|Second Evaluation, Pallekele (day two)|
|England 290 & 0-0|
|Sri Lanka 336: Roshen 85, Karunaratne 63, Dhananjaya 59, Leach 3-70, Rashid 3-75|
|Sri Lanka lead by 46 runs|
Roshen Silva hit a resolute 85 to frustrate England and give Sri Lanka a lead of 46 on day two of an evenly poised second Test in Pallekele.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya p Silva made half-centuries until the hosts were reduced by England to 165-6 soon after lunch.
But Roshen forged four defiant ventures to take Sri Lanka to 336 and negated the spinners of England.
Nightwatchman Jack Leach and the last played over as England closed on 0-0.
The tourists were awarded five penalty runs during the innings of Sri Lanka after Roshen intentionally ran short. The runs were added to their first-innings total of 285.
On a testing pitch that is still producing sharp turn, England will have to bat with all the focus and determination Sri Lanka revealed to post a challenging fourth-innings target.
England direct the three-match string 1-0 and are currently looking for their first away series win under captain Joe Root.
Superb Sri Lanka catch lead
With Sri Lanka six down and monitoring by over a hundred runs, England could have been optimistic of securing a lead and were on top, but the hosts’ arrangement fought superbly.
After just about surviving Adil Rashid’s testing spell, Roshen received stoic support and peacefully played the spin to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
Niroshan Dickwella emulated the approach of Jos Buttler on day one, using reverse osmosis and sweeps to knock on the spinners off their span to create 25 before sweeping over a full Joe Root delivery which skidded to his pads.
Roshen opened up, After Leach trapped Dilruwan Perera lbw to get 15. He penalized an England before falling lbw to 32, along with Akila Dananjaya, who made a eloquent 31 off 39 balls and hit Moeen Ali down the ground for six.
Additional to Karunaratne and Dhananjaya’s patient partnership of 96 in the morning, this was comfortably Sri Lanka’s finest day of the series.
Their spinners were inconsistent, enabling the hosts to relieve the pressure and producing too many balls involving the ones that are unplayable although england didn’t bowl badly.
More to follow.