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Cook holds fort against Lanka

cricket Updated: Jun 04, 2011 00:00 IST

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Alastair Cook was closing in on his sixth hundred in nine Tests but England were far from having things all their own way on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.

England were 165 for four at tea at Lord's here on Friday, with opener Cook 75 not out and fellow left-hander Eoin Morgan 23 not out.

Sri Lanka, 1-0 down in this three-match series after an innings and 14-run loss in the first Test in Cardiff.

Visitors reduced England to 22 for three, with captain Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen all out in single figures. Cook and Ian Bell, who also made a hundred in Cardiff, staunched the flow of wickets with a fourth-wicket partnership of 108 before the Warwickshire right-hander fell for 52.

At tea, Cook had batted for four hours, facing 135 balls including 13 fours.

Sri Lanka's attack had looked largely unthreatening in Cardiff. But left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara, recalled with Fernando in place of the dropped duo of spinner Ajantha Mendis and seamer Thisara Perera did give them something to cheer about in the first session of play.

Brief scores (At tea): England 165/4 (Alastair Cook 75 no, Ian Bell 52).