GALLE, Sri Lanka, Nov 08 (AFP): A Keaton Jennings century helped England put Sri Lanka on the ropes in the first Test on Thursday, setting the hosts a daunting 462 to win at notoriously low-scoring Galle.
England declared at 322 for six on day three with Jennings 146 not out after a patient innings that saw him deal deftly with the home side's tricky spin attack.
At the close of play, Sri Lanka were 15 without loss with Dimuth Karunaratne on seven and Kaushal Silva on eight after hanging on for seven overs.
In the morning session a somewhat shaky Rory Burns, brought in to fill the huge shoes of the retired Alastair Cook, was run out for 23.
Moeen Ali, out first ball in the first innings, fared little better, driving straight to Rangana Herath at mid-on off Dilruwan Perera for three.
Herath, in his last game before retiring, then got England captain Joe Root out for the second time in the match, caught behind for three.
But Jennings played cautiously and looked comfortable against spin on a wearing pitch that promises Sri Lanka a Herculean task on day four.
Ben Stokes hit a brisk 62 off 93 balls that saw three sixes, including one back over Perera's head and an almighty sweep high over midwicket off Dhananjaya de Silva to bring up the 300.
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