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Shanaka treble stuns England in first Test


Shanaka celebrates after taking a wicket.
 LEEDS, May 19: Sri Lanka debutant Dasun Shanaka took three wickets in quick succession as England suffered a top-order collapse on the first day of the first cricket Test at Headingley today.

At lunch England, sent into bat by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on an initially overcast morning, were 57 for three having been 49 without loss.

Shanaka, the fifth bowler used by Mathews, did the damage with a spell of three wickets for one run in eight balls.

He removed England captain Alastair Cook for 16 and then dismissed both Nick Compton and Joe Root for ducks.

All-rounder Shanaka walked off with lunch figures of three wickets for six runs in five overs.

Alex Hales was 38 not out and Test debutant James Vince nought not out in the first of a three-Test series.

England were making steady progress when 24-year-old medium-pacer Shanaka struck with just his seventh ball in Test cricket.

Cook, who started his innings needing just 36 more runs to become the first Englishman to score 10,000 in Tests, had rarely looked in trouble in more than an hour-and-a-half at the crease after getting off the mark with a four.

But his 52-ball innings ended when he was caught behind going for a cover drive off a wide but full delivery from Shanaka in the 21st over.

Three balls later, Shanaka had Compton, already under pressure for his place, out for nought as a ball that nipped back took the outside edge and was well caught low down by Lahiru Thirimanne at first slip.

Root, England’s recently crowned player of the year in all formats, was powerless to prevent further collapse on his Yorkshire home ground.

He went hard at a full ball from Shanaka and edged to Kaushal Silva in the gully.

Players from both sides wore back armbands in memory of all those killed by recent flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka.

England 1st Innings: A Cook c Chandimal b Shanaka 16, A Hales not out 38, N Compton c Thirimanne b Shanaka 0, J Root c Silva b Shanaka 0, J Vince not out 0. Extras: (LB-1, W-1, NB-1) 3. Total: (for 3 wkts in 27 overs) 57. Fall of wickets: 1-49, 2-49, 3-51. Bowling: Eranga 6-1-14-0; Pradeep 7-4-10-0; Mathews 3-1-15-0; Chameera 5-0-11-0; Shanaka 5-2-6-3; Herath 1-1-0-0. – AFP

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