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                       Century opening stand puts England on top

Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook laid a solid foundation for England sharing an opening partnership of 122 runs to help the team end the second day on 154 for the loss of one wicket at stumps, Wednesday in the second and final cricket test played at the P. Sara Oval, Colombo.The tourists, still need 121 runs to gain a first innings lead and they have two rock solid batsmen at the crease. Cook was unbeaten on 77 and was slowly marching towards another three-figure mark in his career and Jonathan Trott was on 15 not out. Cook was dropped on 20 by Lahiru Thirimanne off Herath and the left handed opener didn't look back since. His knock included seven boundaries.Skipper Andrew Strauss, who is under pressure to score runs grind his way 61 off 126 deliveries. He was dismissed attempting to cut a ball from part-time bowler Dilshan and edging a catch to wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene. In his 202 minutes stay, the England skipper hit only four boundaries. Strauss and Cook kept their wickets intact in a dreary session of 120 minutes between the lunch and tea. Only four boundaries were hit while 72 runs were scored in 32 overs. Graeme Swann struck thrice in the morning session as England dismissed Sri Lanka before lunch. Resuming with the overnight total at 238 for five, Sri Lanka added only 37 runs in 21 overs before they were dismissed.The two overnight batsmen Angelo Matthews and Suraj Randiv wanted to survive the morning spells from James Anderson and Steven Finn, which they did successfully. The new ball partners shared nine overs and conceded 18 runs without a success before Swann replaced Finn to claim three wickets for four runs in 37 balls.Stationing five men on the leg side, Swann bowled sharply turning off breaks inviting Randiv and Matthews to drive. Both fell to the trap laid for them. Randiv came out of his crease, attempting to hit over the top and was superbly held at long on by the tall Kevin Pietersen. Mathews drove the ball straight to Strauss who had stationed himself at short mid-wicket. Then Swann produced the perfect off-spin to dismiss Suranga Lakmal bowled between bat and pad for nought to end the Sri Lanka innings.