England retained the same XI that opened up a 1-0 lead in the NatWest Series earlier this week as Sri Lanka finally hit the north.
The Sri Lankans’ tour has been plagued by wet weather thus far and there was a dollop of irony in the fact that they were greeted by glorious sunshine on their first day of international cricket this summer anywhere above the M25.
In contrast to Alastair Cook’s team, the tourists were forced into a change following the 110-run defeat at The Oval, with veteran Sanath Jayasuriya’s latest retirement leading to a recall for Dinesh Chandimal.
That, coupled with Cook’s decision to chase, meant Mahela Jayawardene took first ball of the contest, having reverted to the opening role following Jayasuriya’s departure.
Five years ago to the day, Jayasuriya went berserk on the same ground – his 152 hurtling Sri Lanka to their 322-run target with an astonishing 12.3 overs to spare. Just as in that match, Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan took the new ball but he was one of only three England players on duty here to suffer that ignominious defeat: Cook and Ian Bell the other two.