Root’s 186 reduces Lanka lead to 42

GALLE, Jan 24: England captain Joe Root smashed 186 runs to lead the touring side ever closer to Sri Lanka’s first-innings total as they finished day three on 339 for nine, just 42 runs behind on Sunday.
Root’s epic innings came to an end in the last over of the day when he was run out 14 short of another double hundred.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers had no answer for the Yorkshireman and it appeared inevitable that he was only going to be dismissed through a run out.
Root faced 309 deliveries and hit 18 fours in his monster innings.
Root attempted to flick Dilruwan Perera to mid-wicket but the thick edge was grabbed by Oshada Fernando at short leg on the bounce.
Root had taken a few steps out of the crease and sensing an opportunity Fernando threw the stumps down as a tired Root’s diving effort couldn’t save him.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya finished with a seven-wicket haul but the day belonged to the England captain, who put up a splendid show of character and determination in batting for more than eight hours.
He had posted a double hundred in the first test that England won by seven wickets.
Not since West Indian Brian Lara’s exploits in Galle in 2001 when he scored 688 runs in six innings, had a batsman played spin bowlers so expertly. Root now has 415 runs in three innings.
The sweep shot was Root’s bread and butter and he executed it to perfection, finding gaps frequently despite Sri Lana having three fielders in the leg-side boundary.
The 30-year-old reached his 19th test hundred in the morning and during his knock went past the run tallies of three former England greats – David Gower 8,231, Kevin Pietersen 8,181 and Geoffrey Boycott 8,114.
Root, playing in his 99th test match, now has 8,238 test runs and is fourth among England batsmen. Apart from Embuldeniya, the rest of Sri Lanka’s bowling failed to impress, with off-spinner Dilruwan Perera failing to pick up a wicket despite the 38-year-old bowling 32 overs. (AP)

Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.