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England- Sri Lanka Series

Bess hammers as England in control after day one


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Photo: Collected

|| Desk Report ||

England's Dom Bess took a five-wicket haul on the first day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka despite feeling he was under-prepared for the contest and did not bowl his best.

Bess, who returned figures of 5-30, combined with paceman Stuart Broad, who took three wickets, as Sri Lanka were all out in two sessions as the two-Test series resumed in Galle after the original tour was aborted over the coronavirus in March.

But the off-spinner admitted he got away with a few easy strikes.

"I probably haven't bowled as well as I could have done, and probably got away with one or two, but that's cricket," Bess told reporters after the day's play.

Bess remained the hero as the venue witnessed its lowest first-innings score, well below Sri Lanka's 181 against Pakistan in 2000.

Sri Lanka suffered a pre-match jolt when skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled out of the first of the two Tests with a fractured thumb.

Stand-in-captain Dinesh Chandimal scored 28 and put up some resistance in a 56-run stand with Angelo Mathews, who made 27 on his return from a hamstring injury.

Broad struck twice in an over to send back opener Lahiru Thirimanne, who had scored four, and Kusal Mendis for nought - his fourth straight duck - to spell early trouble for the hosts.

Spin was introduced in the 11th over and Bess, with his second ball, got Kusal Perera for 20 when the batsman top-edged a reverse sweep to England captain Joe Root at first slip.

However, Joe Root struck his 50th Test fifty to put them in a strong position as they finished the day for 127-2 at stumps.

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