Dinesh Chandimal ascended to the captaincy at late notice, winning the toss and opting to bat in Galle.
Sri Lanka suffered a cruel run of injuries on their recent tour of South Africa, where they lost 2-0, and have rather had to throw a team together.
Lahiru Thirimanne kept his place in the top order due to Karunaratne’s injury, which is a particularly cruel blow as he is a solid opener who scored a fine century in the second Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Sri Lanka went with three spinners, while England opted for a different balance.
Dom Bess and Jack Leach bowl spin for them, alongside three seamers – Stuart Broad, Sam Curran and Mark Wood. James Anderson was rested.
Essex batsman Dan Lawrence made his debut at No5 and was handed his cap No697 by his former county team-mate James Foster.
Sri Lanka: 1 Lahiru Thirimanne, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Dilruwan Perera, 10 Lasith Embuldeniya, 11 Asitha Fernando
England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dan Lawrence, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Dom Bess, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Mark Wood, 11 Jack Leach.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by standard.co.uk has not been edited by SLM staff)