Sri Lankan openers Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne led a fightback from the hosts with a 101-run partnership after England captain Joe Root’s double hundred powered them to a score of 421 on Day 3 of the first Test. At stumps, Sri Lanka were 156/2 and trailed England by 130 runs.
Root scored his fourth double century in Tests in the first session of the day. Root went on to score 228, which included 18 fours and one six, before falling to Dilruwan Perera. Root was the last man to be out and lunch was called with the end of the England innings.
Sri Lanka came out fighting with Perera and Thirimanne holding fort and the pair took the hosts through to tea without losing a wicket. Perera finally fell to Sam Curran halfway through the third session and Kusal Mendis, who had got four consecutive ducks before Saturday walked in.
Mendis took six balls to get off the mark and went on to put up 54 runs for the second wicket before falling to Jack Leach in the second last over of the day. Nightwatchman Lasith Embuldeniya was sent out to see off the last over and Sri Lanka ended the day with eight wickets in hand.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 135 and 156/2 (Lahiru Thirimanne 76 not out, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis 15) trail England 421 (Joe Root 228, Dan Lawrence 73; Dilruwan Perera 4/109, Lasith Embuldeniya 3/176)