(AFP) - Keaton Jennings s first century due to the fact that his 2016 debut helped England placed Sri Lanka at the ropes in the first check on Thursday, placing the hosts a daunting 462 to win at notoriously low-scoring Galle.

The site visitors declared at 322 for six on day three with Jennings 146 no longer out after a patient innings that saw the underneath-stress opener deal deftly with the hosts  spin attack.

on the near, Sri Lanka had been 15 with out loss after Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva held on for seven overs, leaving a further 447 to make at a floor in which no group has correctly chased greater than ninety nine.

England, with a 139-run first-innings lead and 38-zero overnight, lost a incredibly shaky Rory Burns, delivered in to fill the huge footwear of the retired Alastair prepare dinner, in the morning session, run out for 23.

Moeen Ali, out first ball in the first innings, fared little better within the second, using directly to Rangana Herath at mid-on off Dilruwan Perera for 3.

Herath, in his ultimate game before retiring having got his landmark a centesimal wicket at Galle, then got England captain Joe Root out for the second one time in the suit, caught behind for 3.

but Jennings regarded comfy against the spin of Perera and the others. An LBW appeal while Jennings become on 58 turned into became down and Sri Lanka chose -- erroneously it became out -- now not to check.

Ben Stokes hit a brisk sixty two off ninety three balls that noticed 3 sixes, which include one lower back over Perera s head and an almighty sweep high over midwicket off Dhananjaya de Silva to convey up the three hundred.

rapidly earlier than tea he have become Perera s 2nd scalp, a demon of a ball pitching outside leg and angling back to take the Durham all-rounder s off stump.

Jos Buttler smashed a quick 35 before being stuck off Herath whilst Ben Foakes, the centurion hero of the primary innings, belted out 37 earlier than falling to spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Jennings s performance will go a few way to silencing his critics -- a lot of whom had been calling for him to be dropped after a terrible collection against India this summer time whilst he averaged just 18.

Having scored 112 at Mumbai in December 2016 on his debut, he was axed after a disastrous tour of his native South Africa in 2017. He lower back in opposition to Pakistan in can also this 12 months.

After stumps on Thursday the 26-year-old conceded that the past 18 months have been "definitely tough".

"I ve faced some things in my cricketing life I ve had to research from. I ve needed to increase myself," Jennings said.

"It s just virtually captivating and a massive thank you to the humans who have caught with me over the last 18 months, subsidized me through some difficult times, waking within the night panicking and stressing," he said.

"whilst you re waking up at 6.30 in the morning and studying approximately your technical deficiencies it s now not human to mention it wouldn t affect you," he added.

"i've only watched Keaton Jennings live in two test suits and he has got 100 in both I should be his fortunate allure !!!," former England super Allan Lamb stated on Twitter.

"properly performed wonderful and thoroughly deserved by way of the difficult work."

 

Sri Lanka s spin bowling educate Piyal Wijetunge said but that the hosts still have a hazard to win, in element due to the fact the infamous Galle wicket is behaving in a different way this time.

"there is a large undertaking, but it s now not the type of wicket we usually see in Galle. If the batsmen do their obligation, the 440-unusual that we need might be tough, but it s no longer impossible," he said.

Sri Lanka s first-class hope even though is the weather, with rain gambling havoc with the collection thus far and thunderstorms forecast for Galle on Friday and on Saturday -- need to the hosts live to tell the tale day four.