Lancashire batsmen Jennings hit 146no off 276 balls against Sri Lanka in Galle after many experts questioning his place in the test squad after a poor summer. England declared on 322-6 setting the hosts 462 runs to win the first test.
The only other notable contributions was a patient 62 from Ben Stokes and a free flowing 37 from Ben Foakes which included 3 sixes, following on from his debut ton in the first innings.
Jennings has struggled so far in his international career since his debut ton against India in 2016, but was then dropped from the test squad in the following series against South Africa by only averaging 15.88. With the Surrey captain Rory Burns dominating the county championship it looked as though Jennings would be the man to make way for Burns but Cooks retirement meant that Jennings would keep his place.
Sri Lanka ended on 15-0 to reach stumps at the end of day 3 leaving England 2 days to take 10 wickets and secure the first test. The hosts were dismissed for a mere 203 in the first innings after a spinning master class from Moeen Ali who picked up 4 wickets. Many expect the visitors to wrap up the fixture within 4 days.