Sri Lanka v England: Keaton Jennings says stunning catches are 'no fluke'

England's Keaton Jennings stays low to take a left-handed catch and dimiss Sri Lanka batsman Dhananjaya de Silva during the second Test
Keaton Jennings made this fine catch at short leg before combining with Ben Foakes for another later on
Second Test, Pallekele (day four)
England 290 & 346: Root 124, Foakes 65*, Burns 59, Akila 6-115
Sri Lanka 336 & 226-7: Mathews 88, Karunaratne 57, Leach 4-73
Sri Lanka target: 301

Keaton Jennings says England's impressive fielding is "no fluke" after two stunning catches helped them close in on victory over Sri Lanka on day four of the second Test.

Jennings, 26, made a one-handed grab at short leg before parrying a sharp chance for wicketkeeper Ben Foakes .

Sri Lanka reached 226-7 when rain stopped play in Pallekele, needing a further 75 to level the series.

"It isn't fluke when guys put a lot of work into it," Jennings told BBC Sport.

"It's satisfying when you put in the work with other people and it paid off here."

When Dhananjaya de Silva flicked Jack Leach into the leg side, Jennings kept low to catch the ball with his left hand despite moving to his right.

"As I went down, I saw the ball come off the bat, stuck my left hand out and thankfully it stuck," he said.

After Dhananjaya's dismissal left Sri Lanka 26-3, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews combined to frustrate England with a stand off 77 until Jennings' second intervention.

Anticipating left-hander Karunaratne's sweep to Adil Rashid, Jennings moved to his left and, although he could not hold on, managed to flick it upwards for Foakes.

Jennings said he has trained to "try and hit the ball up" in those situations.

"I'd love to say I ran round and parried it to Foakesy. I tried to catch it," he said.

"He was running round so it dropped into his lap, which is awesome. The fluke is that it went straight to him. Other days it lands in no-man's land."

Jennings said former England batsman Paul Collingwood, currently an assistant coach, had had "a big impact" on their fielding.

All-rounder Ben Stokes pulled off a superb run-out and took a one-handed catch at slip in Sri Lanka's first innings.

"Everybody does a lot of work - Stokes does 15 to 20 minutes of catching at every net session, every break in a session, every morning before play," said Jennings.

"We've done a lot of work with Colly in the last few weeks. He reads the game really well, what positions to get into.

"As a tall bloke, it is generally harder for me to get down low, so we chat about standing positions and how close to get to the batsman."

Since World War One only four teams have scored 65 or more runs with three wickets left to win a Test.

But Jennings said it "will not be straightforward" for England to take the three wickets they need to secure a first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001.

"There will be twists but if we get one early, it will put them under the pump," he said.

"It could go down to the wire but these are the Test matches we want to be involved in."

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