Gaul England, recovering from their initial setbacks, consolidated their position on the first day of the first Test cricket after off-spinner Dom Bess bowled Sri Lanka cheaply with his career-best performance. Bess took five wickets for 30 runs and played a key role to put Sri Lanka, who had decided to bat first, for 135 runs. England, in response, have scored 127 for two by the end of the first day’s play and are just eight runs behind Sri Lanka.
England also did not have a good start and at one time their score was 17 runs for two wickets. Captain Joe Root (66 not out) and Johnny Bairstow (47 not out) took over from here. Both of them have added 110 runs for the third wicket so far.
Sri Lanka started bowling with left-arm spinner Lesith Imbuldenia and proved it right by dismissing both openers Dom Sibley (four) and Jock Crowley (nine). Earlier, Sri Lankan acting captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and decided to bat. He scored the highest 28 runs.
Sri Lanka regular captain Dimuth Karunaratne could not play due to fracture in the thumb. The Sri Lankan cricket team, playing the first Test on its soil in ten months after the lockdown due to Corona epidemic, started poorly. Veteran fast bowler Stuart Broad took two wickets in an over while off-spinner Bess picked up the wicket on the second ball. Broad took three wickets for 20 runs in the match.
Lahiru Tirimane, who replaced Karunaratne, was out for four off Broad. Kusal Mendis also lost his wicket after one ball. Bess caught Kusal Perera in the first slip at the hands of Joe Root. Chandimal and Angelo Mathews added 56 runs for the fourth wicket but were dismissed for two consecutive overs after lunch.