sport

Plunkett inspires England

Liam Plunkett's maiden five-wicket haul, plus a hat-trick from Stuart Broad, helped England bowl Sri Lanka out or 257 on the opening day of the second Test.

Yorkshire paceman Plunkett delighted the Headingley faithful by claiming 5-64 on his adopted home ground, including taking two wickets in as many balls in the afternoon session.

However, Broad went one better after tea, ending one of his overs by getting Kumar Sangakkara - who lived a charmed life to top score for the tourists with 79 - before starting the next by removing Dinesh Chandimal and Shaminda Eranga.

Astonishingly neither the bowler or any of his team-mates, plus the crowd for that matter, realised he had just completed a treble, meaning he is the first Englishman to ever achieve the feat twice in Test cricket.

The moment was instead lost in a chaotic passage of play that saw Sri Lanka lose four wickets for the addition of just one run.

Plunkett played his part in the evening collapse by getting Dhammika Prasad caught behind for a duck, one of two batsmen to perish to short balls from the former Durham man who has discovered a new lease of life since moving to Leeds.

The other was Lahiru Thirimanne, who fended a delivery aimed at his throat to Sam Robson at short leg straight after Mahela Jayawardene (22) had been spectularly caught at second slip by Chris Jordan.

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was Plunkett's first victim, comprehensively bowled for 28 from aroundd the wicket, while he not only completed his five-for but also wrapped up the innings when he had Nuwan Pradeep caught behind.

Matt Prior took the final catch, his third of the day, but the wicketkeeper also had a moment to forget behind the stumps when he dropped a seemingly routine chance off Sangakkara.

The left-hander certainly rode his luck to bring up the 47th half-century of his stellar Test career, England missing no fewer than four opportunities to dismiss the in-form left-hander.

The hosts failed to run him out before he had even got off the mark, Prior proving unable to gather a low throw as he dashed in towards the stumps following a mix-up between Sangakkara and Thirimanne.

However, the biggest let-off of the lot came when the gloveman somehow spilled an edge off Plunkett that was initially in his gloves before looping up and out. Such was the simple nature of the chance, the bowler, the majority of the fielders and many of the spectators, had already started celebrating.

Prior had held an apparent nick from Sangakkara in the morning, yet neither he nor anyone else in the England line-up heard anything to make them consider an appeal. The veteran batsman had just 16 at the time.

Moeen Ali also failed to cling on as he dived away at backward point before Ian Bell - playing in his 100th Test - finally accepted an opportunity to come the way of an England fielder.

Sangakkara's departure sparked a lower-order collapse, Sri Lanka's last five going down for 39 runs. The clatter of wickets vindicated captain Alastair Cook's decision to stick the tourists in at the toss, despite the fact his four frontline seamers had toiled away manfully on the Monday at Lord's attempting to secure victory in the first Test.

Opening duo Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne had stood firm through the first hour of play, putting on a stand of 37 before the former edged James Anderson through to Prior.