NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » 1st Test: England scent victory after Jennings century

1st Test: England scent victory after Jennings century

November 08, 2018 19:11 IST

England's Keaton Jennings plays a shot during the 1st Test vs Sri Lanka in Galle on Thursday

IMAGE: England's Keaton Jennings plays a shot during the 1st Test vs Sri Lanka in Galle on Thursday. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Opener Keaton Jennings ended his two-year wait for a second Test century with a career-best 146 not out as England inched towards a comprehensive victory in the opening Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday.


Having taken a handy 139-run first-innings lead, England declared their second innings on 322 for six to set Sri Lanka an improbable 462-run victory target.

The hosts ended day three on 15 for no loss, 447 behind and staring at a crushing defeat inside four days in spinner Rangana Herath's farewell Test.

Openers Dimuth Karunaratne (seven) and Kaushal Silva (eight) survived seven overs but Sri Lanka will need a near miracle to save the Test.

Earlier, the tourists resumed on 38-0 and their openers consolidated their position until they suffered a mini-collapse.

Debutant Rory Burns's (23) foolhardy pursuit of a non-existent single culminated in his run-out and Moeen Ali could not justify his promotion to number three for the second time in the match, following up his first-innings golden duck with three.

England captain Joe Root (three) also had a deja vu moment when Herath dismissed him for the second time in the match.

Jennings, however, looked confident against the spinners, often playing the sweep shot -- both traditional and reverse -- to negate them.

Ben Stokes, Jennings's partner in their 107-run fourth-wicket partnership, shrugged off his early tentativeness to clobber three sixes in his 62 before Dilruwan Perara spun one past his bat to hit the top of the off-stump with a beautiful delivery.

Jennings, who hit a hundred in his debut Test against India in 2016, took a single off Dhananjaya de Silva to end his century drought.

The 26-year-old pumped air while running before taking his helmet off and raising his bat in celebration.

The left-hander's patient 280-ball knock included nine fours as he demonstrated to his team mates how to play spin in the sub-continent.

Jos Buttler made 35 and England's first-innings hero Ben Foakes contributed 37 before Root decided to give his bowler a go at the Sri Lankan openers in fading light.

Herath claimed three wickets in his 93rd and final Test at the same venue where the 40-year-old left-arm spinner made his debut against Australia in 1999.


Sri Lanka second innings:

F. Karunaratne not out 7

J. Silva not out 8

Extras:  0

Total (For nor loss, 7 overs)  15

Bowling: Curran 1-1-0-0, Anderson 1-0-4-0, Ali 2-0-7-0, Rashid 2-0-2-0, Leach 1-0-2-0.

© Copyright 2019 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.