Sri Lanka v England: first Test, day three – as it happened

Keaton Jennings scored an unbeaten 146 as England took control of the first Test against Sri Lanka, who are 447 runs behind with two days remaining

Women’s World T20: team-by-team guide to the action

1.25pm GMT

Related: Keaton Jennings: there were times when I was waking up panicking and stressing

12.21pm GMT

Related: Keaton Jennings hits undefeated 146 as England set Sri Lanka 462 to win

12.02pm GMT

Related: Women’s World T20: team-by-team guide to the action in West Indies

12.00pm GMT

And with that, I’m gone. We’ll be back for more tomorrow, and I hope to see you then!

11.56am GMT

Rob Smyth has handed me a couple of interesting stats:

72 Keaton Jennings’ average in three Tests in Asia. In his other 10 matches, all played in England, he averages 18.

11.54am GMT

Keaton Jennings has a chat with Sky. He talks extremely quickly.

It’s been a very special day for myself personally, and it’s very special to be in such a good position in this Test match. Hopefully we can go on and win it. It felt like there was a ball out there that could get you out so I suppose it was a cat and mouse game, trying to get off strike, trying to keep pressure on the bowler in order to get that bad ball to get off strike.

It’s tough. When you bat with a guy like Stokesy because of his aura, the way he hits the ball and the way he goes about playing, it is made easier. Jos walks in and hits it all over the place as well. Just a really good performance from a team perspective.

I suppose all you can do is try to score runs when you get that opportunity. At the end of the day the summer was tough, and my performances weren’t up to scratch. I’m happy to admit that. Hopefully I can keep putting in match-winning performances.

I did a year ago, and I think I got myself into quite a state, reading that and waking up in the middle of the night stressing about it. But not any more. I try to isolate myself and listen to a core group of people who have stuck with me for the last 25, 26 years.

We were told two overs and then there was one ball left. I felt that we were just going to go at that point, but no, one more ball and get the reverse sweep out again.

11.39am GMT

So England have two days to eke out 10 wickets on a pretty flat pitch, with quite a lot of rain forecast, as it has been for each of the three days that have so far been played without interruption.

11.37am GMT

7th over: Sri Lanka 15-0 (Karunaratne 7, Kaushal 8) Jack Leach bowls the final over of the day, England’s fifth bowler. Kaushal edges the ball into his pad and it lands just wide of Jennings at short leg for an easy single. And that is as close as England come to a breakthrough.

11.33am GMT

6th over: Sri Lanka 13-0 (Karunaratne 6, Kaushal 7) England think they might have god Kaushal Silva, Foakes having dived forward to collect a ball that deflected to him off Jennings and hit the stumps as the batsman turned to ground his bat, but replays show he got it down just in time.

11.29am GMT

5th over: Sri Lanka 12-0 (Karunaratne 6, Kaushal 6) A fifth bowler in as many overs at the start of an innings would surely have been a historic achievement, but England turn down the opportunity. Moeen goes again, and Karunaratne cuts the ball past point for four. Two overs to go.

11.27am GMT

4th over: Sri Lanka 7-0 (Karunaratne 2, Kaushal 5) Rashid is the fourth bowler in the first four overs, bowling with a slip, a leg slip and a short leg clustered around the bat. Twice the batsmen set out on a run, change their minds and return whence they came, the only real discomfort so far being that which they have created for themselves.

11.24am GMT

3rd over: Sri Lanka 6-0 (Karunaratne 2, Kaushal 4) And swiftly to spin, with Moeen Ali. A couple of singles and very little batting discomfort follow.

11.20am GMT

2nd over: Sri Lanka 3-0 (Karunaratne 1, Kaushal 3) A lovely delivery from Anderson practically slices Kaushal in two, but flies just wide of the bat. Talking of ducks, this just in from John Starbuck: “Earlier on Talksport2, Darren Gough was telling how he got a pair and got back to the dressing-room to find Mark Ealham had put a pear in his shoe.”

11.15am GMT

1st over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Karunaratne 0, Kaushal 0) Sam Curran bowls the first over, pitching the ball full, looking for swing and not finding much. A maiden. “I think duck eggs send entirely the wrong subliminal message to the the fragile cricketing subconscious,” counters Kim Thonger. “Especially a pair of them.”

11.11am GMT

The players are back out, and Sri Lanka will face seven overs at the end of a long, hot, tiring, sweaty, ice cream-free day in the field.

11.04am GMT

And with that Joe Root beckons the players in! Sam Curran’s innings was a personal highlight. Rangana Herath leaves the field ahead of his team-mates, milking a little individual applause after his last effort with the ball for Sri Lanka before retirement.

Big fan of Sam Curran raising his bat there after coming on at the nonstriker's end for one ball. #SLvEng

11.02am GMT

93rd over: England 322-6 (Jennings 146, Curran 0) The wicket was the third dot ball in the last three overs, in which England have scored 20 runs.

11.00am GMT

Foakes goes for a big ‘un again and doesn’t get enough on it. As it comes down to earth there are two fielders underneath it, and Mendis completes the catch!

10.55am GMT

92nd over: England 313-5 (Jennings 142, Foakes 32) Joe Root has changed into his whites, presumably in anticipation of a bit of fielding before the day’s out. Nobody else on England’s balcony has got the message, though, and the rest of the team are in varying states of undress. There are 10 overs remaining today. “As I head off to sleep, having thoroughly enjoyed today’s play, the eternal pessimist in me still sees rain ruining this for England,” writes Phil Withall. “Sometimes its impossible to move on from a default setting of cynical pessimism.” The weather forecast for Galle has been terrible all week, without the Test being interrupted. The next two days are much the same.

10.51am GMT

91st over: England 303-5 (Jennings 140, Foakes 30) Having forced the field back towards the boundary with a few big boundaries, England are now enjoying all the cheap singles and twos they can plunder in the resulting space. “In fun* ice cream fact news, my first job was as Mr Whippy on St Annes-On-Sea pier,” writes Phil Sawyer. What a gig. “I could pull four cones in one hand in my prime. Life’s been pretty much downhill since that peak. And anyway, what’s wrong with ice cream for breakfast? The first thing I used to do in the morning was pull myself a cone – just to check the quality of the ice cream, you understand. Oh, and also, Kim Thonger needs to explore duck eggs. Once you’ve had duck eggs you’ll never go back to hens. Lovely big, rich yolks. Although even I might draw the line at a fried egg with ice cream. Mind you…”

10.45am GMT

90th over: England 302-5 (Jennings 135, Foakes 28) Jennings hits high over midwicket, the ball landing an inch before the rope. It’s the 110th delivery bowled by Herath today, and the first boundary he has conceded. Meanwhile I was going to suggest you spend the drinks break reading this, but then I didn’t. So, here it is now:

Related: Women’s World T20: team-by-team guide to the action in West Indies

10.40am GMT

89th over: England 293-5 (Jennings 128, Foakes 26) So how will England approach this final half-session of the day? Will they continue with their gentle run-accumulation or will they ... hang on ... golly ... that is massive! Foakes thunders the ball over midwicket and into the stand, and then the next disappears over cow corner! Seventeen runs off Dananjaya’s over, so that’s that question answered, I suppose. England lead by 432.

10.30am GMT

88th over: England 276-5 (Jennings 124, Foakes 13) Back to the singles, and now a quick drinks break.

10.27am GMT

87th over: England 274-5 (Jennings 123, Foakes 12) Another Jennings single from the first ball of Perera’s over, and then blam! Foakes thumps a fine four, and thwam! The next ball disappears over mid on for six! Yes, thwam.

10.24am GMT

86th over: England 262-5 (Jennings 122, Foakes 1) Another over, another run. “As the current vogue seems to be that this England team should actually be a squad, with horses for courses selections and rotation rather than players being dropped, have we seen the first batting example of an England player who will only play on the sub continent?” wonders Mark Gillespie. “In the same way as we only play a third spinner there, and rarely even play a second outside there, is this going to be the only place Keaton Jennings plays? He now averages 62.4 on the sub-continent, and 17.7 in England. Following on from David Malan, who was apparently picked and then dropped rotated out of the team based on his suitability for Australian pitches, are we going to get a generation of English players who only play in the team on certain tours?” Um, I doubt it, but Jenning’s predilection for these conditions is certainly becoming increasingly clear.

10.21am GMT

85th over: England 261-5 (Jennings 121, Foakes 1) Back to the grindstone for Jennings, who continues to creep forward, one run at a time.

10.17am GMT

84th over: England 258-5 (Jennings 119, Foakes 0) Fabulous catch, that. Really very fine. Down low to his right, with next to no time to react.

What a grab from Kaushal at silly point!It’s unlikely to have any bearing on the result but at least Sri Lanka have something to cheer.Watch #SLvENG here https://t.co/AgoUHQz056 Over-by-over blog https://t.co/seYIArYqTR pic.twitter.com/pN7iNdQCDP

10.13am GMT

82nd over: England 258-4 (Jennings 119, Buttler 35) This may not arrive to you in proper chronological order. Sorry. On the plus side, this is a good stat.

The last England opener before Keaton Jennings to score a Test century without Alastair Cook in the side was Andrew Strauss who made 128 at Mumbai in March 2006! #SLvsENG #SLvENG

10.12am GMT

That’s a super reaction catch at silly point, and Sri Lanka have their breakthrough!

10.08am GMT

81st over: England 251-4 (Jennings 113, Buttler 34) So Chandimal and De Silva are both off the field, receiving treatment to injuries, the scoreboard is looking increasingly nasty, and the batsmen haven’t really been ruffled for ages, and if and when they eventually are there are plenty more to come. This is not a good time for Sri Lanka.

“I have been very vocal in my criticism of Mr Jennings. And I stand by most of it,” says Gary Bartley. “I think that of all the openers England have tried out post-Strauss, he looks the most ungainly and the least likely to make runs. I would have dropped him far earlier than they did and would never have brought him back into the side. However, I am chuffed to bits for him to have made a century after such a difficult run. And he does seem like a thoroughly decent chap. I hope that he now continues to make me look a fool in front of my mates.”

10.03am GMT

80th over: England 249-4 (Jennings 112, Buttler 33) Perera takes the new ball, and Buttler thumps a sweep to the rope. “Are those of us who did not join the chorus of disapproval of Keaton Jennings now allowed a modicum of smug satisfaction?” wonders Brian Withington. “I suspect my own reticence was part indolence and part aversion to the sort of abuse regularly directed at the blessed Alastair. Anyway, the lad will do well if he has a test career long enough to garner the same volume of nonsense, never mind the runs. Watching his batting can at times resemble witnessing bitcoin being mined, but maybe he can grind out another 50 or so here to be getting on with.”

9.59am GMT

Replays show the ball hitting the De Silva’s right thumb and flicking it back like some kind of flimsy toy. It’s been strapped up, and he is leaving the pitch. Meanwhile, the new ball has been taken.

9.57am GMT

79th over: England 243-4 (Jennings 111, Buttler 28) Jennings finally lets loose! De Silva bowls, and he thunders a drive high to the bowler’s right! De Silva flings out a hand and gets fingertips to it, but there’s no stopping it! Four runs for Jennings, and immediate physio treatment for Di Silva!

I have only watched Keaton Jennings live in two test matches and he has got a hundred in both I must be his lucky charm !!! Well played fantastic and thoroughly deserved by the hard work u have put in @JetJennings

9.53am GMT

79th over: England 236-4 (Jennings 106, Buttler 26) Buttler tries to clip a leg break through midwicket, and outside-edges it in entirely the other direction. Still it’s safe enough.

9.52am GMT

78th over: England 233-4 (Jennings 105, Buttler 24) The new ball will become available in two overs. For now, De Silva continues.

9.48am GMT

77th over: England 228-4 (Jennings 102, Buttler 22) Though 10 of Jennings’ 13 Tests have been played in England, four of his five best Test innings have been played in either India or Sri Lanka. He certainly seems ideal for these conditions: endlessly patient, happy to work his way towards a decent total in lots of ones and a handful of twos.

9.43am GMT

76th over: England 224-4 (Jennings 100, Buttler 20) Buttler gets a single off the first, and Jennings has five more opportunities to reach his ton. He takes the first of them, clipping off his pads to deep square leg!

“‘This might be my last test innings, I want to enjoy it,’ said Jennings before the Headingley test this summer,” notes Sachin Paul. “I have to say that his calm, laid back demeanour is really admirable. We often talk about mental health etc in sport. But having a cool approach to things despite not having the best run takes some balls. Hats of to Keaton. What a beaut of an innings this has been.”

9.39am GMT

75th over: England 222-4 (Jennings 99, Buttler 19) Jennings goes to sweep the first ball of the over, and the ball bounces away to the boundary. Did he get a nick on it? No, they’re byes! The wait continues! From the next ball he picks out a fielder at cover, the one after that is reverse swept into the hands of backward point, and after that he seems to accept that he’s going to have to wait a bit longer and calmly negotiates the remainder of the over without drama of any sort.

9.36am GMT

74th over: England 218-4 (Jennings 99, Buttler 19) With no real time issues, England will presumably look to bat for most of this session, perhaps all of it, and extend their lead, currently 357, by another 100 runs or so. De Silva bowls, and Buttler punches to the long-off boundary. Jennings, meanwhile, takes another pigeon step towards a century.

9.32am GMT

The players are back out. Can Jennings tiptoe his way all the way to 100? We’re about to find out!

9.27am GMT

“Am as appalled as you are by Sky’s ice cream nonsense,” nods Kim Thonger. “But porridge is not the answer. The fried egg and peanut butter sandwich is. Ideally use Burford brown eggs. These rare birds originally from Patagonia were crossbred to create generations of pedigree hens that to this day lay beautiful, colourful, hard-shelled eggs with deep yellow yolks. Keep yolks runny. Lots of black pepper. A little salt. Skippy peanut butter if poss. The breakfast of double centurions.” I have never tried, or even glimpsed, a fried egg and peanut butter sandwich and the very idea does seem purgatorial, which I suppose is exactly what we’re looking for.

9.12am GMT

And that is tea. 101 runs and a single wicket in that session, another fine one for the tourists. I’ll be back in a little bit.

9.11am GMT

73rd over: England 212-4 (Jennings 98, Buttler 14) Buttler hits Denanjaya’s first delivery for a single, giving Jennings five balls to get the two runs he needs to shuffle into triple figures. After four ambition-free dots he goes for a reverse-sweep off the last and pings it ... straight to a fielder!

9.07am GMT

72nd over: England 211-4 (Jennings 98, Buttler 13) Tea hoves into view, with Jennings still on the precipice of a century, as he has been for about 45 minutes.

9.02am GMT

71st over: England 209-4 (Jennings 97, Buttler 12) Ooof! De Silva bowls to Jennings and the ball unexpectedly goes straight on, towards middle stump. The batsman thrusts his bat towards it and just about gets there in time. A pretty free-scoring over by recent standards, three singles off it.

8.58am GMT

70th over: England 206-4 (Jennings 95, Buttler 11) So Buttler came out of his shell, and was promptly pushed right back into it again. Then he faces only a single delivery of Herath’s over, and he’s beaten again! It was a poor shot, as he waved his bat limply at a ball that missed it by a smidge.

8.56am GMT

69th over: England 205-4 (Jennings 94, Buttler 11) Crack! Buttler charges down the wicket and thwacks the ball down the ground for six! Whoops! Buttler tries to repeat the dose off the next ball, gets a gentle nick into his front pad, off which it deflects just to the right of Dickwella, who neither takes the catch nor completes the stumping! A very sharp chance, given the ball’s sudden change of direction off Buttler’s pad, but a chance nonetheless.

8.53am GMT

68th over: England 198-4 (Jennings 93, Buttler 5) I barely noticed over No68, I must admit. It wooshed past, with the addition of one run.

8.48am GMT

67th over: England 197-4 (Jennings 92, Buttler 5) Jennings continues his calm stroll towards a century. He tickles the final ball of Perera’s over fine for three, the ball crawling past a vacant slip cordon and rolling gently down the ground for a bit, before stopping to wait for someone to come and pick it up.

8.45am GMT

66th over: England 192-4 (Jennings 88, Buttler 4) On Sky they are debating whether now would be a good time for an ice cream. Totally inappropriate breakfast-time broadcasting and very poor dietary advice. Sure, they’re in a different time zone and enjoying significantly warmer weather than anyone in Britain, but the British are their key target audience and do not require ice-cream-based discussion before the clock has struck nine. By way of revenge, I suggest immediately serving them a nice, warm bowl of porridge.

8.41am GMT

65th over: England 191-4 (Jennings 87, Buttler 4) A maiden over from Perrera, which Buttler can’t quite make anything of.

8.38am GMT

64th over: England 191-4 (Jennings 87, Buttler 4) The paragraph I quoted a couple of overs back was absolutely and totally wrong. Here’s the actual, pertinent bit of the rulebook, with 22.1.3 in bold:

22.1 Judging a Wide

22.1.1 If the bowler bowls a ball, not being a No ball, the umpire shall adjudge it a Wide if, according to the definition in clause 22.1.2

22.1.4 For bowlers whom umpires consider to be bowling down the leg side as a negative tactic, the strict limited over Wide interpretation shall be applied.

8.34am GMT

63rd over: England 190-4 (Jennings 87, Buttler 3) Shot! Perera bowls, and Jennings hits a reverse sweep with perfect timing, the ball pinging enthusiastically to the boundary.

8.33am GMT

62nd over: England 186-4 (Jennings 83, Buttler 3) There’s a bit of umpire-captain chatter before Herath’s over gets under way, the speculation being that the officials are unhappy with the leg-side bowling. Sky say they have been quoted law 22.1.3, which reads as follows:

[Random bit of totally wrong law removed from here. See over 64 for details]

8.27am GMT

61st over: England 182-4 (Jennings 81, Buttler 1) The wicket-taking delivery was a beauty, and Stokes got absolutely nowhere near it. “Am finding it very disturbing waking up these days,” writes Kimberley Thonger. “Normally when England are on tour I emerge from slumber to the news that our top order have collapsed to 38 for 6. How am I to deal with this new reality? Coffee doesn’t seem appropriate. Should it be champagne and oysters for breakfast? Or am I actually still asleep and in the middle of a dream?” England did lose three wickets for 14 runs, something of a micro-collapse. Does that count, or does the calm run-accumulation that has followed - Stokes’s departure notwithstanding - expunge it officially from the memory banks?

8.24am GMT

Perera has sent a few balls of late just down the leg side, and this one starts off in the same direction before turning off the pitch, past the bat and into off stump!

8.20am GMT

60th over: England 179-3 (Jennings 80, Stokes 61) Hello world! So it appears that my arrival has been timed perfectly to coincide with a noticeable acceleration from England and in particular Ben Stokes, after an extremely pedestrian start to the session. He comes down the track to Dananjaya and hoists the ball down the ground for a third six, and then tries to reverse sweep the next only to miss it entirely.

8.10am GMT

59th over: England 171-3 (Jennings 78, Stokes 54) Stokes skipped a few gears during that fifty. His first 25 runs came from 66 deliveries, the second 25 from 16. Right, that’s it from me. Simon Burnton will update you for the rest of the day - you can email him here. Thanks for your company, bye!

8.06am GMT

58th over: England 168-3 (Jennings 77, Stokes 53) Stokes hits his second six, slog-sweeping Dhananjaya high over midwicket to take England’s last past 300. A cut through extra cover for four takes him to an increasingly authoritative fifty from 82 balls. Well played.

8.02am GMT

57th over: England 154-3 (Jennings 77, Stokes 39) Now that’s what I call Ben Stokes. He jumps down the track to drive Perera for a beautiful straight six, the first of the innings. After a tricky little spell against Dananjaya, he is in control now.

“Evening Rob,” says Phil Withall. “I’ve often wondered how OBO guardians cope with early starts and slow play. I get up at four each morning and, if work is slow, really start to struggle as the day progresses. Any tips?”

7.55am GMT

56th over: England 145-3 (Jennings 76, Stokes 31) Jennings reverse sweeps Dhananjaya into the ground, from where it bounces over gully’s head for four. That’s only his second boundary of the day, I think, but he looks in total control here and should, all things being equal, make a hundred. He’s 26 away.

7.51am GMT

55th over: England 138-3 (Jennings 70, Stokes 30) A maiden from Perera to Jennings, who starts to feel for a spitting delivery before aborting the stroke. The pitch is just staring to deteriorate as we expected.

7.48am GMT

54th over: England 138-3 (Jennings 70, Stokes 30) A couple of no-risk singles take Jennings into the seventies. Though it hasn’t exactly been epiphany-inducing to watch, he has played extremely well.

7.44am GMT

53rd over: England 135-3 (Jennings 68, Stokes 29) Stokes reaches outside off stump to slam a sweep to the midwicket boundary off Perera. That, in the face of admittedly minimal competition, is the best shot of the day so far.

7.41am GMT

52nd over: England 128-3 (Jennings 68, Stokes 23) Jennings is inching, via the medium of singles, towards a second Test century. Another one takes him to 68 and then Stokes defends the rest of the over. Of course he does.

7.37am GMT

51st over: England 127-3 (Jennings 67, Stokes 23) Perera replaces Dhananjaya and serves up a piece of filth that Stokes flays through extra cover for four.

7.33am GMT

50th over: England 122-3 (Jennings 66, Stokes 19) Stokes, sweeping vigorously, is beaten by a good delivery from Dhananjaya. This is Dhananjaya’s best spell of the match, with Stokes looking increasingly uncomfortable. It’s a maiden.

7.30am GMT

49th over: England 122-3 (Jennings 66, Stokes 19) There have been two boundaries all day. Is this a satirical response to their first-innings batting?

7.27am GMT

48th over: England 119-3 (Jennings 65, Stokes 17) It’s a good thing we haven’t been up since 3am or this passage of play would be in serious danger of putting us to sleep. Jennings is getting ’em in singles; Stokes is getting ’em in dot balls; Sri Lanka look resigned to a slow death.

7.23am GMT

47th over: England 117-3 (Jennings 64, Stokes 16)

7.22am GMT

46th over: England 116-3 (Jennings 63, Stokes 16)

7.18am GMT

45th over: England 112-3 (Jennings 61, Stokes 14) We still haven’t reached the halfway point of the match, which shows how much time England have to take care of business. You never know what the weather will do, mind you, so I’m sure they will kick on at some stage. For now progress is slow - they’ve scored 74 runs in 33 overs today.

7.15am GMT

44th over: England 112-3 (Jennings 61, Stokes 14) It’s Akila Dananjaya from the other end, and he beats Stokes with a cracking delivery which dips, curves and spits past the edge. That was a good over.

“Is this game demonstrating another case of TIC - Third Innings Conundrum?” wonders Brian Withington. “Context: your team is decently ahead at the halfway stage but then things start getting a little sticky on the second dig. Hypothesis: is this a reassuringly positive sign that the first innings lead is becoming more valuable with the passage of time and the wearing of the wicket. Or evidence of frailty at a key juncture of proceedings? In essence, cause for hope, or despair? Conclusion: ask Rob to reach out to Professor Ian.”

7.12am GMT

43rd over: England 111-3 (Jennings 60, Stokes 14) Peep peep! Dhananjaya de Silva begins the second third of the third day, bowling a maiden to Ben Stokes. The boys in the Sky studio think Stokes should play with a bit more of a strut. Since he came back into the Test team in New Zealand his strike rate is 40; before that it was 64.

6.34am GMT

Lunchtime chit-chat

“You get the feeling Root has not done justice to his talent ever since that almost double century in his first innings as captain,” says Abhijato Sensarma. “Whether it might be because of his captaincy duties or not is another topic of discussion. While the form has seemingly come back in the ODIs, and he is one of the classiest people on the planet whenever he bats, his numbers have fallen behind the likes of Kohli and Smith. Williamson had a legendary run in the IPL, but the lack of international cricket has hampered his flow.

6.33am GMT

42nd over: England 111-3 (Jennings 60, Stokes 14) That’s lunch. In isolation it was a good session for Sri Lanka, who took three wickets for 73 runs, but England are still in total control of the game. They lead by 250. Keaton Jennings played the spinners expertly and needs 40 runs to make his second Test century. That would, if not exactly silence his doubters, then at least give them a couple of seconds’ pause for thought before they resume their ignorant, narcisstic, misanthropic spoutings. See you in half an hour for the afternoon session.

6.26am GMT

41st over: England 110-3 (Jennings 60, Stokes 13) Jennings survives a really big shout for LBW, this time from Dhananjaya de Silva. That was really close. He squeezed it but it was definitely pad first, and I’m surprised Sri Lanka didn’t review that. Indeed replays show that, had they done so, Jennings would have been given out by the third umpire.

6.23am GMT

40th over: England 106-3 (Jennings 58, Stokes 11) Jennings has reverse swept confidently all morning, and does so again to get a single off Herath. He’s proving again that he’s one of England’s best players of spin. Stokes, probably their most improved player of spin, cuts a couple to move into double figures. England have restored calm after that dodgy little spell either side of drinks. They lead by 245.

6.20am GMT

39th over: England 103-3 (Jennings 57, Stokes 9) “Moeen needn’t worry about the unknown knowns, it’s the unknown unknowns that turn round and bite you on the bum when you least expect it, as they just have,” says Andrew Benton. “He’s a totally excellent bowler, and all he’s doing at three is proving he shouldn’t be there.”

I think we can all agree that he’s in no position to go into the unknown not knowing. (NB: Clip contains lively language.)

6.17am GMT

38th over: England 101-3 (Jennings 56, Stokes 8) A single from Jennings brings up England’s hundred. They’re still in a great position despite a slightly disappointing morning.

“As we all know,” assumes Ian Copestake, “a key feature of modern poetry is the line-break which also allowed the use of a fancy French word (enjambment) to describe how make poetry can further confuse Mac users but delight others:

Oh, Mo.

England are two

6.15am GMT

37th over: England 97-3 (Jennings 53, Stokes 7) A long hop from Akila is dismissed through midwicket for four by Stokes. That was imperious. He could do with some runs here, too. He’s not under pressure for his place, not yet, but the less he bowls, the more runs he needs. Things are getting very congested in that middle order and I’m not sure anyone is completely safe moving bloody well forward.

6.11am GMT

36th over: England 92-3 (Jennings 52, Stokes 3) “Rob,” writes John Starbuck. “Lord Snooty should forget about F5 anyway. On the Mac, you simply go back to the saved favourite Cricket/Sport...The Guardian and then click on the ‘England v Sri Lanka - Live!’ heading to get the refresh going. It’s an Apple device, so you are expected to work these things out, not have it all done for you.”

Yes, I should have explained. If we update an existing entry the auto-refresh doesn’t work. That’s why often we have that ugly business of the wicket in one entry and then the description above it. But it looks so much better to describe the wicket as part of th same entry in which you annouce the wicket. I thought I could get away with it this morning as I assumed nobody was reading.

6.06am GMT

35th over: England 85-3 (Jennings 50, Stokes 2) Perera is replaced by Akila Dananjaya. After missing a couple of attempted sweeps, Jennings gets one away to reach a serene and important half-century, his first in 20 innings. He’s played really nicely.

6.03am GMT

34th over: England 84-3 (Jennings 49, Stokes 2) Herath, bowling around the wicket to the left-handes, has consecutive LBW appeals against Jennings turned down by Marais Erasmus. The first was outside the line; the second was closer but probably pitched outside leg.

5.59am GMT

33rd over: England 81-3 (Jennings 47, Stokes 1) Things are happeing out there, Tony. Things. Jennings, beaten by a lovely delivery from Perera, responds by punching an excellent extra cover drive for four. That’s the first boundary of the day.

“On Mac, all that pressing F5 does is dim the screen,” says Lord Snooty. “Please advise.”

5.56am GMT

32nd over: England 76-3 (Jennings 42, Stokes 1)

5.54am GMT

Beautifully bowled! Herath gets Root for the second time in the match with a classic dismissal: accuracy, curve and just enough turn to take the edge as Root pushed forward defensively. Dickwella took a smart catch behind the stumps. England lead by 213. Should.

5.51am GMT

31st over: England 73-2 (Jennings 40, Root 3) Smart bowling from Perera, who skids one on that almost gets through Jennings’ cut stroke. Jennings played it well enough in the end, cutting a single to move into the forties for the second time in the match. He’s been excellent.

Meanwhile, here’s Ian Copestake. Dr Ian Copestake to you. “Does Mo have a Test average of 14 in the top three because he knows he has that average and now associates those positions with a poor average which renders him unable to escape the reality of a perception of reality rather than him making a new reality?”

5.48am GMT

30th over: England 71-2 (Jennings 39, Root 2) “Well, instead of just ‘Oh, Mo’ in the commentary, how about actually telling us how he was dismissed!” sniffs Lord Snooty.

I did. You have to press F5 to read it. Or would you like me to do that for you as well?

5.47am GMT

29th over: England 70-2 (Jennings 39, Root 1) “Afternoon Rob,” says Phil Withall. “The Ali experiment, has it run its course? I can understand the reasoning behind his move to three but, in a position that is pretty vital to the building of an innings, I suspect now is not the time for him to play that role.”

I can also understand why they are doing it – somebody has to bat there – but I’m not sure it’s right for him. The problem England have is that five of this XI, plus Jonny Bairstow, would ideally bat at No6 or No7. For this series you could move Stokes or Buttler up to No3, though they probably aren’t long-term options.

5.42am GMT

28th over: England 68-2 (Jennings 38, Root 0) If Sri Lanka are going to pull of a miraculous victory, this is the time to strike. Herath and Perera are bowling in tandem, and two more wickets before lunch might cause England to start thinking the unthinkable.

5.41am GMT

27th over: England 67-2 (Jennings 37, Root 0) The new batsman Root survives a big LBW appeal after missing a sweep. He was miles outside the line. That Moeen dismissal was exasperating, but I do have some sympathy for him because he shouldn’t really be batting in the top three. He has a Test average of 14 when he does so.

5.36am GMT

Oh, Mo. England are two down. Moeen Ali falls to a poor shot, driving Perera straight to Herath at mid-on. Herath, never the most agile fielder, just about held on to the catch as he collapsed towards the ball.

5.30am GMT

26th over: England 66-1 (Jennings 36, Moeen Ali 3) The retiring Rangana Herath comes into the attack to replace Suranga Lakmal. England take a couple of singles from his first over to complete a quiet first hour - 28 runs from 14 overs with no boundaries and the wicket of Rory Burns, who was frustratingly run out for 23. That’s drinks.

5.27am GMT

25th over: England 64-1 (Jennings 35, Moeen Ali 2) A jaffa from Perera spits past the edge of Jennings, who smiles a little wryly. There was nothing much he could have done about that.

5.23am GMT

24th over: England 63-1 (Jennings 35, Moeen Ali 1) Moeen gets off the king pair by defending his first delivery from Lakmal, and then off the pair by dragging a pull for a single. England’s lead clicks up to 200.

“When I umpired (as a No11, I did the first ten overs so I could have a beer or twelve in peace on the boundary) I thought that if any part of the ball hit the pad in line with the stumps, it satisfied that element of the LBW law,” says Gary Naylor. “The DRS protocol suggests I was wrong. Good job I never gave anyone out then.”

5.19am GMT

23rd over: England 60-1 (Jennings 33, Ali 0) That was the last ball of the over. Moeen Ali is the new batsman, and he’s on a king pair.

5.17am GMT

Ach, this is a frustrating dismissal. Rory Burns takes a quick single to mid-on off Perera and is just short of his ground when Karunaratne’s throw hits the base of the stumps. It was a lovely, smooth pick up and throw, but Burns will feel he’s left plenty of runs out there in this match.

5.13am GMT

22nd over: England 58-0 (Burns 23, Jennings 32) Burns looks much happier against Lakmal and flicks a pair of twos into the leg side. England’s lead is 197.

5.07am GMT

21st over: England 52-0 (Burns 18, Jennings 32) Burns survives another big shout for LBW from Perera after missing an attempted sweep. He was just outside the line, and he gloved it as well. This is a nice test of Burns’ temperament because Perera is all over him at the moment.

5.04am GMT

20th over: England 51-0 (Burns 17, Jennings 32) Lakmal moves over the wicket to Jennings, who has had trouble with that angle of attack against seamers like Philander and Bumrah. The ball isn’t moving in the air or off the pitch here, however, and Jennings plays out another maiden. We’ve had 13 runs from eight overs this morning.

4.59am GMT

19th over: England 51-0 (Burns 17, Jennings 32) England’s average opening partnership in Tests this year is 24, their lowest for any wicket except the tenth, so this is a welcome stand. Burns misses a vigorous reverse sweep at Perera and then gets a leading edge that falls well short of extra cover. All of a sudden he’s looking a little jittery.

4.57am GMT

18th over: England 50-0 (Burns 17, Jennings 31) Burns mistimes a hook off Lakmal which goes high in the air and plops safely in the vacant midwicket region. A single from Jennings brings up a rare fifty partnership for England’s first wicket.

We’ve had 12 runs in the first six overs, all singles. Not the most mind-altering of starts, but a decent one for England. Jennings in particular looks excellent. I wonder whether the day will come where someone like Jennings is an automatic pick in Asia and an occasional pick elsewhere.

4.49am GMT

17th over: England 45-0 (Burns 15, Jennings 29) Burns survives a big LBW shout from Perera - but Sri Lanka are going to review. This looks close. It skidded on to hit the pad as Burns pushed defensively outside the line. The only thing that will save him is if he was outside the line. Here comes the replay... he’s not out. It was close, but the point of contact was ‘umpire’s call’ and that meant Burns survived.

4.45am GMT

16th over: England 42-0 (Burns 13, Jennings 28) “Morning, Rob,” says John Starbuck. “Can you tell us a bit more about in-out field placings for spinners, please?”

It’s both attacking and defensive, with two or three close catchers but also a few boundary riders. The downside is that it can give the batsmen easy singles but stopping boundaries is clearly important for the confidence of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid in particular.

4.41am GMT

15th over: England 40-0 (Burns 12, Jennings 27) The first bit of turn for Perera, who beats Burns outside off stump during another maiden. England have started slowly, with two runs from the first three overs. That’s understandable - both these batsmen know that, if they get in, they have a great chance of making a half-century at least.

4.37am GMT

14th over: England 40-0 (Burns 12, Jennings 27) Suranga Lakmal, the only seamer in this side, starts at the other end with a harmless maiden to Jennings. There have been no early terrors for England.

4.33am GMT

13th over: England 40-0 (Burns 12, Jennings 27) Dilruwan Perera opens the bowling to Rory Burns, who tucks the first ball of the day off his pads for a single. Jennings, who has a fledgling average of 48 in Tests in Asia, gets his first run of the day with a cut through the covers for a single.

4.23am GMT

Moeen Ali speaks “We’re very, very pleased. The seamers were fantastic yesterday and then the spinners bowled quite well. We want to play the long game and stay in control, which is why we’ve had in-out fields [for the slow bowlers]. If we’re not hit for boundaries then it doesn’t knock our confidence as it has previously in the subcontinent.”

4.20am GMT

A bit of news Jimmy Anderson has been given a demerit point for his contretemps with the umpire Chris Gaffaney yesterday. That’s his second demerit point - if you get four within a two-year period, you are banned for a Test.

4.13am GMT

Some pre-play reading

Related: England’s spin trio leave Sri Lanka reeling as Foakes continues to impress

Related: Jack Leach delight after Test wicket marks friendship forged at Somerset

6.51pm GMT

Morning. England don’t win many Tests in Asia, and they certainly don’t dominate many as they have so far in Galle. They will start day three on 38 for none, a lead of 177 on a pitch that is likely to get worse, and it’s increasingly hard to imagine a scenario in which theyt do not win this first Test.

If they do, it’ll be a major achievement. Sri Lanka have won their last eight Tests at home to non-Asian opposition, most by thumping margins, while England haven’t won a Test overseas for two years. It’s a good time to be an England fan, even at 4am.

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