GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Ben Foakes completed his century on his test debut to help England to 342 all out before the tourists reduced Sri Lanka to 42 for four at lunch on day two of the opening test at Galle on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka mirrored England’s terrible start on Tuesday by slumping to an identical 10 for two and they will need someone to try and match Foakes’s magnificent effort to bring them close to England’s first innings tally.
Former captain Angelo Mathews, batting on three, and incumbent Dinesh Chandimal, on one, will be expected to spearhead the rebuilding job when play resumes after the break.
Earlier, all eyes were on Foakes when he resumed needing 13 runs for a memorable century in his first test innings with England on 321-8.
The 25-year-old hit the first ball of the day for a boundary but risked running out of partners after Jack Leach became off-spinner Dilruwan Perera’s fifth victim.
Number 11 batsman James Anderson, though, survived for four vital deliveries to bring Foakes back on strike.
The right-hander hit Suranga Lakmal for three boundaries in the following over — the second bringing up his 100-mark — before falling to the paceman.
Foakes, who hit 10 boundaries in his sparkling 107, is the second England wicketkeeper, after Matt Prior, to hit a century on his test debut.
The Anderson-Foakes pairing was soon back in tandem in the field, combining to dismiss Dimuth Karunaratne caught behind in the second ball of the Sri Lankan innings.
Sam Curran trapped Kaushal Silva leg before for one to compound Sri Lanka’s problem and England’s spin duo of Jack Leach and Moeen Ali also tasted early success to intensify the pressure on their hosts.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Nick Mulvenney