2nd Test - Sri Lanka Vs England - Galle - Day 2
Sri Lanka resuming from their overnight score of 229 for 4, eventually went on to post a total of 381 runs, whilst England wrapped up the day’s proceedings to be 98 for 2 at the end of day 2 of the 2nd Test played between England and Sri Lanka and powered by Daraz at the Galle Esplanade yesterday.
Sri Lanka started off the day on a horrendous note, as they lost their overnight centurion Angelo Mathews and debutant Ramesh Mendis within the first 5 overs to be 243 for 6.
The dramatic irony of both dismissals was that both batsmen deflected deliveries onto their pads before they were held by wicket keeper Jos Butler.
Mathews played on the front foot to an Anderson delivery which took the thinnest of inside edges before it deflected off his pad to be caught on the off side. Mendis on the other hand hoping to open his test match account went on to glance a Mark Wood delivery down the leg side which also went off his pads to be caught behind by Butler down the leg.
What England or many others failed to realize was that the next man in, Dilruwan Perera, was more of a batsman than a bowler, despite him being the fastest Sri Lankan to get 50 and also 100 test wickets.
Dilruwan Perera incidentally made his debut in international cricket as an opening batsman in an ODI played against England at the Khettarama Stadium way back in 2007.
Jimmy Anderson perhaps may remember him better as he bowled the opening ball in that game to him where he made a useful 30 runs.
Dilruwan's entry into test cricket also saw him record the highest score in that innings he went on to score 95 runs against Pakistan at Sharjah in 2014.
With such a pedigree as a batsman, Niroshan Dickwella could not have asked for a better partner to help him at the other end, whilst he could notch up his maiden ton.
The pair batted extremely well by mixing caution with occasional aggression whenever a loose delivery was thrown at them, as the pair stitched together a useful 89 run stand between themselves.
It was refreshing to see wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella play an innings of class for a change, especially in a test match, as he refrained from choosing to hit his traditional scoops and reverse sweeps that has seen him gift his wicket in test matches.
However when he was on 92 he drove uppishly at an Anderson delivery to be well caught by Jack Leach who ran a few feet to his right from mid-off to take the catch.
Despite missing his ton yet again in his 41st test match and 73rd innings, Dickwella went on to register his highest test score.
Anderson then struck again two balls later to have Suranga Lakmal out for a duck, leaving Sri Lanka at 332 for 8.
Incidentally the three replacements Oshadha Fernando, Ramesh Mendis and Suranga Lakmal all registered ducks in this innings.
Dilruwan Perera then batted with numbers 10 and 11 and used his long handle to notch up his own 50 and also add 49 useful runs for the last two wickets.
Sri Lanka were bowled out for 381 with England's senior most war horse, Jimmy Anderson, returning the most amazing figures ever bowled by a fast bowler on Sri Lankan soil, when he ended with 29 overs 13 maidens 40 runs and claiming 6 wickets.
Anderson’s bowling was so disciplined that he did not bowl a single no ball or even deliver a wide in this innings.
Mark Wood supported his senior partner well by also grabbing 3 wickets for 84 runs off the 28 overs that he bowled.
England's openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley opened the innings and also went on to close their personal accounts by the 8th over, when spinner Lasith Embuldeniya sent both of them packing for the third consecutive time in this series.
Embuldeniya incidentally went on to also create a world record for himself, by being the only bowler to dismiss both opposing openers for under ten runs each, in three consecutive innings.
Another remarkable stat was that the two English spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess who took five wickets a piece in the first test, went wicket less in this innings, despite bowling 54 overs between themselves.
The pair also went for 195 runs, proving that the Galle batting strip for this test match on day one and up to towards the end of day two, were superb to bat on.
Thereafter it was all about the Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow show, as the two batsmen performed their batting act to near perfection, to see England close the day at 98 for 2 and 283 runs adrift of Sri Lanka's first innings total.