Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews (AFP Photo)

Angelo Mathews hit a fighting half-century to arrest Sri Lanka’s slide as they took the tea-break at 136/5 on Day 2 of the first Test against England in Galle on Wendesday.

After England shredded their top-order to leave them tottering at 40/4, Mathews joined captain Dinesh Chandimal in reviving the innings through a 75-run stand. He went on to score his 30th Test fifty and was unbeaten on 52 when the second session came to an end with the hosts still 206 runs behind.

Chandimal battled through a groin injury to hit three fours before Adil Rashid ended England’s frustration by having them stumped on 33. Niroshan Dickwell then saw through the remainder of the session safely with Mathews who has struck three fours so far in a patient knock.

Earlier, Ben Foakes became the 20th English cricketer to score a century on Test debut that helped England consolidate their position in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. Foakes’ maiden ton lifted England to 342 before Sri Lanka’s top order crumbled against visitors and they were left in all sorts of trouble.

Foakes, resuming the second day on 87, had added just seven runs when Jack Leach was removed by Dilruwan Perera to complete his five-wicket-haul. With last man Anderson in, Foakes decided to the take the aggressive route and brought up his century, becoming just the second English wicketkeeper after Matt Prior to bring up a century in maiden Test.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 136/5 (Angelo Mathews 52*; Sam Curran 1/16) trail England 342 by 206 runs