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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 12:14 GMT
Giles deflates Sri Lanka
1st Test, Galle, day one (close):
Sri Lanka v England

Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles returned to form with three wickets as England restricted Sri Lanka to 138-4 on a rain-hit opening day of the first Test in Galle.

England's winter tour continued to be marred by poor weather, with 140 minutes lost to rain. More is forecast.

Opener Sanath Jayasuriya made 48 after Sri Lanka won the toss, but England fought back with three late wickets.

Kumar Sangakkara was unbeaten on 39 as the run-rate dropped markedly, with Thilan Samaraweera one not out.

Giles returned 3-13 while Andrew Flintoff stood out among the pacemen with figures of 1-16 from 10 overs.

Giles, selected alongside fellow spinner Gareth Batty, had been badly out of form but this was his best return since the Ashes Test in Brisbane last November.

Groundstaff were quick to act when the heavens opened
December should be better but they are still expecting six inches of rain!
John Kettley
BBC weatherman
Paul Collingwood was handed a debut with Nasser Hussain suffering from flu, while Dinusha Fernando was given his first Test cap by Sri Lanka.

The home side's openers batted sensibly early on, when conditions offered some assistance to England's two frontline seamers Matthew Hoggard and Richard Johnson.

Both Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu paid due respect to a number of good deliveries, but they also hit six boundaries among 39 runs in the first hour.

In the process, they notched their 3,000th run together in Test matches.

England skipper Michael Vaughan brought Batty on just before lunch, the off-spinner a little unlucky to have a strong lbw shout to Jayasuriya turned down.

Batty continued his absorbing battle with the left-hander after the break, launching another resounding leg-before appeal and watching an inside edge cannon into the pads of keeper Chris Read.

It was precisely these frustrating tactics that brought England success here two years ago.
Although scoring freely, Jayasuriya was not comfortable against the spinner and it could be said that Batty softened him up for Giles.

The left-arm spinner came on in the 30th over and struck in his second when Jayasuriya edged into the hands of Collingwood, reducing the hosts to 76-1.

A heavy deluge then stopped play for two hours, denying England the chance to supplement their breakthrough.

But Flintoff made up for lost time, gaining reward for a disciplined spell with the scalp of Atapattu, who gloved behind to Chris Read.

Sri Lanka then descended from 132-2 to 132-4 when Giles removed Mahela Jayawardene (caught at bat-pad) and captain Hashan Tillakaratne (caught behind) in quick succession.

It was a stirring end to the day for England, but both sides will have one eye on the weather with thunderstorms forecast for the remainder of the match.

Two matches of the recent best-of-three one-day series were washed out in a tour so far memorable only for atrocious weather conditions.


Sri Lanka: ST Jayasuriya, MS Atapattu, DPMD Jayawardene, HP Tillakaratne (capt), KC Sangakkara, TT Samaraweera, HDPK Dharmasena, UDU Chandana, WPUJC Vaas, KADM Fernando, M Muralitharan.

England: MP Vaughan (capt), ME Trescothick, MA Butcher, PD Collingwood, GP Thorpe, A Flintoff, CMW Read, AF Giles, GJ Batty, MJ Hoggard, RL Johnson.



Links to more Sri v Eng stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
England's Ashley Giles
"We could have got a few more wickets"


Sri Lanka captain Hashan Tillakaratne
"It's a bit disappointing"



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