England spinner Dom Bess took five wickets as hosts Sri Lanka were shot out for 135 at tea in the first test at Galle International Stadium on Thursday. Bess took 5-30 off just 10.1 overs with strong support from Stuart Broad (3-20) as Sri Lanka’s batsmen threw away their wickets generously after electing to bat first on the opening day.
It was the lowest first innings score in a test at Galle, well short of the previous mark of 181 for Sri Lanka against Pakistan 21 years ago. England, who won 3-0 in their last series in Sri Lanka two years ago, will start their innings after tea. The 23-year-old Bess got off to the perfect start when he took the wicket of the dangerous Kusal Perera with only his second ball of the morning. Attempting an ambitious reverse sweep, Perera succeeded only in top edging the ball to Joe Root at slip to depart for 20 in the first of several ill-considered shots from the home batsmen.
Niroshan Dickwella was caught at backward point for 12 while Dasun Shanaka, who scored 23, went in bizarre circumstances, sweeping his shot onto the ankle of Jonny Bairstow at short leg, popping it up into the air for wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to claim. Bess completed a second test five-wicket haul by bowling Dilruwan Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Sri Lanka’s shot selection was so bad that Michael Vaughan called it the ‘worst possible advertisement for Test cricket’. Nasser Hussain termed it the most farcical 46 overs of play he has seen.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 14, 2021
Watch live https://t.co/SMbnhqovjC
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) January 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis was the target of cricket fans on Twitter after he made his fourth duck in a row. Or in Twitter language, an ‘audi’.
Most consecutive ducks in Tests when batting in Top 6 positions
5 Danny Morrison
4 Pankaj Roy
4 Mohinder Amarnath
4 Mark Waugh
4 KUSAL MENDIS #EngvSL
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 14, 2021
“Audi” it is, then… Four Test ducks in a row for Kusal Mendis https://t.co/qiMkUFjo1j
— Alan Gardner (@alanroderick) January 14, 2021
Congratulations to Kusal Mendis on obtaining the hard to achieve Audi.
— Dennis (@DennisCricket_) January 14, 2021
A fourth consecutive duck for Kusal Mendis in Test cricket! pic.twitter.com/28YcfMJ1sH
— Sudhanshu Ranjan Singh (@memegineers_) January 14, 2021
Might as well make Kusal Mendis a brand ambassador of this: pic.twitter.com/tEfycSPqFR
— Hemant Kumar (@SportsCuppa) January 14, 2021
Kusal Mendis’s Fridge: pic.twitter.com/q4Grt4weK6
— Umer Shafique. (@TheKashmiriGuy) January 14, 2021
In reply, England captain Joe Root made a half-century as the visitors looked set for a big lead.