Report

England safe a lead of 286 as wickets and runs movement on third morning

Lunch England 421 (Root 228, Lawrence 73) lead Sri Lanka 135 by 286 runs

Sri Lanka are dealing with a determined battle for survival after Joe Root led England into an apparently impregnable place within the first Take a look at in Galle.

Root’s double-century – the fourth of his Take a look at profession and his second as captain – helped England take a first-innings lead of 286 by the point they have been bowled out on the point of lunch on the third day.

The convenience with which Root amassed his runs may give a considerably deceptive impression in regards to the nature of this pitch. However whereas Root appeared to seek out life easy – he was final man out, caught on the long-on boundary, ten minutes earlier than the scheduled lunch break – it is perhaps famous that solely two different males within the match thus far have made greater than 30 and the final 5 within the England aspect contributed solely 17 runs between them. Sri Lanka claimed six wickets within the morning session, making use of a floor that’s offering beneficiant help to spin bowlers.

Solely Wally Hammond (with seven) and Sir Alastair Cook dinner (with 5) now have extra double-centuries for England. Root’s rating right here additionally represents the second-highest rating by an England participant in Asia after Cook dinner’s 263 not out in Abu Dhabi in 2015.

Root surpassed 8,000 Take a look at runs in the course of the course of the innings. He’s the seventh England participant to achieve the landmark and, when it comes to innings (that is his 178th) the second quickest after Kevin Pietersen, who reached the milestone in 176 innings.

Any hope that Sri Lanka might have had of creating early inroads have been quickly dispelled. Root eased the third ball of the day, from Asitha Fernando, via the covers for 4 whereas Jos Buttler’s response to seeing his defensive prod crushed by a beautiful arm-ball from Dilruwan Perera was to go on the assault. He reverse-swept his subsequent ball for 4 and, after unsettling Lasith Embuldeniya with an identical shot, responded with a pull over mid-wicket when the bowler tailored his size.

At one stage, Root took 14 from three deliveries with a lofted drive for six over long-on off Perera adopted by a pair of sweeps – very a lot a function of this innings- off Embuldeniya; CricViz have advised Root’s innings has contained extra sweeps than any Take a look at innings for which such information exists. Embuldeniya, maybe tiring after greater than 40 overs of toil, was taken for 3 boundaries in an over at one stage.

Fernando did present a quick second of pleasure for Sri Lanka, although. The seamer had solely bowled 9 of the primary 100 overs within the innings however, instantly after an out-of-shape ball was modified, he gained some depraved late swing to assert wickets with two successive deliveries. First he took Buttler’s edge with a full one which left him late, earlier than persuading one to nip again between Sam Curran’s bat and pad to bowl him. Dom Bess negotiated the hat-trick ball securely sufficient however was run-out shortly afterwards as Root, confronted with a loud attraction for lbw, known as him via for an not possible single. Jack Leach was trapped in entrance by a sharply-turning off-break and Mark Wooden miscued an tried sweep and ballooned a catch to the keeper.

Stuart Broad survived being given out twice in three balls – umpire Kumar Dharmasena was pressured to vary his choices after DRS confirmed neither of his LBW choices have been appropriate – and responded with successive boundaries off Fernando.

However by then the die was forged. On a pitch providing rising help to spin bowlers, England’s lead had lengthy since stretched past the horizon. Sri Lanka’s finest hope of survival could be a return of the rain that curtailed the second day.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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