Result: England recover on day four against Sri Lanka

Result: England recover on day four
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A maiden Test century from Gary Ballance sees England recover on day four of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

A maiden Test century from Gary Ballance has helped England recover on day four of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

The hosts found themselves on 117-5 at tea before a late rally saw them finish 389 runs ahead on 267-8.

England started the day needing three more wickets to end Sri Lanka's spell at the crease, and they duly arrived as Rangana Herath (two), Angelo Mathews (102) and Nuwan Pradeep (four) were all dismissed to leave the tourists 122 runs behind on 453.

The hosts reached 27-0 at lunch with Alastair Cook and Sam Robson holding their own out in the middle before a succession of wickets fell to put them in trouble.

Cook was the first to go when he was caught by Prasanna Jayawardene off the bowling of Shaminda Eranga for 28.

Eranga struck for the second time soon after when he bowled Robson for 19, and he was at it again by dismissing Ian Bell for nine to leave England on 69-3.

Eranga's domination with the ball continued by bowling Joe Root lbw for 15 before sending Moeen Ali back to the pavilion for just four runs as England struggled to 117-5 at tea.

Ballance and Matt Prior put up some resistance at the start of the final session, but Prior was out for 16 before Chris Jordan (44) and Stuart Broad (24) both fell to Herath.

With Ballance creeping towards the 100-run mark alongside Liam Plunkett at the crease, the batsman unleashed a six off the final ball of the day to cap a solid turnaround for the home side.

England's Alastair Cook walks off the field after losing his wicket during day 5 of the 3rd Ashes Test on August 5, 2013
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