|England bowler Steve Harmison enjoys the bounce of
the new wicket in Galle [GALLO/GETTY]
Pace bowler Steve Harmison picked up three wickets for England to restrict Sri Lanka to 147-4 at stumps on the opening day of the third cricket test, despite a threatening partnership between captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Jayawardene was batting on 51 when bad light stopped play, his 31st test half-century, with Tillakaratne Dilshan on seven.
After England’s captain Michael Vaughan won the toss and put Sri Lanka to bat, his pace bowlers exploited the newly relaid pitch at Galle International Stadium and grabbed two early wickets.
Left-arm seam bowler Ryan Sidebottom trapped Michael Vandort lbw for 18 runs with the total at 34.
Paul Collingwood dropped Upul Tharanga at slip on 15 but the batsman failed to take advantage of the second chance when Harmison trapped him lbw on 16.
Tharanga’s dismissal left Sri Lanka at 44-2 before Sangakkara and Jayawardene began the repair work.
The pair added 88 runs for the third wicket before Sangakkara was out soon after tea break caught by Monty Panesar in the deep off Harmison.
Chamara Silva struggled for 26 balls for a single run before Harmison induced an edge of him to Ian Bell at second slip.
Harmison went 3-28 off 13 overs.
This is the first international fixture at the Galle stadium after the 2004 tsunami destroyed the ground.
The match started 1½ hours after schedule because of a wet field.
Sri Lanka dropped struggling Jehan Mubarak for the test and recalled experienced Dilshan, while handing left-arm seam bowler Chanaka Welegedara his maiden test cap in place of injured Dilhara Fernando.
England called back pace bowler Matthew Hoggard who was sidelined for the second test because of injury. Stuard Broad, who made his debut in the second match, was left out.