Keaton Jennings
Keaton Jennings (AFP Photo)

The second Test between Sri Lanka and England is heading towards a close finish. At the end of the fourth day play, brought to an early end due to rain, Sri Lanka needed 75 runs to win while England needed three more wickets to seal the series.

The hosts, 226/7 in their chase of 301, are pinning their hopes on Niroshan Dickweall who is unbeaten on 27 off 30 after quick wickets brought the tourists back in the contest. Angelo Mathews had dropped anchor and his 88 took Sri Lanka to 221/5 with 80 runs needed to level the series at 1-1. However, Moeen Ali and Jack Leach struck in quick succession to put the game in balance.

England opener Keaton Jennings feels that keeping the run-rate under control will be the key on the final day. “We need to have a good first half hour tomorrow, even if we just restrict the scoring rate, that will build the pressure on them to play a false shot,” Jennings told Sky Sports. “There’s enough balls in there to create that pressure, we just need to make sure we hold that scoring rate.

He added, “Even some of the good balls turn too much, so that slow turn allows you to get the ball away square, so even when you bowl good balls you still seem to go at threes and fours an over. We need to restrict that as much as we can.

“Our mood is really positive. A good day’s work but it’s set up to be a really good Test match. The last four days have been absolutely amazing to watch.”

The match, which seemingly was in grasp of Sri Lanka at the tea-break, saw a dramatic turnaround with Moeen striking with the second delivery of the third and final session.

“When you walk off the field with 80 needed, and five wickets in hand and a guy well set, it’s tense, but then you get two breakthroughs and suddenly it looks a different game. Wickets have fallen in clusters, as we saw in our innings. It is tough to start, so hopefully we can strike early and put the pressure on,” Jennings said.

However, England will have to deal with the threat that Dickwella poses and keeping him under control will be the key. “He’s a bit awkward. He sweeps, reverse sweeps, puts you under pressure, so hopefully we can hold him tight,” he said.