Late Wicket, Jayawardene Ton Keep Sri Lanka On Top
Sri Lanka 400 (P Jayawardene 112, Paranavitana 66) v
First Test, Cardiff, day two
| Report by John Pennington
Sri Lanka's impressive form continued as they closed the second day of the opening Test against England in Cardiff having reduced England to 47 for one in reply to their score of 400.
It might have been Mahela Jayawardene's birthday but it was his lesser-known namesake Prasanna who played the innings of the day, scoring 112 to guide Sri Lanka to a competitive first-innings score.
He hit 12 fours and shared key partnerships with Thilan Samraweera (58), Thissara Perera (26) and Ranana Herath (26) as Sri Lanka's move to lengthen their batting paid dividends.
They will also take heart from the fact that they managed to take the honours heading into day three despite their two biggest stars - Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who made just four - failing and Tillakaratne Dilshan having been dismissed on the opening day.
Sri Lanka needed Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene to steady the ship after Mahela had been squared up by a James Anderson inswinger and nicked to slip where Andrew Strauss took the chance smartly. The other unbeaten batsman overnight, Tharanga Paranavitana, fell when he chopped Chris Tremlett onto his stumps for 66.
Samaraweera quietly accumulated his runs in his usual tidy, unfussy manner, while unleashing a couple of brutal cut strokes. He fell when he too was squared up by Anderson and edged to Graeme Swann but with Farveez Maharoof (16), Perera and Herath all offering Prasanna excellent support, England were unable to break through and dismiss the tourists for the sort of score that some had been predicting.
Maharoof was run out through a good piece of work off his own bowling by Jonathan Trott before Stuart Broad become the second-youngest Englishman to reach 100 Test wickets when Perera hacked him to Tremlett at mid-on.
Herath helped Jayawardene to his third Test century before slashing a wide delivery from Swann into the hands of Trott and after Jayawardene edged Broad to Matthew Prior as he tried to force the pace, Suranga Lakmal was well caught by a diving Broad at mid-off as Swann grabbed a third wicket.
England almost survived a tricky spell up to stumps but were un able to do so as when Strauss (20) edged Lakmal, Mahela had something to celebrate on his birthday as he took a good tumbling catch in the slips.
Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 24 with nightwatchman Anderson on one.
Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat on the opening day with half-centuries from Dilshan (50) and Paranavitana ensuring they had the better of the rain-affected proceedings.
© Cricket World 2011