Twitter Reactions: Ben Foakes’ debut Test ton and spinners keep England on top

The stage is set for Rangana Herath to wield his magic and help his team make a comeback in the game.

England players
England players. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The second day was crucial in the ongoing Galle Test between Sri Lanka and England as the visitors had put up an exceptional rearguard on the opening day. After being reduced to 113/5 in the first session, the lower-order once again rescued them with Ben Foakes, the debutant at the centrestage to end the day on 321/8 and there was more work to be done on the second morning.

The confident Foakes began the day on a brighter note for England by hitting the first ball of the day to the boundary. Soon, he notched up his maiden Test ton to become only the fifth wicketkeeper in the world to reach the triple-figure mark on debut. Meanwhile, Jack Leach was snaffled by Dilruwan Perera to register his seventh five-wicket haul.

After reaching his century, Foakes played a few shots and was eventually dismissed by Suranga Lakmal as England’s innings folded on 342 runs which looked an above par total on this surface.

Sri Lanka crumble

Sri Lanka got off to the worst possible start with their in-form player Dimuth Karunaratne edging the second ball of the first over from James Anderson to the wicketkeeper and even wasted the review. Sam Curran trapped Kaushal Silva plumb in front of the stumps then as the hosts were left reeling at 10/2. Soon the scorecard looked even more terrible for them as Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva were sent back to make it 404 just before lunch.

The experience of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews then came to the fore for the home side. The duo didn’t take any risks and concentrated on rotating the strike. They added 75 runs together and just when things were falling in place for Sri Lanka, Chandimal stepped out against Adil Rashid only to see the ball spin sharpply past him and the rest was done by Foakes.

Meanwhile, Mathews completed his half-century but was unable to extend his stay in the middle and his wicket ended their hopes of getting close to the opponent’s total. Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera also made attractive 20s but were guilty of not carrying on as Sri Lanka were bowled out for a mere 203.

England were simply brilliant as their spinners shared eight wickets between them. Moeen Ali was the standout performer for them grabbing four while Rashid and Leach picked a couple each.

Jennings and Burns play out

In the second innings, with the lead of 139 runs in the bag, England’s openers had to play out the tricky period of 12 overs. Keaton Jennings and the other debutant Rory Burns looked confident in the middle and made sure that they let the advantage drift away from the team.

The duo remained unbeaten until the stumps to score 38 runs and stretched the lead to 177 runs. Sri Lanka now have no option but to skittle the visitors as soon as possible and the stage is set for Rangana Herath to wield his magic and help his team come out of the rut one final time.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the day: