Our event of the day is the second day of the First Test between Sri Lanka and England at the Galle International Stadium in Sri Lanka. This three-match series is the first time in 12 years that England will take to the field without the reassuring presence of Alistair Cook. The English stalwart’s retirement has made the already daunting task of a Test series victory in Sri Lanka even tougher. 2001 was the last time England achieved this feat, and the tourists have not won a Test series outside of England in over two years. Sri Lanka meanwhile are a tough team to beat when they are at home. Their last Test in Galle was a convincing 232 run win over South Africa.
England won the toss and elected to bat first, handing debuts to Rory Burns and Ben Foakes. Burns took the opening batting spot formally occupied by Alistair Cooks. However, he could only muster 9 runs after being caught by Niroshan Dickwella. This was 9 more than Moeen Alli, who was superbly bowled by Suranga Lakmal as England slumped to 113 for 5 at lunch. But it was the second debutant Foakes who inspired an England comeback in the afternoon session. The Surrey wicketkeeper hit an unbeaten 87 as England ended the day 321-8. England’s middle order really shone, with Sam Curran, Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid all sharing strong partnerships with the hugely impressive Foakes as England recovered from what was a worrying position at lunchtime. Questions will once again be asked about the top order, whose early collapse left England vulnerable. But with Foakes now searching for his century to cap off a perfect debut, the first Test is wide open.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Champions League group stage match between Juventus and Manchester United at the Allianz Stadium. Juventus won the reverse fixture at Old Trafford two weeks previously to maintain their 100% record in this seasons' competition and extend their lead over today’s opponents at the top of Group H. Elsewhere in Italy, the tennis stars of tomorrow are in action at the Next Gen ATP Tour Finals in Milan. The LPGA Tour tees off from Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club in China. In the States, reigning Stanley Cup champions the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL. Elsewhere in the US, the LA Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. The first ODI in a three-game series between Pakistan and New Zealand gets underway at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in the UAE.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ICC Cricket, Sri Lanka Cricket
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