GALLE, Sri Lanka, Jan 14 (Reuters) – England’s Stuart Broad took two early wickets to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 65 for three at lunch on the opening day of the first test at Galle International Stadium.
Broad bagged opener Lahiru Thirimanne and struggling Kusal Mendis in the same over as England made early inroads into the home team’s batting during a slow first session on Thursday.
Spinner Dom Bess made arguably the biggest breakthrough as he dismissed the dangerous Kusal Perera with only his second ball of the morning.
At lunch, Dinesh Chandimal, who took over the captaincy from injured Dimuth Karunaratne, was 22 not out, having been dropped by debutant Dan Lawrence just before the break.
Angelo Mathews, returning to the team after missing the recent series in South Africa, will resume on 17.
Preferred to England’s record test wicket taker James Anderson, Broad struck in the seventh over with a ball that strayed onto the pads of Thirimanne (4) and he flicked straight to Jonny Bairstow at leg slip.
Mendis was dismissed two balls later, extending his sequence of ducks to four successive test innings, hanging out his bat to a slower leg cutter and nicking it through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
Perera gave away his wicket to leave Sri Lanka on 25-3.
Attempting an ambitious reverse sweep off Bess’ second ball,
he succeeded only in top edging the ball to Joe Root at slip to depart for 20.
The opening session was marked by frequent stoppages for an errant electronic sight screen and only 24 overs were bowled in the two hours’ of play.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat, but were forced to leave out Karunaratne due to a fractured thumb — another injury blow to a team that suffered several setbacks on their tour of South Africa earlier this month.
The second test of the two-match series is also at Galle from Jan. 22. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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