Pacy Plunkett tortures Lankan batsmen

Last Updated 22 June 2014, 18:36 IST

Liam Plunkett continued his impressive return to the Test arena but England endured a frustrating session as Sri Lanka chalked off most of the hosts' first innings lead, reaching 99-2 at tea on day three of the second Test on Sunday.

With eight second innings wickets left Sri Lanka reached the interval nine runs in arrears with the match poised intriguingly.

Plunkett, who claimed Test-best figures of 5-64 in the first innings, was the only bowler to trouble the batsmen, accounting for openers Kaushal Silva (13) and, shortly before tea, Dimuth Karunaratne (45).

Kumar Sangakkara (26 not out) and Mahela Jayawardene (three not out) will hope to begin the process of building a healthy lead for the visitors in the final session of the day.
With James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan struggling to trouble the Sri Lankan openers captain Alastair Cook brought Plunkett into the attack.

The Yorkshire seamer immediately justified Cook's decision, making the breakthrough in his second over when he drew an edge from Silva that was gobbled up by Matt Prior behind the stumps.

Former skipper Sangakkara made a streaky 79 in the first innings but the elegant left-hander was quickly into his stride with three sumptuous drives to the cover boundary.
At the other end Kar-unaratne quietly accumulated runs but fell five short of his first 50 of the series, gloving Plunkett to Prior down the leg side.

Resuming the day on 320 for six, England were torn apart by the spot-on Sri Lankan bowling attack with captain and pacer Angelo Mathews taking Test-best figures of 4-44 and Shaminda Eranga taking 4-93.

England added just 45 runs to their overnight score as they lost their last eight wickets for 87 runs.

The first Test of the two-match series ended in a draw at Lord's last week.
Sri Lanka stared at defeat at one stage having lost nine wickets but their last wicket pair managed to hang on for a draw at London.

(Published 22 June 2014, 18:36 IST)

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