Moeen Ali scored his Test-best 155 not out © Getty Images
Moeen Ali scored his Test-best 155 not out © Getty Images

England reached to a commanding position in the match after scoring 498 for 9 before skipper Alastair Cook declared the innings. Moeen Ali stole the show with his career best innings of 155 off 207 balls. He scored his half century in 105 balls and then accelerated. He scored the rest of 102 runs in just 102 balls at a strike rate of 100. He was dropped early on in the innings today. He batted with the lower order and the tail to take England into a better position on Day 2. He shared partnerships with Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and James Anderson. Wickets kept falling at other end but Ali kept his cool to keep the scoreboard moving. He prevented his teammate Finn from Sri Lankan bowler’s assault. They were coming round the wicket and banging the ball short, leaving the batsmen no room and compelling him to play the pull shot. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Chester-le-street

Rangana Herath was able to take his first wicket in the match in his 29th over. He completed his 300 Test wickets and as a left arm spinner, only stands behind Daniel Vettori. He took the wicket of Steven Finn. Sri Lankan fielders were not up to the mark, dropping catches and misfielding. On the contrary, their fielding was spot on yesterday, taking spectacular catches. England were 310 for 6 at the start of Day 2. It’s a failure on Sri Lanka’s part that they let England batsmen add 188 runs to that. READ: Rangana Herath takes 300 Test wickets

Fast bowlers failed to impress against Moeen Ali who decimated the bowling attack by hitting boundaries at will and working the ball in empty spaces to pick up twos on a regular interval. Pradeep took 4 wickets in the match and stood out of the lot. He was supported by Suranga Lakmal and Herath taking one wicket each today. READ: Moeen Ali reaches 1,000 Test runs

Yesterday, the highlight of the day was Alex Hales and Joe Root’s innings. They  scored 83 and 80 respectively and shared a 96 run stand to get England out of trouble. Hales once again failed to convert his half century into a century. He was sent back to the pavilion by Milinda Siriwardana, caught at slips by the skipper Mathews. Root was beaten by the uneven bounce off the pitch, taking a leaning edge off the bat towards the covers.  LUNCH REPORT

James Vince played a loose shot to throw his wicket away. He was lured by Siriwardana to play the cover drive. He departed for 35 after playing himself in. Bairstow was again playing his natural game. He was denied a half century as he got out off an inside edge to the wicketkeeper. Before that England had a faulty start losing two wickets in the first session.

Alastair Cook falled once again to reach 10,000 runs in Tests. He fell short of five runs this time around. Nick Compton played a loose shot trying to pull the ball towards long leg region area for a boundary. He found Lakmal who took an outstanding catch at the boundary to send him packing at a score of 9.

Eranga failed to make any impact on the game as he remained wicketless after England’s innings. It was a surprise that Siriwardana was not given the ball on Day 2 who took 2 crucial wickets yesterday. Sri Lanka are on backfoot as they are being dominated by England once again.

Brief Scores: England 498 for 9 (Moeen Ali 155, Suranga Lakmal 4 for 107) vs Sri Lanka

LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Chester-le-street

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)