Saturday, 14 June 2014 00:30
England makes a commanding 575 for 9; Sri Lanka responds with 140 for 1 on end of Day 2
LONDON (Reuters): Joe Root hit his maiden test double century as England piled on the runs on the second day of the opening test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on Friday, declaring at 575 for nine shortly before tea. The 23-year-old, dropped for the final Ashes test during England’s 5-0 whitewash Down Under, brought up his 200 with a dab behind square after a well compiled innings that featured 16 boundaries from 298 balls.
Alastair Cook immediately declared the innings, leaving Sri Lanka openers Kaushal Silva (16) and Dimuth Karunaratne (19) to survive a testing spell to reach the interval at 35 without loss. Root, yet to nail down any one position in the line-up during his short test career, was offered good support by Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad and Liam Plunkett on Friday as the hosts looked to bat the opposition out of the match against a bowling attack that lacked any real threat after an early blast on the first morning of the test. Root’s total beat his previous best of 180, also scored at Lord’s against Australia last year, and helped rescue his side after they were struggling at 120 for four soon after lunch on the first day.
Having had little luck tossing the ball up late on the opening day, Sri Lanka’s bowlers set out to bombard Root and Matt Prior, also returning after injury and being dropped against Australia, with short balls on a pitch that appears set to become easier to bat on as the match progresses.
Wicketkeeper Prior, who passed 4,000 test runs early in the day, never looked entirely comfortable, eventually falling for 86 when he could only fend a well-directed bouncer from Shaminda Eranga to Silva at forward short-leg, with the pair having put on 171 runs for the sixth-wicket.
Jordan, who along with Sam Robson and Moeen Ali is making his test debut, struck a breezy 19 before becoming Eranga’s third victim, looping a simple catch to Prasanna Jayawardene behind the stumps after taking 10 runs from the previous three deliveries.
Fellow fast bowler Broad also ensured a high run-rate, hitting nine boundaries before being caught in the deep by Karunaratne off Nuwan Pradeep for 47 off 38 balls.
Plunkett, making his first test appearance in seven years, hit a near run-a-ball 39 to help England to their highest score against Sri Lanka, for whom Pradeep finished with four wickets.
Scores at tea: Scores: England 575-9 dec (J. Root 200 not out, M. Prior 86, I. Bell 56; N. Pradeep 4-123, S. Eranga 3-163); Sri Lanka 140/1 (40 overs): Kaushal Silva 62 Not Out; Kumar Sangakkara 32 Not Out. Dimuthu Karunaratne 38.