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England fightback after early losses


KANDY, Sri Lanka, March 8 (AFP) - Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe shared an unbroken third wicket stand of 78 to take England to 115-2 on the second day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

Replying to Sri Lanka's first innings of 297, England resumed on two for no loss.

But in just over an hour both openers, Michael Atherton and Marcus Trescothick, had gone, leaving the tourists struggling at 37 for two.

Atherton was out leg before to Chaminda Vaas for seven when he went back to a delivery in the fifth over of the morning.

Trescothick, England's top scorer at Galle in the first Test, hit the first ball he received from off-spinner Kumar Dharmasena for four. But in attempting to sweep the next delivery top edged a catch to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.

Trescothick's departure on 23 brought Hussain and the left-handed Thorpe together.

The two used their feet and were not afraid to take on the spinners, although Thorpe at 16 was lucky to escape a low chance to slip fielder Mahela Jayawardene off Muttiah Muralitharan.

Dharmasena proved expensive as Hussain and Thorpe came down the wicket to hit him for four fours and a six. His first spell of seven overs cost him 31 runs.

Muralitharan, although turning the ball sharply, was unsuccessful, his 12 overs costing 32 runs.

Sanath Jayasuriya brought himself on shortly before lunch and turned the ball appreciably, but failed to break through.

At lunch Hussain had hit a six and five fours in his knock of 37 and Thorpe five fours in his 30.







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