Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott both made centuries against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Cardiff 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, 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.
Sri Lanka side were forced to play this match without in-form seamers Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Pradeep, both ruled out through injury.
Brief scores: England 287-2 (Cook 129*, Trott 125*) v Sri Lanka 400 (T. Paranavitana 66, T. Dilshan 50)
Pak beat Ireland
Belfast: Pakistan beat Ireland by seven wickets to win the first one-day international at Stormont here on Saturday and so take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Brief scores: Ireland: 96, 36 overs (J Khan 4-12, S Ajmal 3-7) v Pakistan: 97-3, 27.3 overs (Md Hafeez 52; A Cusack 3-12).
Pak won by 7 wkts (D/L method).