x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Prior not dispirited by Dilshan's hundred

The wicket-keeper believes England can wrest back the ascendancy in the second Test at Lord's, despite a brilliant 127 not out by the Sri Lanka captain

LORD's // Matt Prior is confident England can still claim a first-innings lead in the second Test against Sri Lanka despite a sub-standard afternoon performance in the field yesterday.

Sri Lanka reached 231 for one at stumps of day two in response to England's 486 all out, the highlight of which was provided by Prior's brisk 126, which he completed in the morning session.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, cruised to 127 not out - sharing in a record double century stand with Tharanga Paranavitana - before being taken to hospital at the end of play for an X-ray on an injured thumb.

That was a precaution, according to Mahela Jayawardene, who explained: "He's in a bit of pain but the way he batted I don't think it's serious damage."

England's immediate objective in the morning will be to remove danger man Dilshan, and Prior recognises the home team will need to be sharper in all departments when play resumes.

"I think we're an honest enough dressing room to know we probably didn't bowl and field as well as we can," Prior told Sky Sports 1.

"The brand of cricket we have been playing is slightly different to that and I think everyone knows that. But we're still in a very strong position. It's important we come back with a clean slate and start again.

"If we can bowl and field like we have done, and hopefully will do, we should be going out there [for the second innings] with a lead."

Prior hopes the ball might swing around today and added: "It's hard to get control especially when you've got a couple of batsman in forming a partnership.

"It's supposed to be overcast tomorrow.

"At Lord's you're always looking at the skies, because if clouds do come in it certainly does do a bit more."

As for his own display with the bat, Prior said: "It's pleasing to be involved in this fantastic team and be able to contribute.

"On a personal note I'm very pleased and hopefully I can keep it going."

Sri Lanka will be hoping to keep going today though, with the prolific Jayawardene the next batsman due in.

"Our batters showed how good the wicket is," Jayawardene said.

"We've got the momentum now. We just need to keep pushing on."

Dilshan swung the match back in Sri Lanka's favour, carving, pulling and driving 11 fours and two sixes in his 129-ball hundred against the tallest pace attack in Test history.

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