England lose five wickets in the opening session of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle

England lose five wickets in the opening session of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle

There is aggression and there is foolhardiness, and on Tuesday morning in Galle England crossed the line. After being a product of overzealous batting.

At 72 for two, with Keaton Jennings and Joe Root nudging five at over, England might have argued that their busyness was not misplaced. But there have been risks along the way.

Root survived a big sweep on 25 because Akila Dananjaya had hit him fractionally outside the line. And, on 26, Jennings was badly dropped off the same bowler by Angelo Mathews at slip, trying to work a googly to leg. It was entertaining, but not convincing.

England lost five wickets, including captain Joe Root, in the opening session of the first test

England lost five wickets, including captain Joe Root, in the opening session of the first test

England lost five wickets, including captain Joe Root, in the opening session of the first test

Debutant Rory Burns was the first to go, strangled down the leg-side off Suranga Lakmal

Debutant Rory Burns was the first to go, strangled down the leg-side off Suranga Lakmal

Debutant Rory Burns was the first to go, strangled down the leg-side off Suranga Lakmal

Moeen Ali, England's first drop, then had his stump removed first ball by Lakmal

Moeen Ali, England's first drop, then had his stump removed first ball by Lakmal

Moeen Ali, England's first drop, then had his stump removed first ball by Lakmal

Herath's 100th in Tests at Galle. Hera's 100th in Tests at Galle. Rangan's Herath, yorked himself, and what's bowled for 35 – a wicket that brought up the soon-to-retire. A fireworks of sort went off at the Fort End, though the bang could easily have been slotted bat on forehead.

Jennings, meanwhile, was swept confidently and had moved to 46, with his highest score since returning to the side against Pakistan at Headingley in June. Unaccountably, he lud back to cut Dilruwan Perera, who is down a quicker and knocked back middle stump. It was an utter waste.

And England were 103 for five when Ben Stokes went so far across his stumps to sweep.

Earlier, they lost two wickets in the third over night. Rory Burns's first scoring shot in Test cricket was a neat clip off his legs for four, but when Suranga Lakmal strayed down leg, Burns could only help a move into the hands of wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. Out for nine, he's off with a shake of the head.

Keaton Jennings looks assured at the crease

Keaton Jennings looks assured at the crease

Keaton Jennings looks assured at the crease

Jennings was finally dismissed after seeing his captain

Jennings was finally dismissed after seeing his captain

Jennings was finally dismissed after seeing his captain

All-rounder Ben Stokes then put England in dire straits after missing his sweep shot

All-rounder Ben Stokes then put England in dire straits after missing his sweep shot

All-rounder Ben Stokes then put England in dire straits after missing his sweep shot

Next ball, Moeen Ali missed a straight one, as Lakmal went round the wicket: 10 for two, with Root required to avert a hat-trick.

For a crowd dominated by traveling fans, some of them are making their way into the ground. And while Jennings and Root responded with a flurry of boundaries, England never quite played the percentages.

Their two wicketkeepers, Jos Buttler and his debutant Ben Foakes (who has the glove), wants to have their early tilt at the ascendancy.

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.