It was a warm, beautiful sunny first day for the Northants vs. Sri Lanka four day tour match. The visitors won the toss and with their first test match against England just a week away, unsurprisingly decided to bat first.
In what was a great moment for all Northants fans, David Willey opened the bowling for the home side. Northants got off to a good start as Steven Crook struck in his first over, trapping Karunaratne lbw for just 1. However, this wicket brought out Sri Lanka’s star man, Kumar Sangakkara, who alongside Kaushal Silva, put on a 50-run partnership.
With the score on 53/1, Sangakkara then fell, as he hooked Kyle Coetzer to Chad Barrett whilst on 28. Mahela Jayawardene then came to the crease, and quickly got into the groove, playing some eloquent strokes as he raced to 46. However disaster then struck for Sri Lanka, as Jayawardene edged one off Steven Crook to Matthew Spriegel at gully, who took a fine catch.
Lahiru Thirimanne then joined the dogged Silva in the middle, and the pair built up an excellent partnership. Silva may not have scored at a lightening pace, but he reaped the rewards of pure determination in not giving his wicket away, as he ended the day 152 not out. He and Thirimanne, put together a 238-run partnership, with Thirimanne finishing on 120, as Sri Lanka ended on 358/3.
Northants will look to make a few breakthroughs at the start of the morning session, as Sri Lanka try to build an even bigger lead, with the weather looking set to be good for batting. Follow Northants Cricket on Twitter, @NorthantsCCC for regular updates