Jennings half-century stretches lead to 250

08 November 2018 16:45 Sports Desk

A glance at the scorecard will clarify England are still bossing the first Test against Sri Lanka after the first session on Day 3. What the scorecard won't show is that Sri Lanka made a minor comeback, something that was crucial after they were in danger of getting knocked out of the contest. England were made to work for their runs - scoring just 73 in a 30-over session - but stretched their overall lead to 250.

England resumed on 38 for no loss and both Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal managed to tie down the openers at the start of the third day's play. The first minor scare came very early on when Rory Burns survived a lbw review even before the score passed 50. Burns eventually ran himself out in search of quick runs, falling for a 65-ball 23.

Moeen Ali too, didn't last long and was caught at mid-on, trying to take on Perera. From 60 for no loss and the lead only just past 200, England slipped to 67 for 2. Joe Root was then dislodged for the second time in the Test by Herath, caught behind for 3, as England struggled for momentum.

The first boundary of the day was scored with less than half an hour remaining in the session. But while the toil continued, Keaton Jennings maintained his composure at the other end. He got to his half-century off 111 balls, ending the barren run of 19 innings without a fifty.

Sri Lanka picked up three wickets in the session but will be well aware that the pitch isn't at its best. More often than not, it's behaving like a notorious child throwing tantrums and constantly poses questions of the batsmen's techniques. It still needs a herculean effort from them to save the Test but they will still hold on to any modicum of an opportunity.

Brief scores: England 342 & 111/3 (Keaton Jennings 60*) lead Sri Lanka 203 (Angelo Mathews 52; Moeen Ali 4-66) by 250 runs.

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