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England have 'great chance' to win second Test despite Sri Lanka fightback

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Ben Stokes on the front foot

England take to the field in Sri Lanka looking to record their first series victory there since 2000-01.

Then, Silva pushed one to third man and appeared to assume the ball reached the boundary.

Leach completed a memorable day by opening the batting in England's second innings and playing out the last over as a nightwatchman.

It didn't cost England much as they were able to make the breakthrough when Moeen Ali trapped Dananjaya leg before wicket on 31, but Anderson failed to pick up a wicket in the innings. The hosts were handed a five-run penalty in a freaky incident during the final session, after the match officials ruled Sri Lanka's batsmen to have breached the law governing deliberate short runs. With Nos. 9, 10 and 11, he put on partnerships worth 41, 56 and 28 respectively, placing Sri Lanka in a position of some strength when they had seemed likely to concede a significant first-innings lead. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, was forced into two changes. He turned before completing his first run.

"Rooty (captain Joe Root) has been massive in the dressing room saying "don't worry about making mistakes" and we're just trying to go out with a positive mindset". Stokes has spent most of his 47-Test career batting at No 5 or 6, and has only twice batted as high as No 4 - both times when England were chasing quick runs. Stand-in skipper Suranga Lakmal was unbeaten on 15 at the end.

"As leader of this group of players, I promise that we will do all we can to give you a performance to remember and thank you for your part in this Test match".

The primary reason for deliberately running a short run - I.e. crossing in the middle of the pitch, then crossing back without touching down, is to ensure the senior batsman in the partnership retains the strike, perhaps in a situation where the batsmen realise it is not possible to complete two runs in their entirety. "Ben Stokes has a strong arm, so we'll be cautious".

"If we can get England before 250 it will be a gettable target for us", he added. However, the lead is important ahead of an intriguing couple of days.

De Silva kept his calm after losing Karunaratne and raised his fifty with a boundary off Stokes.

The best performance with the willow, though, came from Roshen Silva, who was the last Sri Lankan wicket to fall in the innings.

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