Buttler hits half-century as England struggle v Sri Lanka

Jonny Bairstow in training

The 20-year-old's excellent, attacking knock frustrated Sri Lanka as he motored from 16 to 51 in the space of 27 deliveries, building a 60-run partnership with James Anderson (7 not out) for the final wicket. He took two wickets with identical leg breaks, finding the outside edge of a well set Dananjaya De Silva for 59 and Angelo Mathews, the big fish in a small Sri Lankan pond.

Most baffling was England's Galle hero Ben Foakes, who declined to challenge the umpire's verdict that he had been caught slip, despite replays suggesting he made no contact with the ball.

Root pleaded not guilty to the charge and, as such, a hearing took place after the day's play following which the match referee found the England captain guilty of dissent as charged and handed him an official reprimand and one demerit point. Jack Leach and Adil Rashid were the highest wicket-takers with three scalps each.

It didn't cost England much as they were able to make the breakthrough when Moeen Ali trapped Dananjaya leg before wicket on 31, but Anderson failed to pick up a wicket in the innings.

England captain Joe Root, who scored 35 and three in the first Test, was bowled by Pushpakumara in the 18th over for 14 and opener Rory Burns (43) soon followed as England lost regular wickets on the dry, crumbling surface.

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According to global cricket rules an umpire can dock five runs if he feels the batsman ran a short run deliberately.

Stokes then appeared from nowhere to raise England's hopes, sprinting from gully when de Silva prodded to the off side, picking the ball up with one hand and completing a run out with one stump to aim at to dismiss Karunaratne for 63. Stokes threw down the stumps with a direct hit to find Karunaratne short at the striker's end. "They tried a lot of things but we managed to counter them", Karunaratne said. Next time we will study the fielder before making a run. England had five runs added to their first-innings total as a result, taking their score to 290.

"I don't actually think Sri Lanka were deliberately trying to steal a run, it was just dozy cricket from Roshen Silva". However, the lead is important ahead of an intriguing couple of days.

England's Jack Leach, center, celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera with teammates during the second day of the second test cricket match between Sri Lanka and England in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

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