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England bowlers leave Sri Lanka reeling after Moeen Ali's career-best knock

Moeen Ali celebrating his century on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Moeen Ali celebrating his century on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 498-9 dec (Ali 155no) v
Sri Lanka 91-8 (Mendis 35)
Second Test, Chester-le-Street, day two

After Moeen Ali notched a career best unbeaten knock of 155 runs, the England pace bowlers rattled Sri Lanka and reduced them to 91 for eight in 40 overs on the second day of the second Test in Chester-le-Street.

England resumed their innings at the overnight score of 310 for six. Ali (155 not out) and Chris Woakes (39) were dropped in successive overs a few minutes in to the start of the play.

Woakes and Ali paced their innings well and kept the scoreboard ticking without taking many risks.

Sri Lanka reviewed an lbw decision against Woakes in the 102nd over but there was clearly an inside edge.

By the first drinks break, England were placed at 357 for six. Kusal Mendis took over the wicketkeeping duties at the start of the 105th over. With a boundary, Ali brought up his fifty in 108 balls in the next over.

Two overs later, Woakes was dismissed by Suranga Lakmal (2-115), bringing an end to the 92-run stand for the seventh wicket. Ali began shifting gears after his fifty.

In the 112th over, Nuwan Pradeep (4-107) saw the back of Stuart Broad (7). Ali and Steven Finn (10) took England safely to the lunch interval with the score at 408 for eight.

In the fourth over of the second session, Ali brought up his second Test century in 152 balls but was dropped once again by Siriwardana after which he responded with two back to back boundaries.

Ali swiftly got the big hits underway, and took Rangana Herath (1-116) apart for a six and a four in the 124th over. In his next over, Herath reached the 300-wicket mark in Tests by taking a return catch off Finn.

With a six over mid-wicket, Ali reached the 150-run mark. Two overs later, England declared with the score reading 498 for nine. Pradeep was the most successful bowler with four wickets to his name.

Sri Lanka were unable to get a good start as James Anderson (2-31) castled Dimuth Karunaratne (9) in the third over of the innings.

Kaushal Silva (13) and Kusal Mendis (35) got together to share a 34-run stand for the second wicket and saw out 9.4 overs.

Mendis was dropped by Nick Compton in the 12th over but he was caught behind moments later in the same over. The third umpire was pressed into service as Jonny Bairstow pulled off a low catch. In the end, it was deemed a clean effort. At that stage, Sri Lanka were 44 for two.

Two overs later, Anderson got the scalp of Dinesh Chandimal (4), who was caught by Alastair Cook at first slip.

Sri Lanka continued to slide further as Chris Woakes (3-9) took Angelo Mathews’ (3) edge with the keeper taking a simple catch. Mathews reviewed the decision unsuccessfully.

The telling blow was delivered in the 22nd over as Woakes sent Mendis and Siriwardana (0) back to the hut in the same over, reducing Sri Lanka to 67 for six.

Just as England sensed an opening, Lahiru Thirimanne (12 not out) and Herath (12) displayed some stubborn resistance in their 21-run stand for the seventh wicket. The pair saw out 16.2 overs, giving Sri Lanka the much needed breathing space.

England reviewed an lbw appeal in the 34th over against Herath but the ball was missing the stumps.
The partnership was broken by Broad (3-35) in the 39th over as he sent both Herath and Shaminda Eranga (2) back to the hut in the space of four balls.

Thirimanne and Lakmal (0 not out) managed to see out the final over of the day safely. Sri Lanka were struggling at 91 for eight at stumps on day two, trailing England by 407 runs.

Broad and Woakes shared six wickets equally while Anderson took two scalps.

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