JACK Leach retained his place in the England team for the third Test with Sri Lanka in Colombo, but his was a watching brief on day one as the recalled Jonny Bairstow dominated.

Somerset's Leach kept his spot after taking his maiden Test five-fer (5-83) in the second Test, with his fellow spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid also remaining, with Bairstow replacing Sam Curran and Stuart Broad coming in for James Anderson.

England skipper Joe Root won his eighth consecutive toss, but openers Rory Burns (14) and Keaton Jennings (13) fell early.

New number three Bairstow and Root rebuilt from 36-2, with a 100-run stand lasting until Root went for 46, and then Ben Stokes joined Bairstow to push England past 200.

But after Stokes departed for 57, England slipped from 235-4 to 265-6.

Bairstow was bowled by Lakshan Sandakan (4-91) for a terrific 110, to be followed by ex-Somerset player Jos Buttler (16), caught and bowled by Sandakan.

Ben Foakes was next to go, for 13, but Ali (23no) and Rashid (13no) reached 312-7 at the close for the tourists, who will be disappointed with the conclusion to the day's play as they seek a 'par score' of 350.

The match will resume at 4.30am tomorrow morning.