Sri Lanka’s Galle fortress in danger of crumbling after an insipid first day | Rex Clementine

England are in control after the home side collapsed to their lowest first-innings total at the venue in a flurry of sloppy shots

Galle has been a real fortress of Sri Lankan cricket. The heat, rank turners and some fine spin bowlers have ensured visiting teams last barely three days in a Test match here. England fans, though, have been attending in numbers for nearly two decades since the ground became an international venue. More in hope than conviction that their team will do well, the Barmy Army turns up just to have a good time. You would rather spend the winter in Galle where the temperature is 35C than at Nomansland in Devon or at Bishop’s Itchington in Warwickshire where the temperature remains in single digits at this time of the year.

Sri Lanka is a cheap place for British tourists. A pint costs less than a pound, a decent B&B costs less than £20 a night, and Unawatuna beach offers fresh fish and chips for under a fiver.

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