Centurion Joe Root stands firm as wickets fall steadily around him with England facing a huge fight to come close to Sri Lanka’s fist innings score in the Second Test in Galle
- Joe Root scored another century in England’s second Test against Sri Lanka
- But Sri Lanka still had a strong platform to work from, leading by 129 at tea
- Responding to Sri Lanka’s 381, England were on 252-6 with one session left
- Jos Buttler made a bright 55 before Sam Curran went just before the interval
Joe Root reeled off another majestic century as he carried England’s faltering hopes in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Root piled on 228 in last week’s series opener at the same ground and continued to dominate the home attack as he reached three figures in consecutive matches for the first time in his career.
At tea on day three, Root was merry on 137 not out but his near flawless innings could not disguise the fact that Sri Lanka still had a strong platform to work from after two more dismissals in the afternoon session. At 252-6, England remained 129 short of parity with four wickets left.
Joe Root scored another century as he carried England’s faltering hopes in the second Test against Sri Lanka
At tea on day three Root was on 137 not out but the hosts were still in control of the match
Sri Lanka still had a strong platform to work from with England still trailing by 129 at tea
Lasith Embuldeniya, who removed both openers cheaply on Saturday evening, was the primary threat and made another double strike in his first spell as Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence were undone by his left-arm spin.
Responding to Sri Lanka’s 381, Root and Bairstow took their steady third-wicket stand from 93 to 111 – Bairstow had chipped in just 28 of those and, with wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella reminding him at regular intervals that he had been ‘dropped’ rather than rested for the forthcoming India series, he nicked an inside edge on to his front pad and was caught at slip.
Root had resumed on 67 and immediately began accumulating again, rocking on his heels to pull Embuldeniya for four and getting stuck into his trusted arsenal of sweeps.
He was getting better with each passing moment, not least when he took the chance to show off a remarkable switch hit – flipping his stance in the style of Kevin Pietersen and striking for four in the manner of a left-hander.