Root’s half-century after 5 wickets of base, England strong (lead-1)

Gaul, 14 January (IANS) With five wickets off off-spinner Dom Bess, England pushed Sri Lanka to the backfoot on Thursday on the first day of the first Test match being played at the Gaul International Stadium here.

Batting first after winning the toss, the Sri Lankan team collapsed for just 135 runs. By the end of the first day’s play, England had scored 127 runs losing their two wickets.

Captain Joe Root is playing 66 runs till Stumps. Johnny Bairstow has stood with the captain scoring an unbeaten 47.

England, who came to play their first innings after stacking Sri Lanka early, also did not get a good start. Lasith Imbuldenia brought England first success by dismissing Dom Sibley (4). Jack Crowley also became a victim of Imbuldenia. Jack scored nine runs. England’s first wicket fell at 10 and the second wicket at a total of 17 runs.

From here, captain Root and Bairstow carried the team’s innings forward and have so far shared 110 runs for the third wicket. Root has faced 115 balls and hit five fours in his innings so far. Bairstow is three runs away from his half-century. He has hit two fours in 91 balls.

Earlier, Sri Lankan batsmen could not score big at home and kept losing wickets continuously. None of the team’s batsmen could make a half-century.

Dinesh Chandimal, who is captaining the team in place of regular captain Dimuth Karunaratne, scored the highest 28 runs. Angelo Mathews scored 27 and Dasun Shanaka scored 23.

Bess took five wickets and did not let the Sri Lankan middle order and lower order stay on the wicket. Stuart Broad took three wickets. Jack Leach’s part came with a wicket.

A two-match Test series is being played between the two teams. After this, the English team will move to India, where it will take part in T20 and ODI series besides four Tests. The series will begin in February.



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