Sri Lanka vs England: All you need to know from day two at Galle
Last Updated: 08/11/18 5:54am
Ben Foakes stars with the bat and behind the stumps and England's spinners impress - the lowdown from Galle.
Ben Foakes completed a debut century before England dismissed Sri Lanka for 203 and extended their lead to 177 on day two of the first Test in Galle.
Foakes (107) became the second England wicketkeeper to hit a ton in his first Test, after Matt Prior against Windies at Lord's in 2007, as the tourists scored 342 having begun the day on 321-8.
Foakes' dream debut continued with a catch two balls into the Sri Lankan reply after James Anderson had located Dimuth Karunaratne's edge, with the hosts then slumping to 42-4 before Angelo Mathews (52) and captain Dinesh Chandimal (33) rebuilt with a stand of 75.
However, Sri Lanka folded again once Chandimal and Mathews were ousted either side of tea with Moeen Ali bagging 4-66 before Keaton Jennings (26no) and Rory Burns (11no) marshalled England to 38-0 by stumps.
Moment of the Day
Foakes' century in his first Test innings - having played so responsibly on day one to rescue England and reach 87, the Surrey man deserved a century and cemented it from the 200th delivery he faced with a cracking straight boundary off Suranga Lakmal.
Foakes, though, would have taken great pride in his wicketkeeping, too - catching Karunaratne second ball and later adding a close-up grab off Moeen and a stumping off Adil Rashid.
Stat of the Day
Foakes is the fifth wicketkeeper to score a Test century on debut, with the Surrey star and Prior joined by New Zealand's Tom Blundell against Windies in 2017 and Sri Lanka pair Brendon Kuruppu and Romesh Kaluwitharana against New Zealand in 1987 and Australia in 1982 respectively.
Talking point - How to use England's spinners
England's spinners bagged eight of the 10 Sri Lanka wickets to tumble, with Moeen Ali taking 4-66, Adil Rashid claiming 2-30 and Jack Leach bagging 2-41. So how does Michael Atherton feel skipper Joe Root will use them in the remainder of this series?
"On pitches that are turning reasonable amounts, I think Root will use Leach and Ali as his stock bowlers to hold things and hopefully pick up the odd wicket," said the Sky Cricket expert and former England captain.
"Root's going to bowl Rashid in shorter spells. Rashid looked dangerous when he did bowl but Leach and Ali to do the grunt work - they applied pressure well."
Athers also feels England can deploy further close fielders for Leach and Ali: "You do need protection for Rashid because at his pace the batsmen are going to play him off the back foot. But for the two finger spinners you can afford to squeeze a bit more from time to time."
What they said
MIKE ATHERTON on Ben Foakes: "It was a lovely innings. I thought his composure, his defence, the way he worked the ball around, the way in which he played ensured he really looked to the manor born in Test cricket.
"He will have put that to bed very quickly because he knows that he'll not only be judged on the number of runs that he gets. The only way he'll stay in the side is if his keeping is impressive as well. He was unobtrusively impressive today."
BEN FOAKES: "It's hard to tell [how I'm judged]; probably on my glovework but if I shell them then I'll say my batting! I spoke to Matt Prior before the day because I did my usual pre-game routine and I was knackered [in these conditions]. So I think I'll be limiting that."
Tweets of the day
Superb innings from Ben Foakes on debut. Jonny Bairstow first to meet him on the boundary rope for a fist bump— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) November 6, 2018
Watch day three of the first Test between Sri Lanka and England, in Galle, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) from 4.15am on Thursday.