Keaton Jennings dug deep as England stretched their lead over Sri Lanka to 250 in the first Test at Galle.
Jennings batted throughout the third morning for 60 not out – his first half-century since his second Test almost two years ago – as the tourists reached 111 for three by lunch.
The left-hander was considered fortunate to hang on to his place after a troubled summer, but, having already made 46 in the first innings, he has repaid the selectors’ faith with reserves of concentration and character.
England scored 73 runs for three wickets in the session, scoring just two boundaries as they favoured hard work and hard running over exuberant strokeplay.
Sri Lanka made some inroads as they scrapped for a foothold, Rory Burns (23), Moeen Ali and Joe Root (both three) all falling in vastly different circumstances.
Burns, having already survived a close DRS referral, was first to go, run out for 23 by Dimuth Karunaratne.
His eagerness to dash through after tapping the ball into the onside perhaps betrayed a growing frustration and, following a soft dismissal for nine in his maiden knock, he will perhaps see his Test debut as a missed opportunity.
Moeen avoided a pair but did not linger, desperately hacking Dilruwan Perera to mid-on attempting to up the ante.
Root was the key wicket and retiring hero Rangana Herath claimed it for the second time in the match, gripping the surface and taking the edge as the captain pushed forward.
Jennings had a slice of luck late in the session, surviving an lbw shout that would have been given out on review had one been called.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Rory Burns was run out as England set about stretching their lead over Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle.
Resuming on 38 for nought on the third morning, with a 177-run lead, the tourists were in a position of considerable strength despite Burns’ unforced dismissal for 23.
After an hour’s play they had moved to 64 for one, Keaton Jennings in place on 35 not out alongside Moeen Ali.
Burns and Jennings took minimal risks in the early stages of the game, deflecting Suranga Lakmal’s seamers and sweeping only when it seemed safe to do so against Dilruwan Perera’s off-spin.
Burns survived one tight DRS referral for lbw on 13 and his eagerness to dash through for an ill-judged single betrayed a lack of fluency at the crease, Dimuth Karunaratne throwing down the stumps from mid-wicket.
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Pakistan’s leg-spinner Shadab Khan took three wickets in an over but New Zealand still scored 266-9 in the first day-night international in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Shadab finished with 4-38 – his third four-wicket haul – after Ross Taylor (80) and Tom Latham (68) had stitched together a 130-run partnership for the fourth wicket after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat.
Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi finished with 4-46.
Trent Boult got the Kiwis off to a great start as he took a hat-trick in the third over, dismissing Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohammaed Hafeez to reduce Pakistan to 8/3.
Do not miss any of action by following our live ball-by-ball coverage from Abu Dhabi below.