope tells me they are really good lads and an absolute credit to Alec and his staff. The Surrey strut? Not these boys. They’re grounded.
Foakes, Rory Burns (centre) and Sam Curran are all a credit to Surrey on this tour so far
I went up the ramparts to the fort here at lunch on Wednesday and I was sweating up a treat by the time I got to the paddock. I’m told the trick here to keep cool is to wear a vest so I might have to borrow one from Ian Ward. On my way up I passed a boa constrictor, a cobra and a monkey. No wonder it’s free to watch up there. You could get killed at any minute…
My half hour journey to the ground continues to be an adventure. I tried to keep my eyes off the road on Wednesday and it was fascinating to watch people going about their business, particularly fishermen bringing their catch in. They use these big nets brought in manually by about 20 people against the tide and there are queues waiting to buy the fresh fish. It’s teeming with people here, all industrious, but it works…
It was all about Rangana Herath before this Test and his status as the greatest left-arm spinner of all time. Well, Jack Leach is exactly the same sort of bowler. He deals in orthodox left-arm spin with a lovely, totally uncomplicated action. I reckon he can control a game and when it matters he’ll do the business. A real find for England and a top lad…
Jack Leach (centre) deals in orthodox left-arm spin with a lovely, totally uncomplicated action
That was a wonderful gesture by England to give Herath a guard of honour before he came out to bat. This bloke is an unsung hero – I loved it when Joe Root took his cap off and shook hands with him. Then Herath swept Adil Rashid and they both had a good old chuckle with each other. Lovely cricket. I thought that were brilliant…
England players gave Rangana Herath a guard of honours as he came out to bat on Wednesday
England captain Joe Root led the way on the field with several touches of sportsmanship to him
A 10 out of 10 performance from the England collective on Wednesday. I thoroughly enjoyed Root’s imaginative captaincy while there was some fabulous bowling from the spinners. Ben Stokes mixed it up a bit while the keeper in Foakes was outstanding. It doesn’t get any better than that! Well played England!
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