Match situation – Sri Lanka trail England by 407 runs with 2 first innings wickets remaining
While Sri Lanka would have been moderately satisfied with the course of events on day one, it sadly all fell apart yesterday. Their catching on Friday had been exemplary but Saturday saw them drop both Ali and Woakes early on. Had the catches been taken, then England would possibly have been looking at a total around 350. However, Ali and Woakes made the tourists pay for their profligacy and England were able to declare at 498 for 9 midway through the afternoon, leaving Ali undefeated on a career best 155 off just 207 deliveries.
Sri Lanka got to tea for the loss of just one wicket. However, after tea, with blue skies and relatively benign conditions, Sri Lanka were undone by tight England bowling, particularly a fine spell from Woakes, who dismissed Mathews, Mendis and Siriwardana for just nine runs. The only darkish cloud on the England bowling horizon was the performance of Finn, who seems to be struggling for rhythm and is, as a result, down on pace.
Sri Lanka ended the day on 91 for 8. Assuming there isn’t one of the fightbacks of all test cricket, Cook and his team will have to decide shortly on whether to enforce the follow on. This course of action is rarely followed nowadays but, with the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday looking mediocre, I would be surprised if they do anything else.