England pace bowler takes three wickets on the first day against Sri Lanka.
|Happy 21st Mahela Jayawardene
Captain Mahela Jayawardene scored a record 21st test century for Sri Lanka to help the hosts reach 384 for six at the close of the second day of the third and final test against England.
The 30 year old batted throughout the second day in difficult batting conditions to finish with a marathon eight-hour 149 from 351 deliveries, surpassing Aravinda de Silva’s 20 hundreds.
It was his second consecutive century of the series after scoring 195 in Colombo.
Jayawardene added 149 with Tillakaratne Dilshan, a record fifth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka in Galle, and a further 97 with Chaminda Vaas, who finished the day on 46.
England’s bowlers toiled without reward throughout the morning before a double-strike just before tea lifted their spirits in a game they must win to level the series.
The Jayawardene-Dilshan stand was broken by a run out as Dilshan called for a quick single in an effort to help Jayawardene reach his century minutes before the break.
Alastair Cook hit the stumps with an underarm flick running in from gully and Dilshan was adjudged run out for 84 by the television umpire Asoka de Silva.
England’s morale was immediately boosted further with the quick fall of wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who nicked an outswinger from medium-pacer Ravi Bopara.
England’s fast bowlers all bowled well, maintaining a more consistent line and length than during the first morning but were let down by their fielders.
Dilshan, on seven, slashed a chance to Cook in the gully that was dropped in the second over of the day and wicketkeeper Matthew Prior missed a difficult low chance off Jayawardene late in the session when the Sri Lanka captain had made 66.
In the afternoon, Dilshan was dropped again by Prior on 54, the wicketkeeper diving in front of first slip.
Dilshan’s good fortune continued with a reprieve on 64 when he apparently gloved a delivery from Matthew Hoggard down the leg-side.
Pace bowler Steve Harmison was England’s most successful bowler, claiming three for 72 from 29 overs.
Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0 after winning the first test by 88 runs.