Having started the day at Lord’s needing five wickets, the tourists started slowly and allowed Joe Root (200 not out) and Matt Prior (86) to push England’s total beyond 500.
Four home wickets fell before captain Alastair Cook declared on 575-9 – England’s highest ever Test score against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka responded well, closing the day on 140-1, and Attapattu was satisfied with his side’s display.
“It has been a good day,” the coach told Sky Sports at the close of play. “Especially having fielded for almost five sessions.
“At stumps yesterday they had two in-form batsmen and the way we bowled wasn’t good. Then we came back and had success.
“A change in tactics really worked, you need to do things to upset the rhythm of the batsman and it really worked today.
“Funny things can happen in cricket, we need to put runs on the board first of all tomorrow and we are concentrating on that.”
Sri Lanka’s Kaushal Silva finished the day 62 not out and Attapattu is confident the opening batsman can push on and anchor their innings.
“He is a pretty organised player,” he added. “He has tremendous temperament, and showed why he can be successful at this level.
“I hope he goes on to make a big score.”
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