Thursday 26 May 2011 

Paranavitana Makes It Sri Lanka's Day In Cardiff

Paranavitana Makes It Sri Lanka's Day In Cardiff
Paranavitana Makes It Sri Lanka's Day In Cardiff
© REUTERS/Philip Brown (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Sri Lanka 133-2 (Paranavitana 58no) v England
First Test, Cardiff, day one
| Report by John Pennington

Half-centuries from openers Tharanga Paranavitana and Tillakaratne Dilshan guided Sri Lanka to stumps on a rain-shortened day one of the opening Test against England on 133 for two.

Play did not begin in Cardiff until 15:30 local time and Sri Lanka would have been pleased with their efforts having won the toss and decided to bat first despite the changeable weather conditions.

Dilshan, in his first match as Test captain, made 50 in 94 balls while Paranavitana scored a well-composed 58 not out in 154 balls to anchor the innings as the pair put on 93 for the first wicket.

Dilshan hit seven fours in his innings, including one slashed over backward point that was a highlight of a generally slow-moving start to England's summer.

He fell when he attempted to cut Graeme Swann but succeeded only in chopping onto his stumps after tea, which had been taken with Sri Lanka on 35 without loss.

The grace and elegance of Kumar Sangakkara replaced the punch and strength of Dilshan at the crease but after stroking two silky boundaries he fell to the faintest of faint edges as he tried to force James Anderson through the off side.

England opted for a review when the original - confident - appeal was turned down and Sangakkara appeared bemused that he had been given out.

Paranavitana continued unaffected, reaching his sixth Test half-century which was just reward for a patient innings, punctuated by shots quickly punishing the bad balls that were served up.

And there were a few too many of those from England's point of view with Anderson and Stuart Broad in particular struggling for rhythm.

Chris Tremlett's bounce consistently disconcerted the batsmen although he was unable to earn any reward and Swann was his usual economic self but neither looked close to dismissing Paranavitana.

Mahela Jayawardene was unbeaten on 11 alongside Paranavitana at stumps.

© Cricket World 2011