‘It looked like Sri Lanka were starting to panic’ – Sam Curran

“But me and Jimmy had quite a bit of fun out there. He was probably the one telling me to calm down and trust him. It was real good fun out there. It’s a nice score on the board with the surface breaking up and cracks getting a bit bigger.”

Curran also paid tribute to Jos Buttler’s earlier half-century, a sweep-heavy 63 from 67 balls that had kept England’s score moving in spite of the top-order wickets falling around him.

“Jos came in and played the way we know he can do: sweeping, reverse sweeping, running down,” he said. “They looked like they started to panic a little bit almost. It got to the stage after lunch he was almost reverse-sweeping or or sweeping every ball, with the field all over the place.

“There’s a ball in that wicket that generally is going to get you out. You’ve got to back your ability and take those risks when you can,” he added. “Rooty’s been massive in the dressing room saying ‘don’t worry about making mistakes’, we’re just trying to go out with a positive mindset.”

Malinda Pushpakumara, Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner, admitted that, as a consequence of their positive approach, England’s total had been significantly higher than his side had bargained for.

“We thought we should restrict them to 200,” he said. “But the last pair added 60 runs and that’s a big bonus for them. It will be tough for us. Our batsmen need to score all those runs. Our plan is to get 350 plus. We have to go for that plan.”

Curran, however, was confident that England had the bowling attack to cement their dominance going into the second day’s play.

“The spinners are going to have a huge role tomorrow,” he said. “We’ve got three great spinners all bowling very nicely. The wicket is starting to turn from the straight which is a great sign for us, with a score we are fairly happy with.

“The next couple of days are going to be exciting for spin bowlers and batters are going to be on their toes.”