• Leach: We’re a little bit disappointed

    Spinner Jack Leach voiced England’s collective concern, as Sri Lanka claimed a crucial lead on day two of the second Test in Kandy.

    Sri Lanka moved to 336 all out in reply to England’s 290. Leach claimed three wickets, but the hosts recovered from 165-6 regardless.

    ‘We’re a little bit disappointed that they’ve got a lead. At one point we were hoping we might have that lead going into our batting, but we’re feeling good about bowling last on that wicket,’ he said.

    ‘We feel if we can put pressure on them with our batting, get a good total, then we feel we can win the game. Going into the fourth innings, hopefully the pitch will have broken up more.

    ‘I thought I could have put a few more balls in the right areas. On these wickets you have to be extra patient and always ask questions of the batter. I feel I could have done that a little better.

    ‘I liked seeing it spin but sometimes you bowl a lot of balls that miss the outside edge. Those balls look great, but they’re not creating a chance. The craft, I feel at times, is to take some spin off the ball and maybe get one to slide or just grip a little bit.’

    The tail-ender opened the batting in the visitors’ second innings, which is currently 0-0 after one over. The nightwatchman was preferred to regular opener Keaton Jennings.

    ‘I didn’t expect to be opening the batting. Joe Root asked me,’ he added. ‘I panicked getting my stuff on and turned round and said “who’s coming with me?”

    ‘I knew I had to get through one over and make it last as long as possible to ensure there was not time for another one. I could hear the crowd cheering every ball so that got me going a little bit.’

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    Jonhenry Wilson