Alex Hales Jonny Bairstow
Alex Hales (L) and Jonny Bairstow have added 88 runs together so far. Pictured: England's Jonny Bairstow celebrates his half century with Alex Hales during England v Sri Lanka - First Test - Headingley - 19/5/16.Reuters

It was an overcast day in Yorkshire and the ball was expected to seam around right from the start of the first Test match between England and Sri Lanka. To no one's surprise, it did do a lot early on in the day and England were on the receiving side.

The wicket remained similar to what it has been over the years and the visitors capitalised on it. It was a typical English pitch, on which the medium pacers can have a feast of wickets.

The hosts were put into bat by Sri Lanka after their skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss. Alastair Cook and Alex Hales started off cautiously and added 49 runs in the first wicket.

But little did England know about this youngster from Sri Lanka, who made his Test debut on Thursday – Dasun Shanaka. The bowling all-rounder removed Cook with a peach of a delivery and followed it up with two more wickets and that too of Nick Compton and the priceless wicket of Joe Root, who was recently named as England's Test Player of the Year.

Shanaka bowled an impeccable line and length and kept on troubling the English batsmen.

It was surprising to see that no other Lankan bowler could make a similar impact on day of the first Test match like Shanaka did. However, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep did pick up a wicket each.

Ben Stokes and debutant James Vince too did not last for long in the middle and all of a sudden England were reeling at 83 for the loss of five wickets.

It required a diligent partnership from Hales and Jonny Bairstow for England to steady the ship, which almost could have toppled. The duo added 88 runs together and both are unbeaten at the crease.

Hales is unbeaten on 71 and Bairstow is not out on 54. However, Bairstow survived a close one when he was batting on 40 as Mathews had appealed for a LBW. The review showed that it was just missing the leg stump or else England could have been in further trouble.

Both Hales and Bairstow will look to play throughout the day and take England's total past the 300-run mark. On the other hand, Sri Lanka are sniffing something here and they will want to wrap up this innings early on Day 2 of the Test match at Headingley. 

England finished the day with 171 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Also read