England's Matt Prior targets early Sri Lanka wickets

England centurion Matt Prior
Prior's superb 126 from 131 balls handed England the initiative

England centurion Matt Prior believes his side are still in a strong position against Sri Lanka in the second Test, despite a fightback from the tourists.

Prior scored 126 in England's 486, before Sri Lanka ended day two on 231-1 with Tillakaratne Dilshan 127 not out.

England's bowlers toiled in the heat, but Prior said: "We're still in a strong position with runs on the board.

"Let's hope there's some cloud cover on Sunday and we can come back and get a couple of quick wickets."

England's pace attack - missing the injured Jimmy Anderson - of Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Steve Finn struggled at Lord's, with Finn taking the only wicket, that of Tharanga Paranavitana for 65, after an opening stand of 207.

Dilshan crashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground, including one towering six over long-on off Graeme Swann, and Alastair Cook dropped Paranavitana off Finn when he was on 13.

"Their batsmen came out well with lots of intent and hats off to them for playing well," added Prior. "The wicket looks good right now but we've got to come back in the morning and fire hard.

"No-one's more disappointed than Cookie with the drop, this England side prides itself on its fielding, but we're all human and we know it can happen. As long as we're creating those chances we'll be fine."

Prior also paid tribute to Cook, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan's batting on the first day and said that their hard work had allowed him to cash in with a century as he put on 108 for the sixth wicket with Broad, who struck 54.

"The three guys played fantastically well on Friday, they put in the work and that meant me and Broady could take advantage lower down the order," Prior reflected.

"I probably got to my hundred more through luck than application as I scooted through the nineties with a few edges, but it's great to get a second Test hundred at Lord's.

"Runs lower down are vital and Broady showed that again today. It was brilliant the way he came out and it took pressure off me first thing in the morning, it meant I could just watch and enjoy from the other end."

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