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Jayawardene blasts century but England bowlers battle back

KANDY, Sri Lanka, March 7 (AFP) - Mahela Jayawardene blasted a brilliant century here Wednesday but England's bowlers fought back to bowl out Sri Lanka on the first day of the second cricket Test.

Jayawardene made 101, his fifth century in Test cricket, to enable Sri Lanka to recover from a perilous 80 for four to 297 all out.

By the close England had made one without loss after facing two overs.

England took the honours in the first and last sessions of play where they captured 10 wickets.

The afternoon session however was dominated by Jayawardene who put his entire repertoire of strokes on display to hit 12 fours and one six in his 165-ball innings.

Jayawardene batted with freedom, using his feet to the spinners and hammering England's seam attack with a scintillating exhibition of stroke-play.

His innings ended soon after tea when he played the only rash stroke during his three hours at the wicket. Attempting to pull a short ball from Andy Caddick he presented an easy catch to short mid-wicket.

Jayawardene and Russel Arnold, who scored a solid 65 in 242 minutes, shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 141 after Sri Lanka had lost their first four wickets for 80 runs.

Arnold, recovering from a hand injury, hit ten fours before becoming the first victim to the second new ball taken after 80.1 overs. He cut a delivery from Darren Gough to Craig White in the gully.

Arnold was missed by Marcus Trescothick at gully off Craig White before he had scored and at 44 survived a catch to first slip off Caddick which the third umpire ruled as not out.

Gough and Caddick then ran through the lower order as Sri Lanka suffered their second collapse of the innings losing the last five wickets for 20 runs off 34 balls.

Gough's spell with the second new ball brought him three wickets for 16 runs and Caddick picked up two for eight.

Gough and Caddick shared eight wickets between them and with White picking up the other two, all 10 wickets were claimed by the England fast bowlers.

Sri Lanka put themselves in a spot of bother when their top order batsmen fell to some loose shots after Sanath Jayasuriya had won the toss and chose to bat first.

Marvan Atapattu, who scored an unbeaten double century in the Galle Test, played onto a Gough delivery to be bowled for 16.

Jayasuriya was caught in the gully on the drive and Aravinda de Silva miscued a hook shot to give White a return catch.

Kumar Sangakkara was unfortunate when a rising ball from White hit him on the arm guard and he was ruled out caught by Trescothick by ICC umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa.

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