Latest Match Update
ENG 320/4 (94)
Joe Root‘s highest Test score since November 2019 has helped England right into a dominant place at lunch on the second day of the primary Test in Galle. Root went through 2020 with no century – the primary time in his Test profession he has gone through a full 12 months without one – and dropped out of the highest 10 within the ICC’s batting rankings within the process.
However, right here he provided an indication of his enduring class in negating the sharply turning ball with calm authority and shifting to the brink of his 18th Test century. At lunch, Root was unbeaten on 99. Extra importantly, he has taken England’s lead past 70 with seven first-innings wickets in hand.
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Root was given assured help from Dan Lawrence on debut. Getting off the mark first ball, Lawrence regarded assured from the off and, selecting up the size properly, was snug to skip down the pitch or deep into his crease when required. Shortly earlier than lunch, he launched Lasith Embuldeniya for a slog-sweep six that prompt England may simply have discovered a person with the character and talent to flourish at this degree. Sterner assessments loom, little doubt, however, this has been a completed first international inning from Lawrence.
He was helped, it should be mentioned, by some free bowling. Whereas Embuldeniya – who has taken all three wickets to fall to this point – continued to ask questions of the batsmen, he lacked the help required to construct strain. Dilruwan Perera, specifically, struggled along with his line and size – a floated full-toss allowed Lawrence to ease his second delivery via the covers for 4 – permitting England to select up common singles.
The leg-spinner, Wanindu Hasaranga, was no higher. Lawrence was capable of minimizing, sweep and drive him for boundaries as he struggled along with his size. Hasaranga has conceded greater than four-an-over to this point; in a low-scoring sport, it’s a price Sri Lanka can sick afford.
The earlier play was delayed by 70 minutes due to rain. When the resumption ultimately got here, Jonny Bairstow fell within the second over of the day without including to his in a single day rating. Whereas Bairstow might replicate he might have left the ball, Embuldeniya had drawn him ahead properly and gained a sharp flip to take the surface edge. Kusal Mendis additionally did effectively to cling on to a pointy, low catch.
At that stage, Sri Lanka still held a slender first-innings lead. However, Root and Lawrence crushed any hopes the house aspect might have had of constructing deeper inroads into the England innings. On a floor that’s clearly deteriorating, batting final might show deeply problematic. However, as England’s lead continues to develop, Sri Lanka’s benefit in profitable the toss has diminished considerably.