Jack Leach has urged patience to England’s bowling attack as they were left to reflect on a frustrating day in the field against hosts Sri Lanka.
On day two of the second Test in Pallekele, Roshen Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne led the charge for Sri Lanka, as they batted through England’s onslaught of spin to be eventually bowled all out for 336 – a lead of 46.
With all three of England’s pacers – Jimmy Anderson, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes – not turning any tricks with zero wickets between them, the spinners accounted for 79 of the 103 overs bowled by England.
And despite close shaves with the edge of both Silva’s and Karunaratne’s bat, Leach conceded at close that the team had been too aggressive in their bowling
“I thought I could have put a few more balls in the right areas. On these wickets you have to be extra patient, always asking questions of the batter,” the Somerset off-spinner told reporters.
“I feel I could have done that a little better. Something I have to take away and learn from.
“I liked seeing it spin but sometimes you bowl a lot of balls that miss the outside edge. That craft, I feel at times is ‘how can i take spin off?’, maybe get one to slide or just grip a little bit.
“Those balls look great but they’re not creating a chance.”
Three of Sri Lanka’s top five batsmen fell for single-digit scores, but opener Karunaratne restored parity with 63 before he was run out by Stokes.
Runs followed in the middle and lower order through Dhananjaya de Silva’s half-century and Roshen’s hugely impressive 174-ball 85. Which left England ruing the changing conditions of a sub-continent wicket.
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