Sam Robson hits maiden test ton for England
Sam Robson said he was in dreamland after a maiden century in only his second England test, the Sydney-born opener helping his adopted country to a 63-run lead over Sri Lanka at the close of play on day two at Headingley.
''It's been a special day and one I certainly won't be forgetting,'' said 24-year-old Robson, who was eventually out for 127 as England closed on 320-6. Sri Lanka were all out for 257 in their first innings.
''I was just trying to soak it up. It was such a special, unbelievable, incredible feeling. I'm just loving every minute of being part of this England team.''
Test hundreds are the stuff dreams are made of,'' he said. ''It was tricky at the start. Then it swung around a bit this morning with the newish ball in the first session.
''I felt good and I tried to get myself in and fight hard to get the team into decent position. But the second new ball was tricky,'' said Robson, explaining how Sri Lanka fought back late on, taking four wickets for nine runs.
''I don't smash sixes left right and centre, but I try to be positive. My debut at Lord's was unbelievable, a bit overwhelming in some respects.''
Robson put on 142 with Gary Ballance (74) and 87 with Ian Bell (64) - in his 100th test appearance - but not until struggling England captain Alastair Cook had been caught behind for 17.
Cook went in the fourth over of the day when he edged Dhammika Prasad to Kumar Sangakkara at first slip, his 23rd innings without a test hundred dating back to May 2013.
Robson and Ballance were hardly troubled but Ballance had two escapes when umpire Billy Bowden's lbw decision off Rangana Herath was overturned on review and when he was put down at short leg off Angelo Mathews.
Joe Root and Moeen Ali were also dismissed cheaply as skipper Mathews and Shaminda Eranga led the Sri Lanka recovery with two victims each.
Matt Prior and Chris Jordan were still there on three and four respectively, even though both were dropped as well.Robson was eventually out, bowled by Nuwan Pradeep who also caused Bell problems, beating his outside edge before the 32-year-old went on to notch his 41st test half-century.
Eranga got Bell's prize wicket, caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.Root (13) followed soon after with a timid edge through to Chandimal before Ali (2) became Eranga's second victim and Chandimal's fourth of the innings.
Sri Lanka's late burst halted England's chance of building the large first innings lead that had looked inevitable for much of the day.