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Superb Stokes sparks England fightback before lunch

16 November 2018
Superb Stokes sparks England fightback before lunch

Sri Lanka took a slender 46-run lead in the second Test against England on Day 2 of the match.

Moeen, who claimed eight wickets in the series opener which England won by 211 runs inside four days, will bat at number six instead. Curran, fast becoming an England hero, said reaching near 300 was a "massive" achievement.

A day that saw Ben Stokes, batting at the key number three position, become the latest to fail also reinforced Buttler and Curran's standing lower down the order.

But Silva built crucial partnerships including a 56-run ninth wicket stand with Akila Dananjaya as the hosts edged past England's total.

Dozens of England fans lost their rooms at the Earls Regency Hotel after a row between the hotel management and Sri Lanka Cricket ended with rooms meant for the two teams sold to tour groups.

The wicketkeeper, who is playing as a batsmen in this series, moved quickly to 63 before a fluffed reverse sweep against Pushpakumara led to his dismissal.

Contingency plans, including the players staying two hours away in Dambulla and even moving the fixture to Colombo, were floated and rejected and only after the intervention of sports minister Faiszer Musthapha were the teams installed at their preferred lodgings. He hit six sixes and a four off the spinners and his last wicket partnership of 60 with Jimmy Anderson was the best of the innings.

"I liked seeing it spin but sometimes you bowl a lot of balls that miss the outside edge". One would skid and one would spin and bite quite aggressively. I just knew I had to get through one over and make it last as long as possible.

Root appeared to show dissent at umpire Marais Erasmus' decision to turn down an appeal for the dismissal of Dilruwan Perera off Moeen Ali by shaking his head and kicking the turf. He was out for 19.

'There is nothing about the Sri Lanka spinners which should worry England too much - they don't have a Muttiah Muralitharan or Shane Warne - but the tourists do have a collapse in them. Recently, after Sam Curran hit six sixes in a Test against Sri Lanka before hitting his first boundary, European Central Bank posed a question where it asked if fans know of anyone who has hit six sixes before getting his first boundary. Nightwatchman Pushpakumara then survived the 15 balls he faced before stumps.