Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sri Lanka set 462 after Jennings's splendid to

Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test

Sri Lanka set 462 after Jennings's splendid to

GALLE, Nov 8: A splendid second Test ton from Keaton Jennings helped Sri Lanka set 462 in Rangana Herath's farewell Test in Galle on Thursday. Jennings made an unbeaten 146 as England declared on 322 for 6 before declaring with just about 20 minutes of play remaining in the day, reports Cricbuzz. When Sri Lank bagged three quick wickets at the start of the day, it gave them hope of keeping things in check even if the match slipped out of their grasp bit by bit. However, by the time the second session ended they had been well and truly knocked out of the contest. England were extremely cautious at the start of the day and that helped Sri Lanka build a strangle that led to frustration. Rory Burns was tied down by Dilruwan Perera and Suranga Lakmal before he was run out looking for a non-existent single. Moeen Ali threw away his wicket trying to take on Perera while Herath bagged Joe Root for the second time in the Test. From 60 for no loss, England slipped to 74 for 3. With the pitch behaving like a notorious child throwing tantrums and constantly posing questions of the batsmen's techniques, they were still ahead but the quick wickets gave the hosts hope. But then they ran into the Ben Stokes-Jennings alliance that shut the door on them. Both Stokes and Jennings rebuilt slowly, scoring just 57 in the first hour after lunch. More importantly, England remained unhurt and that doomed Sri Lanka's confidence. As the shoulders dropped, runs started flowing in easy. They scored 107 for the fourth wicket to help the team take the lead over 300. Perera eventually broke the stand, with a delivery that was destined for a wicket. From outside leg, he got one to turn sharply and open up Stokes. The ball bounced past the outside edge and knocked over the off pole to leave the left-hander frustrated, who felt Sri Lanka were bowling negative lines. Jennings, from the other end, saw batsmen falling to innocuous deliveries and also to a vicious one. However, that didn't deter him or topple his concentration. He was more than happy to bring on the reverse sweep to get out of jail and continued to get lucky at times. The opener ended the second session unbeaten on 98 and soon after got to his ton in the 76th over with a single against Dhananjaya de Silva. His first ton came in his debut game in Mumbai and the two-year wait was finally over. As the burden from his shoulders dropped, after a career-saving ton, he stitched some handy stands with Ben Stokes and Ben Foakes. Buttler and Jennings made 77 while Foakes contributed a quick 34-ball 37 during his 61-run stand with the opener. As the declaration came, Herath walked off to a rousing applause from the England supporters and the Galle faithful. He ended his career with 433 wickets - eighth overall in the list of highest wicket-takers - just one behind Kapil Dev's tally of 434. While emotions took over for a while, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva walked out knowing they had a herculean challenge ahead of them. They survived the seven overs before stumps to take the team to 15 for no loss. In all probabilities, the match is beyond Sri Lanka. The onus is now on the batsmen to delay the inevitable. BRIEF SCORES: England 342 & 322/6 (Keaton Jennings 146*; Rangana Herath 2-59) lead Sri Lanka 203 & 15/0 by 447 runs.

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