Herath,Swann leave Test in a spin

England conceded a 125-run first-innings lead to Sri Lanka.

Written by Associated Press | Galle | Published: March 28, 2012 12:29:10 am

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took 4/28 in leading England’s fightback to restrict Sri Lanka’s second innings to 84-5 and a 209-run lead after two days of the first Test on Tuesday. England conceded a 125-run first-innings lead to Sri Lanka.

Opener Lahiru Thirimanne and senior batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan,Kumar Sangakkara,Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera were all dismissed within 31 overs,leaving Sri Lanka 72-5. Earlier,spinner Rangana Herath took 6/74 to end England’s first innings for 193 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 318. A total of 17 wickets fell during the second day’s play at Galle International Stadium.

Jayawardene,who made a classy 180 in the first innings,pushed at a delivery that turned in but managed only to edge the ball to James Anderson at slip on 5. Swann found the edge from Sangakkara on 14 for a catch to Ian Bell at slip,and had Samaraweera stumped by Matt Prior for 36,the best score of the innings so far. When stumps was called,Dinesh Chandimal was unbeaten on 17 and nightwatchman Suraj Randiv on 2.

Sri Lanka resumed the day at 289/8 and seam bowler James Anderson bowled tailender Chanaka Welegedara for 19 to end a frustrating ninth-wicket partnership of 54 with Jayawardene. Anderson finally ended the innings when Jayawardene was caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

After reaching his 30th Test century on Monday,Jayawardene’s knock finished after 315 balls,22 boundaries and three sixes. Anderson,with 5/72,earned his 12th five-wicket haul.

England’s reply wasn’t good. The visitors went to lunch at 57/3,already mesmerized by Herath,and lost the rest of the wickets in the second session. Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott made a promising 40-run partnership before Herath flighted a ball and lured Trott out of his crease to be stumped for 12.

Ian Bell was the only top-order batsman who looked confident against Herath,topscoring with 52. His innings included eight boundaries and a six.

The visitors could have been out for a much lower total but for some late hits by tailenders Stuart Broad (28) and James Anderson (23 not out). Herath completed his eighth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 318 & 84-5 (G Swann 4/28) vs England 193 (I Bell 52,R Herath 6/74).

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