England’s Sam Curran said he could sense an element of panic creeping into the Sri Lankan players’ game on day one of the second Test. The 20-year-old Surrey all-rounder was top scorer for the tourists with 64 as Joe Root’s men managed to progress to 285, despite struggling on 225-9 at one stage of their first innings at the Pallekele
Related: Buttler And Curran Star In Kandy
International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Wednesday.
Curran, who hit six sixes in a 10th-wicket stand of 60 with James Anderson, felt doubts started to creep into the Sri Lanka side when Jos Buttler helped drag England out of a hole as he fired 63 from 67 balls when they were toiling on 65-3 when he went to the crease.
He said: “Jos came in and played the way we know he can do: sweeping, reverse sweeping, running down – they looked like they started to panic a little bit. “It got to the stage after lunch where he was almost reverse sweeping or sweeping every ball, the field was all over the place.”
On his own impressive knock, Curran added: “It was crucial. Getting close to 300 was massive for us. Me and Jimmy had quite a bit of fun out there. He was probably the one telling me to calm down and trust him. “You’ve just got to back your ability, take the risks when you need to.
Joe Root has been massive in the dressing room saying ‘don’t worry about making mistakes’. We’re just trying to go out with a positive mind-set.”
Jack Leach took the wicket of opener Kaushal Silva as Sri Lanka reached stumps on 26-1 and Curran is now looking for England’s spin bowlers to inflict some damage on the hosts.
He said: “Spinners are going to have a huge role and we’ve got three great spinners all bowling very nicely. We have a score we’re fairly happy about with the surface breaking up and cracks getting a bit bigger.”