By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 15/11/18 6:53am
Ben Stokes’ brilliance in the field helped England finish the session on a high as Sri Lanka reached 139-4 at lunch on day two of the second Test.
A partnership of 96 between Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva had frustrated England’s bowlers for much of the morning but with just 20 minutes until the break, they tried to sneak a quick single only for Stokes to throw down the stumps and send Karunaratne on his way.
Soon afterwards, Stokes was in the action again, taking an excellent one-handed catch at slip off Jack Leach to remove Kusal Mendis.
Night-watchman Malinda Pushpakumara (4) was the only wicket to go down in the first hour, miscuing a slog-sweep off Moeen Ali to Rory Burns at midwicket, Karunaratne and Dhananjaya thwarting England from there on in.
Karunaratne brought up his 18th Test fifty from the last ball before drinks as England’s spinners struggled to find any rhythm, perhaps trying to force the issue.
Joe Root was forced to introduce James Anderson to try and wrestle back some control and when Dhanajaya dropped the ball into offside and set off for a quick single off the seamer, Stokes swooped and, with just one stump to aim at, hit his target to remove Karunaratne.
November 15, 2018, 12:00pm
Dhananjaya went through to his half-century but Mendis last just three balls, edging the first ball he faced from Leach to the left of Stokes at slip, who stuck out his hand to take a stunning reaction catch.
England will be looking to press home their advantage in the afternoon session while Sri Lanka will be hoping Dhananjaya and Angelo Mathews can rebuild to help them to at least match England’s first-innings 285.
Watch continued live coverage from the second Test on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.