London, Jun 4: England did their claims of being the best Test team no harm when they staged a come from behind fightback to stop Sri Lanka's bowlers from running through their batting order. And it wasn't just one big innings from one batsman, rather almost everyone except a few in the top order put up a commendable effort to end the day at 342/6 from a precarious 22/3 in 7.5 overs.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka skipper Tilakaratne Dilshan won the toss and asked England to bat first. His decision paid off almost instantly after Andrew Strauss was trapped plumb by Welegedara in just the third over of the match.
The law of averages caught up with Jonathan Trott as he fell for only two of Dilhara Fernando. Kevin Pietersen remained on the brink of one big score as he failed again for just two when Lakmal trapped him leg before wicket with the score reading 22/3 in 7.5 overs.
English fightback began after Cook was joined by Ian Bell at the crease and the duo added 108 runs for the fourth wicket. Bell played a typically gritty innings of 52 with eight hits to the fence, while Cook on the other hand played with the composure that one has to come associate with him after the Ashes series.
Morgan, who came in after Bell was removed by Welegedara, easily the pick of Sri Lankan bowlers on Day 1, started of slowly and put on 71 runs for the fifth wicket with Alastair Cook. He soon resorted to his nimble footwork and launched Ranagana Herath first and Dilshan next, over the top to wrest the initiative from Sri Lanka.
As soon as Cook departed for 96, the most decisive part of Day 1 began as Matt Prior joined forces with Morgan and the two scored at a frenetic pace to score 101 runs in 20 overs.
Prior who came in at 201/5 blazed through from the start of his innings as he first notched up his half century of just 63 balls and ended the day with unbeaten on 73 from 83 with 14 hits to the fence.
Giving him company at the other end was Stuart Broad with 17 from 27 balls; Broad came in after Lakmal removed Eoin Morgan for a very well-made 79.