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Woakes, Moeen put England in sight of win

Sri Lanka reduced to 91 for 8 on the second day of second Test, in response to the home side's 498 for 9 declared

Woakes, Moeen put England in sight of win - Cricket News
Moeen Ali finished unbeaten at 155 at time of England's declaration.
There was no respite for Sri Lanka on the second day of the second Test in Chester-le-Street as Chris Woakes (3 for 9) left the visiting side reeling after Moeen Ali's century on Saturday (May 28).

At close of play, Sri Lanka was reduced to 91 for 8, 407 runs behind England's 498 for 9 declared, powered by Moeen's career-best 155 not out. 

Woakes, drafted into the side after Ben Stokes's injury, put England on course for a series victory, grabbing three wickets for five runs in 13 balls to leave Sri Lanka at 67 for 6.

Rangana Herath (12) kept England at bay for an hour before Stuart Broad removed him. Three balls later, Broad picked up his third wicket of the day when a leaping James Vince at third slip parried the ball to Joe Root at second slip ended Shaminda Eranga's stay at the crease.

Lahiru Thirimanne was unbeaten on 12 while Suranga Lakmal was yet to open his account.

It will require something special from Sri Lanka to keep England from completing a second win by an innings in as many matches, after their innings-and-88-run win in the first Test of the three-match series at Headingley last week. 

Woakes, in his seventh Test, needed just 12 balls before he was among the wickets, Angelo Mathews caught behind off a good length ball that moved away. Kusal Mendis (35) then was caught unaware by a delivery that bounced more than he expected and was caught at gully. 

Five balls later, Woakes had Milinda Siriwardana dismissed for naught. With it, Woakes – who came into this match on the back of a career-best 9 for 36 for Warwickshire against Durham – recorded a double-wicket maiden.

But, it was Moeen's second hundred in Tests – and second against Sri Lanka following an unbeaten 108 in a defeat at Headingley in 2014 – that set the game up nicely for England. Promoted to No. 7 with Stokes absent, Moeen looked in fine touch, but Sri Lanka had only itself to blame for dropping him on 36 and 105.

England resumed in the morning on 310 for 6, with Moeen on 28 not out and Woakes on 8 not out. Both batsmen were reprieved, with Moeen missed when Dimuth Karunaratne dropped a shoulder-high chance at a wide second slip off Nuwan Pradeep.

Woakes then edged Eranga straight behind only for Dinesh Chandimal, the wicketkeeper, to miss the chance. After the drinks break, Mendis replaced Chandimal behind the stumps. 

Unperturbed by all this, Moeen brought up his hundred in style, driving Pradeep for four. He later miscued a pull off Eranga, but Siriwardana wasn't able to hold on to the chance on the boundary. Moeen then reached 150 by tonking Lakmal for six.

The one bit of cheer for Sri Lanka was Herath claiming his 300th Test wicket with a caught and bowled dismissal of Steven Finn.

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