Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow struck his second century of the series.Getty

England recovered from a dismal start on day one of their third Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's thanks to a vital century from Jonny Bairstow.

Chasing a whitewash in their three-match series after impressive wins in Leeds and Durham in May, the hosts endured a rotten start, losing three wickets before lunch. Bairstow, however, helped steer his side out of trouble as England reached 279-6.

England fell from 56-0 to 84-4 just after lunch with Alex Hales departing for 18 following a wild sweep into the air that was comfortably caught by Angelo Mathews. Nick Compton attempted to steady the ship but was removed for one before Joe Root was caught lbw by Suranga Lakmal, leaving for three following a review.

After lunch, James Vince (10) joined the party, sweeping an impressive four through to cover as he attempted to restore a little confidence. It was short-lived, however, and before long he was caught behind after a delivery from Nuwan Pradeep.

Alastair Cook survived the onslaught and was joined by Bairstow. The two attempted to guide England out of danger but the skipper was removed just before tea, reducing England to 165-5 and putting the pressure right back on them. It was Pradeep who struck again, catching Cook lbw with a seamer that denied him a 29th Test century.

Baistow kept the fight alive, however, clinching his second century of the series to finish the day unbeaten on 107 alongside Chris Woakes (23 not out).