Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm spinner in history, claimed his 100th scalp at Galle on Tuesday in his farewell match as England struggled 113 for 5 at lunch in the first Test.
Only two other bowlers have achieved 100 wickets at the same ground — Herath’s compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan who achieved it at Galle, Kandy and SSC Colombo, and England paceman James Anderson at Lord’s.
Herath notched up the milestone with none other than England captain Joe Root, who came down the wicket and missed after a breezy 35.
Root had steadied England after the visitors found themselves 10 for 2 after debutant opener Rory Burns was caught behind off Surange Lakmal for nine and Moeen Ali was bowled next ball.
Surrey left-hander Burns had been given the tough task of replacing stalwart Alastair Cook following his retirement in September.
After Root, Dilruwan Perera skittled Keaton Jennings four short of his 50 before bowling Ben Stokes around his legs for seven as he attempted to sweep.
At lunch on the first day, Jos Buttler was unbeaten on 10 and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, England’s second debutant alongside Burns, on five.