Ballance’s maiden England Test century at Lord’s a dream

The left-hander completed the milestone with a superb slog sweep off Rangana Herath that went for six in the final over of play on day four of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

More importantly for England, Ballance’s innings rescued the hosts from a difficult situation as Shaminda Eranga and Herath tore through the top order to leave Alastair Cook’s men on 117-5 at tea.

However, Ballance’s unbeaten 104 – which came in just his second Test – helped England to 267-8 at stumps, a lead of 389 ahead of the final day.

And the 24-year-old was left revelling in what he called an indescribable achievement.

“It’s a great feeling, I can’t really describe it to be honest,” he said at a press conference. “It’s very special and I’m over the moon at the moment.”

He added on the England and Wales Cricket Board’s official website: “It’s what I’ve dreamt about – scoring a hundred here at Lord’s or just scoring a hundred. (That it happened) at Lord’s makes it even more special.”

Ballance thought he had not connected properly with the shot that brought up the landmark achievement.

“It felt like forever (that the ball was in the air),” he said. “I didn’t think I had enough of it, but I watched it all the way and it’s just a great feeling that it went over the rope.”

England are likely to declare overnight, which would mean they would have all of the final day to try and bowl Sri Lanka out and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

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