Lahiru Thirimanne makes century as Sri Lanka continue fightback against England

Will Macpherson
·1-min read
Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne celebrates his century against England in Galle (SLC)
Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne celebrates his century against England in Galle (SLC)

Lahiru Thirimanne scored his first Test century for almost eight years as Sri Lanka continued to fight back on the fourth morning in Galle.

England picked up two wickets in the opening session, including an important strike from Sam Curran with the new ball, but by lunch Sri Lanka trailed by just 44 with six wickets in hand.

Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 135 in an abject batting display on the opening day, then Joe Root’s brilliant double-century gave England a lead of 286 on first innings.

Sri Lanka’s resistance began on Saturday and continued into Sunday as Thirimanne made an impressive century.

He lost nightwatchman Lasith Embuldeniya, caught at short cover off Dom Bess, in the day’s second over, but settled into a strong partnership of 52 with Angelo Mathews.

Bess and Jack Leach, England’s frontline spinners, continued to bowl too short and tended to follow good balls with bad ones. Root even turned to debutant Dan Lawrence’s funky part-timers, and he beat Thirimanne all ends up.

Thirimanne, appropriately, reached his ton with a cut off a Bess short ball. That was his 11th four from his 226th ball, and brought him his second Test century, with the first coming against Bangladesh in March 2013.

England took the new ball immediately and Sam Curran, as he so often seems to, struck when he was most needed. A little nip backer took Thirimanne’s inside edge and Jos Buttler took a fine catch.

Mathews made it to lunch with captain Dinesh Chandimal as Sri Lanka approached parity.