Late wickets open door for Sri Lanka

England

England held a lead of 63 runs at stumps on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka, though a late flurry of wickets left them with just four batsmen in hand, on 320 for six at Headingley.

England held a lead of 63 runs at stumps on day two of the second Test against Sri Lanka, though a late flurry of wickets left them with just four batsmen in hand, on 320 for six at Headingley.

The highlight of the day was opener Sam Robson's maiden Test century, a lovely display of batting, while Ian Bell and Gary Ballance added half centuries. But the new ball in the last hour saw three wickets fall for one run.

England began the day on 36 for none, with Alastair Cook and Robson in the middle, after bowling Sri Lanka out for 257 the day before. Robson was on 21 at the start, while Cook, struggling for form, was on 14.

The skipper did not last long though and was the one victim in the session. He once again pressed forward and got the outside edge, this time caught by Kumar Sangakkara for 17, prompting further calls for his resignation.

But Robson, in only his second Test, was impressive in the morning, making his way to a half century by lunch, while number three Ballance continued his good form from Lord's to sit on 30 at the break.

The afternoon was dominated by the young pairing, as they batted at a sedate pace but ate up the deficit, putting on 142 runs together over nearly 50 overs. In that time, Ballance brought up a half ton to go with the century in the first Test.

He was eventually out just before tea though, for 74. Angelo Mathews' medium pace did the trick, and Ballance got an outside edge to Dinesh Chandimal behind the stumps. This brought Bell to the middle, in his 100th Test.

The runs kept flowing from there as Robson recorded his ton, off 220 balls, and gave a generous wave around the ground, who were standing in appreciation. This was only his third Test innings.

He and Bell put on 87 runs before Robson was out for 127, bowled by Nuwan Pradeep. The new ball did the trick, and thus local favourite Joe Root came in to join Bell, who soon added another half century to his records. In this time, England also took the lead.

The new cherry continued to garner results though, as Bell was next out for 64, before a mini-collapse saw two more wickets fall for just one runs added. Root was out for 13, and then Moeen Ali for two, all three caught behind.

At the close, Matt Prior was on three off 26 balls, while Chris Jordan sat on four. Sri Lanka would have been annoyed by the number of extras they gave away (16) as there were 11 no-balls, including four in one Pradeep over.

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