House Bess (middle) before the five wicket match against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in January 2020.
|First test, chamber (first day)|
|Sri Lanka 135 : Bess 5-30, Broad 3-20|
|England 127-2: Root 66, Byrstow 47.|
|The English circuit for 8 races|
The Spinner Dom Bess won 5-30 as Sri Lanka’s poor batting performance put England under pressure after the first day of the first Test in Wales.
The hosts were beaten to 135 in just 46.1 overtimes, despite winning on a field that allowed only a slight spin.
England finish 127-2, Joe Root remains unbeaten from the 66, Johnny Bairstow from the 47 and their third man is worth 110.
Dom Sibley and Zach Crowley lost to left back Lasith Embuldeniya by four and nine points respectively.
Sri Lanka were left behind in the first inning in Galle, with pathetic indiscipline and poor batting skills showing a clear lack of understanding of how to build a test inning.
England, who made five changes from the last Test in August, were disciplined with the ball and were orderly on the pitch, apart from a drop from debutant Dan Lawrence, with Stuart Broad shining with 3-20 tackles.
The second day starts on Friday at 04:30 GMT.
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The last test in England five months ago and with Sri Lanka playing South Africa at Christmas and New Year, there were concerns that the tourists were not as well prepared as the hosts.
Those fears quickly disappeared.
Broad, who caught Lahiru Thirimann in the leg slip, and Kusal Mendis, who has now made a duck in four consecutive trial runs, were caught in the seventh set and showed their skill and intelligence by returning the cutters almost immediately.
Bess, who turns 11. The Test game, took its second life in Tests, but struggled to find a consistent line and length.
Kusal Perera threw the second ball from Bess to Root on the slide, while Niroshan Dickwella hit a wide jumper over Sibley to score and drop to 12.
After Dasun Shanaka had put himself in a good position when he relieved Bairstow from close range and went to keeper Jos Buttler, Bess made a nice air delivery to pull Dilruwan Perera between the bat and the duck pad.
He finished the set by beating Wanindu Hasaranga for 19 runs, while the hosts lost their last 5 wickets for 30 runs.
Staff Captain Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews caused quite a stir with a stand of 56 for the fourth wicket. The first was Sri Lanka’s 12th to reach 4,000 tries, while Mathews reached 5-6,000.
However, both fell within three balls as Broad – who had taken three wickets in 80 overs in Sri Lanka before this match – slipped Mathews before Chandimal put Sam Curran in the dugout to give Jack Leach his first Test wicket since November 2019.
Root and Bairstow to eliminate the threat of spin
For England, this two-test tour, which was interrupted in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, continues the series of four tests that followed in India.
For England to have a chance of beating Virat Kohli, they will have to play well and engage with Sri Lanka’s early attacks.
The Sibley opener, who many consider vulnerable coming out of the rotation, slipped in his back pad as he tried to make Embuldeni work on his foot.
Crawley, who had moved into the early eleventh due to the absence of Rory Burns through the birth of his first child, tried to find his way to Embulenya – a move he excelled at last summer – but misjudged the middle.
Nonetheless, Root, whose 50th appearance at Test Cricket was his 50th, will be buoyed by the way he and the famous Bairstow removed the threat of spin when they shared England’s highest partnership in Wales.
It was a win-win situation, although Root reversed the decision on the pound at 20 as replays showed the ball should have gone over the stumps.
He and Bairstow both scored around the wicket, with Root playing the sweep wisely and Bairstow cutting and passing well in the middle of the box.
They hope to take an important lead in the first half and turn the game into a three-point contest.
England did not have to work at all – response.
Dom Bess, the English dealer, at the trial match: We have put ourselves in a very good position. Roythy and Jonny were doing very well when the box office started to turn.
I was very nervous. I haven’t bowled since the Test games last summer.
I felt like I wasn’t bowling that well. It’s a cricket, isn’t it? He can play on exceptionally good days and go from 1 to 100.
Former British Captain Michael Vaughan: It was a fantastic day for England.
The partnership with Root and Bairstow was exactly what Sri Lanka needed.
Matthews and Chandemal are seasoned professionals. They played well and then took two ill-advised shots. He was so poor in Sri Lanka.
Former Sri Lankan Russell Arnold: It’s not a minefield. He was very poor and came from Sri Lanka. England didn’t have to make any effort at all.
It’s very, very disappointing. It surprised me and I expected much more.