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by Alastair Symondson Wednesday 7 November 2018
Ben Foakes reached his maiden Test hundred on his debut, becoming only the second English wicketkeeper to do so. England's innings ended for 342.
In reply, pacers James Anderson and Sam Curran took one each to dismiss the openers. It was an all spinners show from there on.
Dinesh Chandimal (33), Angelo Mathews (52), Niroshan Dickwella (28) and Dilruwan Perera (21) got starts but could not capitalise on them. Out of these, Angelo Mathews lasted the longest before he was caught by Keaton Jennings off Moeen Ali.
Moeen proved to be England's best bowler, bagging four wickets. Jack Leach and Adil Rashid also chipped in with two each.
England did not allow the momentum to shift from their hands. Openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings survived 12 overs to close the day unscathed.
The visitors already had a lead of 139 before they started their second essay. After 38 runs being added to it, they now lead by 177 with all 10 wickets in the bank.
Moreover, Sri Lanka have to bat last on a wicket that is already offering substantial turn to the spinners. To add to that, skipper Dinesh Chandimal is struggling with a groin injury. Looks like the match can have only one end from here on and that is an English win.
Let's have a look at the playing XIs of both teams.
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath
England- Keaton Jennings, Rory Burns, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson
Who will win? – England
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka), Rory Burns (England)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Dilruwan Perera (Sri Lanka), Moeen Ali (England)
Most Fours – Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka), Rory Burns (England)
Team Scores Batting at the end of Day 3 – England 280+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018