Galle: Debutant Ben Foakes hit a defiant and unbeaten 87, guiding England to protection — after Sri Lanka claimed cheap early wickets — on 321 for eight at the quit of the first day of the first test.

The Surrey wicket-keeper batsman, who is aware of this could just be a one-off risk as Jonny Bairstow regains fitness, got here in with England precariously placed on 103 for five on a Galle pitch infamous for low ratings.

Foakes constructed essential partnerships such as an 88-run seventh wicket stand with Sam Curran, who made 48, to defy Sri Lanka's bowlers.

England elected to bat first in what become Sri Lankan spin legend Rangana Herath's farewell in shape.

The right-handed Foakes steadied the innings, attaining his half of century early in the final session because the tourists misplaced simply three wickets after lunch.

Foakes placed on sixty one for the 6th wicket with Jos Buttler, who was subsequently stuck in the back of off Dilruwan Perera for 38.

Left-hander Curran attacked the bowling, hitting one four and 3 sixes before falling brief of his fifty to spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Adil Rashid made a useful 35 in a stand of fifty four with Foakes that improved the disappointment for Sri Lanka's bowlers before he became Perera's fourth victim of the day.

Jack Leach, batting on 14, then survived some anxious moments within the very last overs to provide Foakes a threat to complete a momentous debut ton on day .

Sri Lanka's veteran spinner Herath claimed his one hundredth take a look at scalp at Galle after sending lower back England skipper Joe Root inside the establishing session.

most effective different bowlers have carried out one hundred test wickets on one ground — Herath's mythical compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan who completed it at Galle, Kandy and SSC Colombo, and England paceman James Anderson at Lord's.

Herath notched up the milestone while Root came down the wicket and ignored after a breezy 35.

Root had also steadied England when they stumbled to 10 for 2 after debutant opener Rory Burns was caught in the back of off Suranga Lakmal for 9 and Moeen Ali changed into bowled subsequent ball.

Surrey left-hander Burns had been given the tough mission of changing stalwart Alastair cook following his retirement in September.

After Root's dismissal, Perera skittled Keaton Jennings four quick of his 50 before bowling Ben Stokes round his legs for seven as he attempted to brush.