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Sri Lanka solid in reply to England’s 575-9d at Stumps on day 2

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Sri Lanka’s top order batsmen responded well following to England's monster first innings effortm finishing the day’s play convincingly placed at 140-1 thanks to a gritty half century from Kaushal Silva (62*) who received valuable support from Kumar Sangakkara (32*) and Dimuth Karunaratne (38). Chris Jordan got off to the ideal start to his career, picking up his first wicket in his very first over that of Karunaratne. The Sri Lankan openers put on 54 for the first wicket before Sangakkara walked out to the middle following Karunaratne’s dismissal, who then accompanied Silva and saw Sri Lanka through to stumps with an unbeaten partnership of 86 runs.

Earlier in the day, England sat pretty at Tea after declaring on 575-9 following a lower order burst in addition to a brilliant double century from young Joe Root.

For the better part of the first day, mental toughness was being demanded from England in plenty especially as the Sri Lankans bowled brilliantly with the new ball. Twice England were put under pressure, at 22 for 2 and 120 for 4 but it took some composed batting from the likes of Moeen Ali and Matt Prior to give centurion Joe Root the perfect company to rescue England from being bowled out cheaply as they posted 344-5 at stumps on day 1.


The Sri Lankans were disappointed they could not reap more from the pressure they built on England on day 1 but hopes of breaking Root and Prior's overnight century stand with a fresh start on day 2 ran high. The Lankans began working a leg-stump line to Prior and surprisingly enough they didn't have to wait too long for something to happen. Prior received a snorter of a short ball from Shaminda Eranga, that popped up to short leg. 9 overs into the days play and Sri Lanka had their big breakthrough. The 171-run stand had ended, with Prior being dismissed for 86.

Chris Jordan joined Joe Root in the middle and didn't hang around for too long, as he was dismissed for a run-a-ball 19 off the bowling of Eranga who had a pretty good morning session after being wayward on day 1. Despite losing two wickets, the English scored at a quick pace of just under 5 runs an over. The scoring rate picked up even more when Stuart Broad, who joined Root in the center, began his innings well with a flurry of boundaries.

Just before lunch, however, with England sitting pretty on 466-7, Nuwan Pradeep scalped the wicket of Broad, who had made a mockery of the Lankan bowlers as he scored 47 off just 38 balls with 9 boundaries, putting on 64 runs with Root who batted through the session and saw England through to lunch.

England resumed batting on 473-8 after lunch with Joe Root and Liam Plunkett at the crease and the duo were quick to add 81 runs together with Plunkett being the main aggressor scoring at a strike rate of 92. He was dismissed for 39 off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep.

Joe Root then put on 28 runs for the last wicket with James Anderson as he went on to celebrate his maiden double hundred for England in his test career. Soon after, Cook decided to declare the English innings at 575-9 with Joe Root becoming only the second English batsman after Len Hutton to register two scores of 180+ under the age of 24.

Come day 3 and the Sri Lankans will hope Silva and Sangakkara get big runs in order to get as close to England’s 575 as possible.

Mini Scorecard

England 1st Innings, 575-9d (130.3 overs, 4.40 rpo)

J Root 200* (298)  N Pradeep 4-123 (29)

M Prior 86 (131)  S Eranga 3-163 (30)

Sri Lanka 1st Innings, stumps, 140-1, (40 overs, 3.50 rpo)

K Silva 62* (141)   C Jordan 1-26 (10)

K Sangakkara 32* (61)   L Plunkett 0-25 (7)