Galle [Sri Lanka], January 24 (ANI): Joe Root's knock of 186 helped England stay on course against Sri Lanka on day three of the ongoing second Test on Sunday here at the Galle International Stadium.
At stumps on day three, England's score reads 339/9, still trailing the hosts by 42 runs. For the visitors, Jack Leach is currently unbeaten on 0. During the course of this innings, Root surpassed Kevin Pietersen to become the fifth-highest run-scorer for England in Test matches. Of the nine England wickets that have fallen, seven have been taken by Lasith Embuldeniya.
Resuming day three at 98/2, England got off to a bad start as the visitors lost the wickets of Jonny Bairstow (28) and Dan Lawrence (3) in quick succession and the side was reduced to 132/4. Both the batters were sent back to the pavilion by Lasith Embuldeniya.
Jos Buttler then joined skipper Joe Root in the middle and the duo tried to retrieve the innings for the visitors. Both batsmen ensured that the side did not lose more wickets before the lunch break and their partnership also saw Root bringing up his 19th Test ton. At the lunch break, England's score read 181/4 with Root and Buttler batting on 105 and 30 respectively.
After the lunch break, Buttler and Root continued with their fight and the duo rotated the strike with ease and Sri Lankan bowlers were put under pressure. Buttler also went on to register his half-century but soon after reaching the landmark, he was sent back to the pavilion by Ramesh Mendis. Buttler went on to play a knock of 55, and with this dismissal, the 98-run stand between Root and Buttler came to an end.
Just on the cusp of tea break, England lost the wicket of Sam Curran (13), and with this Embuldeniya brought up his five-wicket haul. At the break, the visitors' score read 252/6 with Root unbeaten on 137.
After the tea break, Dominic Bess provided the much-needed support to Root and the duo stood their ground, making Sri Lankan bowlers toil hard. Both batsmen formed an 81-run stand, but half-an-hour before the scheduled close of play, Embuldeniya dismissed Bess (32) and Mark Wood (1), reducing England to 337/8. In the last over of the day, Root (186) was sent back to the pavilion via run-out, and as a result, visitors concluded the day at 339/9.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 381; England 339/9 (Joe Root 186, Lasith Embuldeniya 7-132). (ANI)