James Anderson impresses on England return before Angelo Mathews hits back for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka reached 229-4 at the end of an intriguing first day of the second Test against England; James Anderson took 3-24 in 19 overs on his return to tourists' XI before Angelo Mathews' 11th Test hundred lifted the hosts; watch day two from 4.25am, Saturday on Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 23/01/21 6:01am
James Anderson made an immediate impact with three wickets on his return to the England side before Sri Lanka hit back with Angelo Mathews' century on a hard-fought first day of the second Test.
After Anderson (3-24) struck twice in the third over of an excellent opening spell to reduce Sri Lanka to 7-2, the hosts recovered to close on 229-4, with Mathews 107 not out, on the flattest of Galle pitches.
Mathews held the Sri Lanka innings together, putting on 69 with Lahiru Thirimanne (43) before adding another 117 with Dinesh Chandimal (52) for the fourth wicket.
Mark Wood was rewarded for his efforts throughout the day when he broke the Mathews-Chandimal stand midway through the evening session but Niroshan Dickwella arrived and, alongside his former skipper, negotiated a tricky spell against the second new ball before stumps.
Having won the toss, Sri Lanka threatened to throw away the advantage of batting first for the second game running as they found themselves two down inside five overs.
Kusal Perera had already survived the tightest of lbw shouts after being rapped on the front pad by Sam Curran, DRS showed the ball would have hit a good chunk of leg stump but umpire's call not enough to overturn the on-field decision of not out, when he tried to launch Anderson over long on, the ball straightened fractionally to take the edge and Joe Root held on to a good catch, above his head, at first slip.
Four balls later, Anderson had his second as Oshada Fernando, one of three changes to the Sri Lanka side from the first Test, chopped on as a back-of-a-length delivery got up more than he anticipated.
Anderson continued to probe and finished his new-ball burst with figures of 2-4 from five overs, continually threatening the edge while keeping runs to a premium.
With Anderson out of the attack, though, Sri Lanka rebuilt through the morning session with the elegant Thirimanne, fresh from his hundred last time out, scoring nicely through the covers, while Mathews calmly got to work accumulating runs at the other end.
They reached 76-2 at lunch and seemed set to push on. However, Anderson returned and needed just two balls after the interval to find Thirimanne's edge as the left-hander fiddled outside off - the eighth time in nine Tests that Anderson has dismissed Thirimanne.
While Anderson remained as economical as ever for the rest of his spell, there was nothing in the way of assistance for the England bowlers, seamers or spinners, off the pitch and it was only when the ball began to reverse swing ever so slightly that they were able to remotely trouble Mathews or Chandimal.
Chandimal smashed Dom Bess down the ground for six but in the main, the Sri Lankan pair were content to work the singles and just keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Wood managed to unsettle the batsmen briefly during a fiery spell, twice hitting Chandimal with short balls, although Mathews was able to bring up his fifty with a pull shot that flew off the glove down to fine leg.
Jack Leach got a couple of deliveries to grip and beat the outside edge after tea but they were rare moments of encouragement for the England spinners and with the partnership having passed 100, Chandimal brought up his 20th Test fifty.
Just as frustration looked to be creeping in for England, Wood produced a superb reverse-swinging that came back sharply to catch Chandimal on the crease. It looked plumb, the umpire agreed and after burning a review, Sri Lanka's stand-in skipper was on his way.
It was chink of light for England with the second new ball approaching but Mathews was there for the long-haul, rarely offering anything even resembling a chance as he eased through to his 11th Test century.
Anderson came back for one final spell when England took the second new ball but could not add to his wicket tally, finishing the day with 19 impressive overs under his belt but likely to be required to bowl a good few more on day two when Mathews and Dickwella resume the Sri Lanka innings.
Watch day two of the second Test between Sri Lanka and England from 4.25am on Saturday on Sky Sports Cricket.