Mahela Jayawardene half-century steadies Sri Lanka

Mahela Jayawardene hit 10 boundaries and a six in 184 balls after Sri Lanka had slumped to 15 for 3 by the fourth over at Galle International Stadium on Monday Getty Images

Galle: Mar 26, 2012

Mahela Jayawardene scored an unbeaten 80 to help Sri Lanka recover from a disastrous start on Monday to total 168 for five at tea on the first day of the opening Test against England.

Jayawardene hit 10 boundaries and a six in 184 balls after Sri Lanka had slumped to 15 for 3 by the fourth over at Galle International Stadium.

England kept the home team in check by taking two wickets in the second session on a pitch that became easier to bat on after offering early movement to seam bowlers.

Resuming after lunch at 66 for 3, Thilan Samaraweera was run out for 20 with only 1 run added to the total. Samit Patel picked up his maiden test wicket when he had Dinesh Chandimal caught by Ian Bell for 27.

James Anderson had figures of 2 for 25.

Anderson, who had a review for leg-before against opener Lahiru Thirimanne turned down in his first over, removed the left-hander in his second over to make Sri Lanka 11-1.

Thirimanne hung his bat out to edge an easy catch to Graeme Swann at second slip and give Anderson his 250th wicket in his 67th Test.

The fast bowler added to the tally off the next delivery as veteran Kumar Sangakkara edged a rising ball to wicket-keeper Matt Prior.

Jayawardene denied Anderson a hat-trick with a defensive push, but lost his partner Tillakaratne Dilshan in Broad’s next over.

Dilshan, who edged Broad twice over third-man for boundaries, was caught by England captain Andrew Strauss at first slip as he attempted another wild stroke.

The tourists awarded a Test cap to all-rounder Samit Patel, who will bat in the middle-order and bowl left-arm spin, the third slow bowler in the ranks after Swann and Monty Panesar.

Patel was preferred over Ravi Bopara, who could have played only as a specialist batsman after a side strain ruled him out of bowling in the series.

Sri Lanka left out Chamara Silva, who hit 163 against the tourists in a practice match last week, to play young batsman Dinesh Chandimal.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 168 for 5 (Mahela Jayawardene 80* Dinesh Chandimal 27; James Anderson 3 for 32, Stuart Broad 1 for 41) vs England

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