Virtual Test: Denly, Root lead England charge after Chandimal century for Sri Lanka
Last Updated: 28/03/20 1:50pm
England made a solid start to their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka's total of 384 on day two of the second Virtual Test in Colombo.
Joe Denly will resume day three unbeaten on 47 together with his captain Joe Root, who is 37 not out, with both hoping to press on to a three-figure score.
Benedict's Virtual Simulation
Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange is using a cricket simulation that takes into account batting averages, strike-rates, bowling averages and bowling speeds and plays out a five-day Test match based on those figures.
Earlier on the second day, Dinesh Chandimal (111no) scored a 12th Test century to put Sri Lanka in a strong position as they try to level the two-Test series.
Dinesh Chandimal completed his 12th Test century as Sri Lanka reached lunch on Day 2 of the Second Virtual Test at 363-8. Only 18 runs came in the second hour of play as England's spinners were finally able to exert some pressure. pic.twitter.com/eCSv8l3pQy— Benedict Bermange (@Benedict_B) March 28, 2020
Niroshan Dickwella added just a boundary to his overnight score of 27 before edging the impressive Sam Curran (4-73) to Jos Buttler, who completed a smart catch low to his left.
Debutant Wanindu Hasaranga was not over-awed in his first Test innings, having been brought into the side by Kumar Sangakkara, and batted for an hour in scoring 29 before Dom Bess (2-61) conjured up some magic with a ball which turned sharply and bowled him through the gate.
Bess soon removed Dilruwan Perera too, caught by Root at silly point for a duck and Sri Lanka were only able to add 18 runs in the second hour of the morning with Chandimal almost batting himself to a standstill as he approached three figures.
His century finally came by way of an on-driven four off Bess, but there was no sense of urgency in the Sri Lankan batting and, after lunch, they added just 21 more runs in fifty minutes while Ben Stokes and Jack Leach each took their first wickets of the innings.
As England's first innings got underway, Zak Crawley started more confidently than his opening partner Dom Sibley (9), and it was Sibley who fell early, caught by Chandimal in the gully off the splice of the bat from a lifting delivery from Vishwa Fernando.
Denly took a while to get into his stride, but a brace of boundaries in an over from Hasaranga seemed to improve his confidence. But the leg-spinner then picked up a first Test wicket when Crawley misread a googly and was trapped lbw for 40, not bothering to review the decision.
Root looked totally untroubled in the hour he batted before the close and will hope that England can at least achieve parity on the third day, which they will start trailing by 242 runs.