England were thwarted by a spirited Sri Lanka fightback on day two of the third Investec Test at Lord’s today, as the visitors closed on 162 for 1 in response to the hosts’ first-innings 416.
Openers Kaushal Silva (79 not out) and Dimuth Karunaratne (50) both cracked fifties in putting on 108 for the first wicket, although the latter benefited from a bit of luck when dropped by Jonny Bairstow on 28.
Bairstow made amends by grabbing Karunaratne down the legside off Steven Finn (1-31) soon after he’d reached his half century, but it was to be England’s only wicket of the day.
Earlier Bairstow hit an unbeaten 167 – his second score over 150 in Tests – adding 60 to his overnight score before England were bowled out.
Bairstow put on 144 for England’s seventh wicket with Chris Woakes (66) – the Warwickshire allrounder’s maiden Test fifty – as Sri Lanka toiled early on day two.
The partnership was finally broken when Woakes fell five overs before lunch, loosely lofting a return catch to Rangana Herath (4-81), and while Stuart Broad (14) lasted till lunch, he picked out gully off Suranga Lakmal (3-90) soon after the interval.
Herath added Steven Finn’s wicket to his tally, but missed out on a five-for and a spot on the Lord’s honours board as Shaminda Eranga took the final wicket of James Anderson.
England’s destructive new ball attack of Anderson and Broad were off colour for once in their opening spells, conceding 23 from the first four overs, helping Sri Lanka’s openers settle.
By contrast, Woakes hit his straps with his first ball, drawing a thin edge from Karunaratne through to Bairstow, but the ball wobbled in the air and wrong-footed the wicketkeeper causing him to drop the chance.
Woakes suffered from further misfortune soon after tea, with a strong lbw shout against Karunaratne turned down, but the ball was shown to be clipping the top of off-stump on review – though not sufficiently to overturn the decision.
Karunaratne kicked on, cracking Anderson for three fours in a row and went through to his half century soon afterwards, only for his luck to finally run out when edging Finn down the leg side an over later.
Silva stuck around though after notching his second straight fifty in the series and is nearing a third Test ton, putting on 51 for the second wicket with Kusal Mendis (22 not out) to see Sri Lanka safely through to stumps without further loss.