After a flurry of limited overs cricket, the Test series in Sri Lanka is finally underway.
With play beginning at 4:30 AM in the United Kingdom, blurry-eyed and sleep-deprived cricket fans woke up to watch England be rubbish at batting; an all too familiar feeling for those dedicated to the fortunes of the English Test team.
A diligent performance from debutante Ben Foakes did much to salvage the innings for England, and the day’s play seems not to have produced a clear favourite for the overall result as the tourists ended on 321/8.
Here’s how we rated England’s players on Day One of the First Test.
Rory Burns - 4
Alastair Cook’s replacement was unlucky to be strangled on the leg-side sat on 9, and was caught behind by Dickwella.
Keaton Jennings - 6
An encouraging innings from Jennings after a tough summer. Swept well, and was dropped earlier in his innings before being dismissed to what was a relatively poor shot. However, a much needed 46.
Moeen Ali - 0
Moeen got a good ball from Lakmal to dismiss him for nought, facing his first ball of the series.
Joe Root - 5
The skipper once again built a foundation, and failed to capitalise. Root got over-aggressive with the spinners, and was dismissed on 35 by Herath.
Ben Stokes - 2
Stokes played a dismal sweep early in his innings, and was sent back to the pavilion with his tail between his legs. Not the all-rounder’s finest hour.
Jos Buttler - 6
Buttler, as he has done many times, helped to stabilise an England batting collapse. The Lancashire star will be frustrated with his dismissal, however, with his 38 failing to adequately show the contribution he made to the innings.
Ben Foakes - 10
What a debut! Foakes sat in the middle of the England innings and anchored the effort like a vintage Paul Collingwood. Will need 13 more for a maiden test century.
Sam Curran - 7
Supported Foakes well. Intelligent batting, kept out the good balls and punished the bad ones.
Adil Rashid - 7
I love Adil Rashid. A quickfire 35 took the score past 300, and left fans feeling much happier with the day’s play.
Jack Leach - 7
Jack Leach cares not for your “blocking out the end of the day”. 14 runs from 17 balls, and Somerset’s finest will seek to hold down an end tomorrow as Foakes aims for his century.