Lanka safely negotiate awkward opening spell

Friday, 27 May 2011 00:31 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

•Rain causes late start, 35 for no loss at tea

•Dilshan passes 4,000 test runs

Sri Lanka negotiated an awkward 16 overs against the swinging ball to reach 35 without loss at tea against England on the first day of the first test after a reduced 70-minute session on Thursday.

After rain delayed the start by more than four hours with the game commencing at 1430GMT, new captain Tillakaratne Dilshan was on 18 and Tharanga Paranavitana had scored 16.

England are seeking to build on their recent Ashes success and win the three-match series in their quest to become the world's number one test team. Sri Lanka are seeking a first test win in six matches.

Stuart Broad, who came into the match on 99 test wickets, conceded 11 runs off his first over although he did manage to beat the outside edge of Dilshan's bat twice. That start was in contrast to James Anderson's first two overs which cost one run.

Although Broad came back well in his second over, conceding only one run, both openers had straight driven him for boundaries by the sixth over.

Dilshan passed 4,000 test runs when he pushed an Anderson delivery to the vacant mid-wicket area for two, but required treatment at the end of the over after the last ball struck him around the groin area.

In the next over, with Sri Lanka on 27, England appealed for a catch behind down the leg side to left-hander Paranavitana off the bowling of Chris Tremlett.

Aleem Dar turned down the appeal and England opted against a referral.

There was another vocal appeal in Tremlett's following over when England thought Paranavitana had edged the ball to Andrew Strauss at first slip.

But Dar was again correct to reject the appeal and Strauss was right not to ask for video evidence as replays showed the ball had struck the batsman on his thigh.

Intermittent sunshine broke through in the session although more showers are forecast for the remainder of the match.

The Swalec Stadium, belonging to the local Glamorgan county club, was only half full with one stand closed off.