Foakes leads England to solid first day in Galle


Ben Foakes scored an unbeaten 87 on debut to lead England to a solid 321/8 at stumps on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Foakes was only a late call-up to the England squad after Jonny Bairstow suffered an ankle injury in training.

The Surrey wicketkeeper took his chance though as he batted for 184 balls and struck six fours.

Foakes and the England lower-order dragged the tourists out of trouble as the tourists stumbled to 113/5 at lunch.

The gloveman first found a handy partner in Jos Buttler (38) as the pair added 61 and then a seventh wicket stand of 88 with the impressive Sam Curran (48).

Adil Rashid (35) then also provided solid support to Foakes as they put on 54.

Jack Leach (15 not out) and will resume with Foakes on Day 2 with the latter hoping to reach his maiden century.

England imploded before lunch as they played some reckless shots in the morning session as they looked to counter the Sri Lanka spinners.

Another debutant, opener Rory Burns (9), was caught down the leg side off seamer Suranga Lakmal and Moeen Ali saw his stumps shattered by the same bowler in the third over.

Keaton Jennings rode his luck as he was dropped twice on his way to 46 and put on 62 with his captain Joe Root (35).

The three dismissals before the lunch break would frustrate the visitors though as Jeenings was bowled trying to play a cut shot to off-spinner Diruwan Perera.

Root then yorked himself and was bowled to give Rangana Herath his 100th Test wicket at Galle and Stokes was also bowled going for an ambitious sweep off Perera.

Perera finished the day as the most successful bowler with figures of 4-70 in 28 overs while Herath, in his final Test, had 1-78 in 25 overs.