Leeds: Sam Robson hit his maiden Test hundred, guiding England to a 63-run lead in the second Test, at Headingley, here, on Saturday.
Sri Lanka bowlers, too, hit back later as England, from a commanding 278 for two, have been reduced to 320 for six at stumps on Day II. Robson made a solid 127 before Nuwan Pradeep, armed with the second new ball, brought one back to knock over the former’s off-stump.
The in-form Joe Root was furious with himself for his soft dismissal. He guided Angelo Mathews straight to the wicket-keeper. Moeen Ali, too, threw his wicket away, perishing off the bowling of Shaminda Eranga.
Matt Prior (3) and Chris Jordan (4) will be at the crease when action resumes on Sunday. Earlier, England resumed on 36 for no loss with plans to eat into the Sri Lankan first innings total on a flat pitch.
With time and a favourable playing surface on offer, captain Alastair Cook would have hoped to arrest his slump. But his poor run continued as he managed to add just three runs to his overnight score before edging a full Dhammika Prasad delivery to Kumar Sangakkara at first slip.
Gary Ballance (74), who hit his maiden century in his second Test match, at Lord’s, was in at No.3 and he pushed England past 50 with a well-timed chop for four. Robson had started the day taking 10 off the first over he faced.