Jayawardene, Samaraweera revive Sri Lanka in post lunch session at Colombo

Thilan Samaraweera plays a shot during his knock of 54 off 129 balls AFP

Colombo: Apr 3, 2012

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene hit an unbeaten 74 as Sri Lanka bounced back after a disastrous start in the second and final Test against England in Colombo on Tuesday.

Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera (54) put on 124 for the fourth wicket after James Anderson had struck early blows to reduce the hosts to 30-3 within the first hour at the P. Sara Oval.

Sri Lanka, electing to bat after winning the toss, recovered to post 155-4 by tea in a remarkable re-run of the start of the first Test in Galle, which the hosts won by 75 runs.

Sri Lanka had slumped to 15-3 in the first four overs of the match at Galle, before Jayawardene and Samaraweera rescued the hosts by putting on a half-century stand.

Jayawardene, who went on to hit a match-winning 180, looked good for another big knock as he went to tea with nine boundaries and a six against his name.

Samaraweera fell just before tea for 54, trapped leg-before by a sharp in-cutter from seamer Tim Bresnan.

Angelo Mathews, who returned to the side after missing the first Test with a calf injury, was unbeaten on one at the break.

England, whose defeat at Galle followed a 3-0 rout by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier in the year, need a win to draw the series and retain their number one ranking.

Andrew Strauss men will slip to second spot behind South Africa if they lose or draw the match.

Anderson struck in his third over when he forced Tillakaratne Dilshan to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Matt Prior after the previous two balls had been driven for boundaries.

Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed first ball for the second match in a row when he was snapped up by Strauss in the slips, the England captain taking the catch at second attempt.

Lahiru Thirimanne padded up to a straight ball from Anderson and was given out leg-before by umpire Bruce Oxenford, a decision upheld by the third umpire after the batsman asked for a review.

The tourists went in with a three-man seam attack, bringing in Bresnan and Steven Finn to partner Anderson with the new ball. Spinner Monty Panesar was dropped, while Stuart Broad has flown home with a calf injury.

Sri Lanka made two changes from the side that won in Galle, as a fit-again Mathews and Dhammika Prasad returned in place of Dinesh Chandimal and Chanaka Welegedara. (AFP)

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 155 for 4 (Mahela Jayawardene 74*, Thilan Samaraweera 54; James Anderson 3 for 38) vs England

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