Sri Lanka against England: Moeen Ali & Ben Foakes shine while tourists dominate in Galle

Moeen Ali was England & # 39; s most successful bowler with four wickets
First test, Galle (day two)
England 342 (Foakes 107) & 38-0: Jennings 26 *
Sri Lanka 203: Mathews 52; Moeen 4-66, Rashid 2-30, Leach 2-41
England with 177 points
Score card

On day two of the first test from Sri Lanka, England was strolling to a dominant position in Galle.

Debutant Ben Foakes reached his first test century before he fell for 107, while England added 21 to their overnight stop to post 342.

The tourists then produced a fine all-round bowling performance, with Moeen Ali taking 4-66 to stake out the hosts for 203 in 68 overs.

England reached 38-0 at the end, 177 runs ahead.

Jack Leach and Adil Rashid each took two wickets for England, while sisters James Anderson and Sam Curran got one.

Sri Lanka was 64-4 at lunchtime for a patient partnership of 75 between Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, which ended when Rashid Chandimal 33 closed shortly before tea.

Moeen then had Mathews caught on the short leg from the first ball after the tea and the last five wickets fell in 18.3 overs during the evening session.

England is now in a strong position to secure their first overseas test victory since October 2016 and to end a 13-game winless run away from home.

England's spinners shine

England has not won any of the past four test series – drawing against Bangladesh and loss of India, Australia and New Zealand

The first innings of England had at best a par score, but their bowlers have placed Joe Root's side in one of their most dominant positions in an overseas test in recent years.

The team's fast bowlers are expected to play a less important role in this series when a spider comes to the fore, but Anderson left Dimuth Karunaratne after the second ball of the innings of the hosts.

For a few years' transfers, both he and Sam Curran, who shared the new ball, found a swing; the last, Kaushal Silva lbw kicked in the fourth.

When the swing was stopped, Root introduced his spinners, with Jack Leach coming over the attack after the seventh and all three were impressed.

When he played in his second test, Leach babbled accurately and dropped Kusal Mendis on his panties for his first wicket of the game, while Moeen Dhananjaya put the Silva on the ground shortly before lunch in his first round.

Mathews and Chandimal offered some resistance, but then Rashid produced a fine leg spinner that dipped and turned sharply to lower Chandimal.

After the tea, Moeen then turned the game decisively in favor of England. He took the three quick wickets from Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella and Akila Dananjaya before Leach and Rashid came back to take the last two wickets.

Leach and Moeen did most of the work throughout the day, with 39 overs combined to Rashid's nine, but all three were impressive.

Foakes impresses with bat and gloves

Ben Foakes became the fifth wicket keeper to make the debut for a century

Foams had done most of the work to reach his century on day one by helping his team recover from 103-5 to finish at 321-8, and without him the dominant position of England would not have been possible.

He had been calm in Test cricket all day and went on in that spirit that day, caressing the first ball of the day for four with extra coverage.

Leach was rejected with Foakes at 95, increasing the possibility that Foakes remains stranded before reaching three figures, but Anderson survived the rest of the other side, giving Foakes the chance to reach the milestone.

The Surrey wicket-keeper-batsman then pulled a boundary behind the square on the leg side to go to 99 and hit in the middle of an excellent back-foot drive to round off his century from 200 balls.

He also became the second wicket-keeper in England to score one hundred on his debut – after Matt Prior in 2007 – and only the fifth wicket-keeper to do this for every team in Tests.

He then claimed the jointly-quickest dismissal by a goalkeeper on his probation debut when picking up Anderson Karunaratne on the second ball from the innings of the hosts.

Foys also showed good work to stun Chandimal from Rashid and took a smart catch when they stood on the stumps when Moeen claimed the scalp of Akila.

Sri Lanka falls flat

This was a seriously disappointing day for Sri Lanka.

The hosts had England in trouble at 103-5 on day one, but would now need rain to prevent a defeat.

Their batsmen did not seem to learn from the wickets of the top order in England on day one, with some also falling to attacking shots.

Dhananjaya left on the first day in the same way as Ben Stokes and tried to sweep fine, but bent around his legs, and Chandimal, who struggled with an injury, came across the field aggressively and stranded from his ground.

And where the lower ranking of England – Foams, Curran and Rashid in particular – were able to drag the tourists to a respectable total, the last hams of Sri Lanka fell on sharpening field workers.


Former captain of England Michael Vaughan on The Cricket Social

Excellent from England. They have played the right way since lunch on the first day and Sri Lanka needs rain or streakers.

England can clubbish the whole day tomorrow. Get one or two players up to 100 – that can give them confidence for the rest of the tour and beyond.

Switch off the first session – The last five sessions in England were of high class.

The field will only get worse to hit. England will have to put an end to get Sri Lanka back into the test match.

England gave Rangana Herath a guard of honor when, in his last test match, he went to the battle to be plaited

& # 39; I was nervous when Jimmy came out & # 39; – reaction

England spinner Jack Leach, speaking to BBC Sport: "A great day, it could not have planned much more to really plan, the boys had a word and said we did what we are going to do today.

"Foakesy got his hundred, that was great and we got as many runs as we could, and then it was a matter of trying to build some pressure on them and get some early invasions." We managed to do that, Jimmy and Sammy bowed great and that cost us a lot of pressure from our spinners.

Mo, Rash and I boasted, Mo made his four wickets, it was great to be involved with that group of spinners, I really enjoyed it.

"I have the feeling that we complement each other well. We have a good relationship outside the field, which helps, we always try to turn ideas away from each other.It is a nice group to be part of with Saqqy [England’s spin bowling coach Saqlain Mushtaq] also. It has been good so far. & # 39;

England centurion Ben Foakes, speaks with Sky Sports: "I was pretty calm this morning and I became a bit nervous when Jimmy Anderson came out with five to go in. It had to be my day!

"It was great to get a hundred – a relief and a great feeling." My brother came here last night, which is great and my mother will be here in about an hour.

"I did a few runs and with Jimmy bowling you know you're in the game, so catching early was great, because when the wicket is dry, it runs more and stays low.

James Anderson responded to Foakes' remarks that he was "nervous" when Anderson joked on Instagram by joking on Instagram that "it's fun if your teammates have confidence in your abilities"