Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott both made centuries against Sri Lanka in the first Test on Saturday as they carried on from where they left off in Australia.
Cook was 129 not out and Trott 125 not as England closed on 287 for two in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings 400, a deficit of 113, at stumps on the third day in this opening match of a three-Test series.
Cook’s hundred was also his second in as many Test innings following the 189 he made in an innings win against Australia in Sydney in January.
That victory completed a 3-1 Ashes series triumph during which the Essex opener scored a mammoth 766 runs at 127.66. Meanwhile, Cook and Trott’s unbroken stand of 240 was their fourth-century partnership in eight Tests, following 116 against Pakistan at The Oval, 329 in the Ashes opener against Australia at Brisbane and 173 in Adelaide.
Cook, 71 not out at tea, square cut seamer Suranga Lakmal for four to complete his 17th Test century, at the youthful age of just 26, in just over five hours off 224 balls with eight boundaries.
South Africa-born Trott, who is averaging more than 60 in Tests – only the legendary Don Bradman with 99.94 has a better mark among batsmen who have played at least 20 innings – was not far behind in reaching three figures.
The 30-year-old Warwickshire batsman completed a sixth century in just his 19th Test when, after Sri Lanka had taken the new ball, he cover-drove Lakmal for an eighth boundary – a shot that also raised a stand of 200 with Cook.
England, before play, announced James Anderson – the only wicket to fall as nightwatchman yesterday – would not bowl again this match because of a side strain he suffered on Friday.
Meanwhile, Pakistan beat Ireland by seven wickets to win the first ODI at Stormont.