Plunkett & Broad put England in control

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Stuart Broad became the fourth man to take two Test Match hat-tricks while Liam Plunkett earned his maiden five-wicket haul on a superb day for England at Headingley.

The hosts bowled Sri Lanka out for 257 thanks to the fast bowling unit that also impressed at Lord’s before England finished on 36-0 at stumps to leave them well in control of the second Investec Test.

The morning started with thick cloud over Headingley so it seemed almost inevitable when Alastair Cook won the toss he would elect to bowl first with the favourable conditions for the four seamers in an unchanged team from the draw at Lord’s.

Sri Lanka made two changes with wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal replacing the injured Prasanna Jayawardene while Dhammika Prasad comes in for fellow bowler Nuwan Kulasekara.

The tourists started quite well despite a number of balls flying past the outside edge with some accurate bowling from James Anderson and Stuart Broad until the former found the edge of opener Kaushal Silva in the 15th over.

England could only manage one more wicket before the lunch interval when Liam Plunkett, playing on his home ground struck with just his second delivery of the match, removing Dimuth Karunaratne’s leg stump with both teams entering the pavilion at 74-2.

Just half an hour after play resumed Matt Prior remarkably dropped Kumar Sangakkara when Plunkett found the edge of the Lord’s centurion. The ball seemed to under control by the keeper before it fell through his hands in the most unlikely fashion.

It wasn’t long until Plunkett was rewarded for his hostile bowling as he picked up two Sri Lankan wickets in successive balls before captain Angelo Mathews did well to defend the hat-trick ball. The Yorkshire fast bowler had Mahela Jayawardene superbly caught by Chris Jordan in the slips with the all-rounder snaffling a low chance with just one hand.

Lahiru Thirimanne couldn’t handle a Plunkett bouncer with Sam Robson taking an easy catch close to the bat. Sangakkara continued to ride his luck when Moeen Ali dropped the star man as the tourists formed something of a recovery after an early afternoon wobble.

Anderson then returned to dismiss Mathews via the hands of Gary Ballance which was the 24-year-olds first Test catch. Sangakkara’s luck eventually ran out after 147 balls and 79 runs with Ian Bell celebrating his 100th Test Match with a superb catch in the gully off the bowling of Broad in the last ball of his over.

The momentum was all in England’s direction, Plunkett secured his fourth wicket of the match by removing Prasad before the famous feat was wrapped up by an oblivious Broad.

In the first ball of his next over Cook, standing at first slip caught Chandimal for 45 before the Nottinghamshire bowler had Shaminda Eranga caught behind to reward Broad with a hat-trick. However, nobody on the field seemed to realise despite the celebrations of reducing Sri Lanka to 229-9 which Broad later admitted he had “no idea at the time”.

Another milestone then followed despite some resistance from the tail-enders with Plunkett taking the final wicket to end with figures of 5-64 off 15.5 overs which is his maiden five-wicket haul for his country.

Captain Cook and youngster Sam Robson then survived a tricky session of 15 overs as England closed on 36-0, 221 runs behind the tourists with all 10 wickets remaining going into the second day in Leeds.

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England cricket
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