England v Sri Lanka, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 1st day June 12, 2014

Root ton caps England's revival

120

England 344 for 5 (Root 102*, Prior 76*, Bell 56) v Sri Lanka
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Joe Root accepted the opportunity to put a disrupting Ashes series behind him by marking the onset of England's Test summer with a third hundred once again replete with promise. It was a polished affair against a Sri Lanka attack that initially prospered after inserting England, claiming four wickets for 120, but which found the going increasingly arduous as the first day progressed.

As a tinge of green disappeared from the pitch as quickly as a dash across a paint manufacturer's colour chart and the Lord's background hum provided a supportive soundtrack, Root was at ease with his game again, sitting primarily on the back foot and working the ball through the leg side with regularity. His drive down the ground against Shaminda Eranga to reach 96, though, told of better balance and his emotional response when he clipped Rangana Herath through mid-on for three was that of a man who had put his doubts behind him.

Sri Lanka will feel they lost control of the day by a few millimetres. England could have been 209 for 6 if Matt Prior, who made a pair at Lord's last summer, had been given out lbw for 0 to his second ball, against the left-arm spinner, Rangana Herath. They reviewed umpire Paul Rieffel's not out decision and failed by the narrowest margin.

By the close, a few millimetres had grown into considerable suffering. Prior finished the day unbeaten on 76 from 103 balls, his sixth-wicket stand with Root worth 135 in 30 overs. All that chest thrusting must put strain on his dodgy Achilles. England broke the day with 149 from 36 overs in the final session. For England's new coaching pair, Peter Moores and Paul Farbrace, it made satisfying watching.

By fielding Root at No. 5, England had done everything to release him from the inertia that gradually settled upon him in Australia. He is at his best when there is perkiness in his play and even though his hundred - his second at Lord's - took more than five hours, his decisiveness was evident from the outset.

The order was a source of debate for some all the same. As one armchair critic accused, recalling an old Eric Morecambe piano playing gag, England had picked the right players, they were just playing them in the wrong order. There were certainly a few bum notes as Sri Lanka swung the ball persistently before lunch to strike three times and added the wicket of Ian Bell, lbw on review in mid-afternoon, after an otherwise consummate half-century.

Sri Lanka's decision to bowl first had an element of self-protection about it. Fading green tinge or not (more Apple Essence than Cow Pasture even when the toss was made at 10.30am), the surface was dry and the weather settled. There can be a lot of difference between mid-May, when they normally visit England, and mid-June.

The originality in their Test attack, such an attraction on their past visits to England, has largely departed. The uniqueness of Murali, slingshots of Lasith Malinga and finger-flicking variations of Ajantha Mendis are all absent from this side. Rangana Herath is a throwback, a portly figure tossing up his left-arm slows at less than 50mph, but the pace attack was more conventional and was grateful for early swing and the chance to probe England's uncertainty. Sam Robson, making only a single on debut, Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance all perished.

The more you prop up a captain in difficulty, the more you risk the chance that he might fall over when unaided. England's managing director, Paul Downton, has made much of the need to provide an environment in which Cook's captaincy can flourish, but such a message can eat away at self-esteem and his first innings of the season was a strangely hesitant affair.

Robson steered his second ball, from Kulasekara, through into the covers for his first Test run, but he progressed no further. He knew the Lord's slope, having played his county cricket for Middlesex, but he was drawn all the same into pushing at an outswinger from Nuwan Pradeep which faded down the hill and provided an edge to the keeper. On Test Match Special, Geoffrey Boycott dissected his technique on the evidence of seven balls; such are the demands of international cricket.

Cook might have preferred a more physical threat from an out-and-out fast bowler. Instead, Nuwan Kulasekara, playing his first Test for more than a year and one of the slowest bowlers to take the new ball of recent vintage, unbalanced him.

He propped forward to his second ball to play and miss. He cagily clanked the last ball of the over to the cover boundary. His second boundary escaped through backward point as he aimed to the leg side. He was fiddly and hesitant. He sought to cut Kulusekara and chopped on to his stumps as he was cramped for room.

Ballance, a compact back footer, had been asked to handle the strains of No. 3, with Kulasekara relishing the Dukes ball's propensity to swing. He edged Kulasekara just in front of third slip, larruped a shorter ball perilously close to Kaushal Silva at backward point then fell to a ponderous drive to give the shock-haired Pradeep his second wicket.

Moeen Ali, on debut, began sketchily but, even in those early uncertain moments, for every streaky thick edge to third man there was a stylish riposte; ambition, too, seen in the moment when he deposited his first sight of spin bowling in Test cricket, a gentle delivery from the left-arm spinner Herath, over wide long-on for six. His ugliest moment proved to be his last, drawn into a drive at a wide one by Herath, beaten by drift down the slope and edging to slip.

The poise of Moeen gave way to the belligerence of Prior. His Achilles withstood a desperate dive for the crease on 36 when he chanced a second to Kulasekara's arm from long leg. But as he despatched Pradeep - and the second new ball - to the extra cover boundary for a half-century in 81 balls, his dirt-splattered shirt was merely a marketing company's dream as he communicated the fact that he was back in business.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zummerrset on June 13, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    A pleasing day for England. Mooen looked class, is a pleasure to watch (shades of Gower) but will always keep the bowler interested (shades of Gower again). Interesting to observe that the longevity of Prior's career could well have turned on the smallest of margins but, notwithstanding that, I am extremely pleased for him. If nothing else it will give Jos Buttler time to hone his wicket keeping skills. Sam Robson will have the majority of the summer to state his case and I am confident they will give him a good run. Ian Bell, as ever, looks the real deal until he falls - could do with daddy hundreds from such an experienced and talented player. My worry is Gary Ballance at three. Could he possibly switch with Mooen and therefore replicate the batting berths they occupy for their counties?

  • YorkshirePudding on June 13, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    A bit of a mixed bag from the new comers, with Moeen looking at ease on the international stage, its a shame he tried to smash the cover off the ball to get to 50, but I think that was just nerves. Robson I'm not sure of, could have been nerves or might be something deep, but he has probably got the summer to sort it out.

    Also good to see Prior showing some semblance of his old form with a rapid 75, all be it after a lucky LBW, and Roots ton was almost flawless, apart from an early outside edge that dropped short.

    Bell played a good anchor role after the early wickets, though I might be tempted to swap him and Balance in the order, in the second test, if Moeen bats in the same way in the second innings.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 13, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    @Chris Sun (post on June 12, 2014, 22:17 GMT): "If prior can get back into form, then their is no reason why Pietersen and Trott can't do the same."

    True, but 'lack of form' is not the reason keeping either out of the England team.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    Good Innings from England. Root was brilliant. Nice recover despite early blows. It's SL's turn now. Dimuth must improve his patience. Koushal Silva is cool & calm & he could play a long innings if settled in wicket. Sanga, Mahela, thiri & Mathews could make a solid platform & PJ & Kule could make some useful runs with the tail. England attack would be challenging But SL should play with courage. Good Luck both teams for the coming days.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    Nuwan Pradeep has the chance to get his maiden five for this time if fielders give proper support. Both Eranga & Pradeep bowled well around 1 1/2 days but they've gone tired & ware-out & poor tactics from Mathews also costs them a lot. Feel very sorry about their hard work & immense effort. SL batsmen are on a trouble now. Pitch will become bowler friendly since 3rd day & the match is going to Eng hands. SL need to play more wisely & hardly to save this match which already spoiled by their own poor tactics. Sanga & Mahela should play leading roles with youngsters when batting & SL should score 350+ in the first innings at least. Eng seems score close to 575-600 now. Very hard to save this.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    I feel Mathews has gone crazy. SL bowlers using craziest tactics now. Very poor village type attack from SL bowlers. Too many deliveries to the legstump & waist height. Poor Line & length & less support from fielders. It's obvious that Eng could get very easy runs. I think Mathews wants Eng to declare after scoring 600/8 ASAP & start batting on. Doing same mistakes as the last test against Pakistan. It's very boring to watch this kind of poor cricket. SL urgently need new Test captain.

  • Balladeer on June 13, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    For all the cries about "innings defeat", the pitch hardly looks like it's going to return to being a raging greentop/turner when SL stride out to bat. England do have the better bowling attack, at least in their own conditions, but that's not to say that it'll be enough to overcome Sanga, Mahela et al., with the aid of a distinctly road-like pitch.

  • spot_on on June 13, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    SL staring at an Innings def here.

  • on June 13, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    Geez Australia or South Africa would make 700 against this attack on this pitch , woeful bowling at best and again why on earth put the other team in? Sri Lanka now behind the 8 ball for the rest of the series as now given a under confident England team some momentum. No wonder practically all your fans moan about Test Cricket , as it's cause your terrible at it!

  • Felix1025 on June 13, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    Why Nuwani K is playing? Why Prasad was dropped ?? Hope SL batters at least can bat sensibly.

  • zummerrset on June 13, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    A pleasing day for England. Mooen looked class, is a pleasure to watch (shades of Gower) but will always keep the bowler interested (shades of Gower again). Interesting to observe that the longevity of Prior's career could well have turned on the smallest of margins but, notwithstanding that, I am extremely pleased for him. If nothing else it will give Jos Buttler time to hone his wicket keeping skills. Sam Robson will have the majority of the summer to state his case and I am confident they will give him a good run. Ian Bell, as ever, looks the real deal until he falls - could do with daddy hundreds from such an experienced and talented player. My worry is Gary Ballance at three. Could he possibly switch with Mooen and therefore replicate the batting berths they occupy for their counties?

  • YorkshirePudding on June 13, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    A bit of a mixed bag from the new comers, with Moeen looking at ease on the international stage, its a shame he tried to smash the cover off the ball to get to 50, but I think that was just nerves. Robson I'm not sure of, could have been nerves or might be something deep, but he has probably got the summer to sort it out.

    Also good to see Prior showing some semblance of his old form with a rapid 75, all be it after a lucky LBW, and Roots ton was almost flawless, apart from an early outside edge that dropped short.

    Bell played a good anchor role after the early wickets, though I might be tempted to swap him and Balance in the order, in the second test, if Moeen bats in the same way in the second innings.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 13, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    @Chris Sun (post on June 12, 2014, 22:17 GMT): "If prior can get back into form, then their is no reason why Pietersen and Trott can't do the same."

    True, but 'lack of form' is not the reason keeping either out of the England team.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 16:37 GMT

    Good Innings from England. Root was brilliant. Nice recover despite early blows. It's SL's turn now. Dimuth must improve his patience. Koushal Silva is cool & calm & he could play a long innings if settled in wicket. Sanga, Mahela, thiri & Mathews could make a solid platform & PJ & Kule could make some useful runs with the tail. England attack would be challenging But SL should play with courage. Good Luck both teams for the coming days.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    Nuwan Pradeep has the chance to get his maiden five for this time if fielders give proper support. Both Eranga & Pradeep bowled well around 1 1/2 days but they've gone tired & ware-out & poor tactics from Mathews also costs them a lot. Feel very sorry about their hard work & immense effort. SL batsmen are on a trouble now. Pitch will become bowler friendly since 3rd day & the match is going to Eng hands. SL need to play more wisely & hardly to save this match which already spoiled by their own poor tactics. Sanga & Mahela should play leading roles with youngsters when batting & SL should score 350+ in the first innings at least. Eng seems score close to 575-600 now. Very hard to save this.

  • Cricsnake on June 13, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    I feel Mathews has gone crazy. SL bowlers using craziest tactics now. Very poor village type attack from SL bowlers. Too many deliveries to the legstump & waist height. Poor Line & length & less support from fielders. It's obvious that Eng could get very easy runs. I think Mathews wants Eng to declare after scoring 600/8 ASAP & start batting on. Doing same mistakes as the last test against Pakistan. It's very boring to watch this kind of poor cricket. SL urgently need new Test captain.

  • Balladeer on June 13, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    For all the cries about "innings defeat", the pitch hardly looks like it's going to return to being a raging greentop/turner when SL stride out to bat. England do have the better bowling attack, at least in their own conditions, but that's not to say that it'll be enough to overcome Sanga, Mahela et al., with the aid of a distinctly road-like pitch.

  • spot_on on June 13, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    SL staring at an Innings def here.

  • on June 13, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    Geez Australia or South Africa would make 700 against this attack on this pitch , woeful bowling at best and again why on earth put the other team in? Sri Lanka now behind the 8 ball for the rest of the series as now given a under confident England team some momentum. No wonder practically all your fans moan about Test Cricket , as it's cause your terrible at it!

  • Felix1025 on June 13, 2014, 10:24 GMT

    Why Nuwani K is playing? Why Prasad was dropped ?? Hope SL batters at least can bat sensibly.

  • Darkmanx12155 on June 13, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    @ YorkshirePudding you are right mate. SL fans cry about Matt P. coz he does so well against the pathetic SL bowling unit. SL is playing a handicapped team. They are -3 players. (Dimuth, Sanga and terribly out of form Mahela) so SL will already start the game with 0/3 situation. england will go on to win this game by the end of day 4

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    Re Prior's non dismissal. Prior/Eng were fortunate that the umpire gave it not out but he did and that's why he remained at the crease. I think that SL or any team should not lose a review for that but everyone knew it was touch and go whether the review would be successful. We must remember that Bell had his not out decision overturned on DRS so who's to say that Bell (in the form he was showing) would not have batted out the day with Root and we may not have even seen Prior or Ali even if there was no DRS. Of course DRS only ever benefits Eng esp in home conditions so I guess - now that we have warm weather - if Eng win, some fans can put it down to the Prior decision.I guess SL are 7th and sliding because of weather/playing vs 12 men ... and not because they've not played well in recent years

  • Galmos on June 13, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    @ markatnotts : if that was given out then England would have been on 209/6 and it looks much worse than a scorecard of 344/5, isn't it ? I don't say that it may have been the end of their innings, but at that point surely the advantage was with Sri Lanka. Earlier Bell was also given notout by the same umpire but luckily the correct decision was made that time with the help of DRS. One should understand the difficulty of taking the wicket of a reputed batsman twice in the same innings to a low score in test cricket, specially if the batsman is playing in his home home conditions.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 13, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    @GRVJPR, didn't Joe root make 93 runs in his debut game in India on a custom made Turner, apart from that in the 18 months since dec 2012 please tell me where England have played on a raging turner, for you to make such judgments.

  • Melf on June 13, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    A diabolical Umpire's decision to give Prior 'Not Out' turned the game. Sri Lanka were hard done by and appear to be playing against 12 men.

  • markatnotts on June 13, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    @Galmos,

    So the excuse is prepared and ready just in case England win! If Prior had been given out how do you know Plunkett, Jordan, Broad, and Jimmy would have scored no runs between them and England would have been 250 all out?

  • on June 13, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    How good was Root yesterday? Gives me a lot of hope.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 13, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith, the delivery that got Bell was well bowled, and the lack of pace meant it didn't get up, so you can hardly blame him for that, sometimes players get out to good balls, but prior to that he was batting well and stabilised the innings allowing root, ali and prior to make use of the conditions.

  • markatnotts on June 13, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    @GRVJPR, Thanks for your insightful, truthful, balanced and logical insight. I honestly don't know why it isn't a "featured comment" lol!

  • Galmos on June 13, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    The poor umpiring decision to give not out to Prior who was batting on 0 given the advantage to England. Another one or two critical doubtful decisions going away from SL will cost them the match.

  • crockit on June 13, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    I can understand the order from 4-6 - Bell too good to risk exposing early, Root not good enough footwork for top order and Moeen decent technique but likes to give it some smack. The problem though is that Ballance who is also more suited to the middle order. Maybe Moeen and Ballance need to swap places - otherwise I fear that Ballance will not establish himself and soon be replaced by a top order specialist such as Carberry, Compton, Lyth or Vince.

  • GRVJPR on June 13, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    England playes well only at home. No matter how many games they win they will always be remembered as an average team. Joe root can't play on spinning and bouncing tracks. He is good enough only on these flat tracks of england where even out Ajit Agarkar and Anil Kumble scored centuries. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned they are pretty ordinary. They can't play test cricket. If ZIm V SL , Zim will win by big margin.

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 13, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    @usa res… For all bells pre match puff about senior bats like him having to step up after the v poor winter and he then scores a pretty little 50odd vs this attack on this track on a beautiful blue sky day and @ HQ!! I shd think he will be pretty embarrassed by that weak effort, but he hit his average and will no doubt do the same 2nd inns and all series… Its what he does. ''Sublime'' 40s & 50s, never the tough runs… And he still gets picked for these little 40s & 50s… For all his pre match puff and experience he scored a couple more than the debutant! Says it all.

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay on (June 13, 2014, 2:31 GMT) In the 1st session SL were all over us with the ball. When we were 2/3 down it looked a good decision. Eng then batted well and SL lost their way a bit with the ball

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    PS - Also good to see that 2 players with question marks over them have come to the party

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    I just watched the highlights but after missing the Robson wicket I thought Ballance looked like a walking wicket. Cook maybe should have done better and the SL bowlers looked to be bowling a good length which was beating the bat. Good review on Bell who looked in great touch. Ali looked good and then the shot he was out to looked a bit of a rush of blood. Prior was obviously fortunate that the onfield call was not out but then made the most of if and batted in the style we all love to see him play and Root played a great inns and let's hope he can build on it both today and for the future. Thought the SL bowlers lost their way a bit later on.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on June 13, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    An emphatic start to the summer for England. With five tests against India coming up, its the ideal time to rebuild and let youngsters find their feet at this level. With Dhoni's ultra-defensive captaincy, England can look at easy pickings this summer

  • Chennai_Cricket on June 13, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    Srilanka is not good in these conditions. mokka srilankan players

  • Chennai_Cricket on June 13, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Only mallinga provide so much of match winning bowling in odis. Without mallinga srilanka fast bowling attack its not good. After sanga and jayawardene retire, srilanka bad time wil start.

  • chandimasl on June 13, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    And Malinda Pushpakumara is not included. Is it because those two are the best wicket takers in the domestic seasons. Selectors please do not ruin the young talent.

  • chandimasl on June 13, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    I mentioned if Kulasekara and Dimuth is selected to this test it will be a difficult test to win or even draw. Kulasekara proved it in the first day. Though he got a wicket by a luck, look at the way ENG batsmen played him. Pathetic situation is these selectors can not identify it. Eng batsmen have plenty of time to decide their strokes when Kulasekara is bowling. He was selected from nowhere when other bowlers who can generate good pace taking wickets in he practise matches. This is pathetic.

    And what else can tell about Dimuth's selection ahead of Chandimal. Even Prasanna should have been rested by including Chandimal and Dilruwan.

    When Malinda Pushpakumara and Tharindu Kaushal is performing at their highest in domestic season at least one of them are not considered by the selectors. Why are we ruining the young talent and persisit with non performing old guns. I saw in SLC web site that the sqauds for Coming Super Four Domestic T20 league and even for that Tharindu Kaushal

  • YorkshirePudding on June 13, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    @Kalyan Budhavarti, I agree about the LBW, but it could quiet easily have gone the other way.

    @Udendra, It wasn't just one good session though, it was 2 good sessions those being the afternoon and evening, it was also good to see England a little more positive than they were last year and during the winter in Aus.

    All in all some of the issues with the winter ashes seem to have been down to mental exhaustion and pressure, where as now they don't have any pressure as they are pretty much an inexperienced team, with only Cook and Prior in the top 7 having more than 20 caps.

  • on June 13, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    I mean, why is that Prior LBW being made into such a big deal. That is the beauty of test cricket. Sometimes, when things are not going your way, you need that bit of luck and that was 50/50. Still, you have to take advantage of the chance you get and the way Prior played after that was chanceless. Great to see him timing the ball well. As for Root, well played. I hate the fact that KP is not there in the team, but the summer has begun and 3 players have been debuts so we might as well, give them a chance to show their best. Cook needs some runs, a lot of runs, otherwise I fear he might become another Dhoni!

  • Udendra on June 13, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    One good session and everyone's rooting for England (no pun). That's the effect of T20s! Prior was a lucky boy.

  • Aussiesfalling on June 13, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    @USA_Res: The selectors job is to assess a player's form not to try and guess how lucky a player might be. Looking at how he batted they clearly got that right when many calling for Buttler ignored Prior's form.

  • Lord.emsworth on June 13, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    The past 2 years I have been reading time and again articles propping up the Sri Lanka pacemen. Only a day ago a prominent Sri Lanka sports journalist was singing the praises of Eranga on Utube. The sad fact is that Sri Lanka (Vaas excluded) never had, and still don't have, a penetrative NEW ball bowler who can rattle the opposition.

  • CodandChips on June 13, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    To be honest the top 4 got us into a hole which Root and Prior got us out of. Shows why we need an in form Prior, because he can keep and bat. Nice to see him in the runs.

    Also nice to see Root in the runs. Hope he can continue it.

    Ali played well and showed good fight. Wouldn't read too much into one innings each from Robson and Ballance Cook still a concern though.

    And I do feel sorry for Woakes. He is being starved of cricket. And because Championship games don't' start until Sunday/Monday, he can't now go and play for Warwickshire. And since England didn't release any players for the T20 Blast, I doubt he'll get released this week.

  • cric_J on June 13, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Throughout a tormented winter, how often, how dearly, how desperately have I wanted to say it. For the first time since stumps at Brisbane on that very first day of the Ashes down under, I finally now have some reason to say it.... " Well done lads. It's ENGLAND ON TOP. England on top at stumps. "

    Stellar ton from Joe, an effort that, first steadied the faltering ship & then guided it along. He came in with England in some real bother, took his time to settle in & then made it count. Very mature innings for a young lad like him. Loved the " ton up" celebration.

    Some other worthy efforts too. Belly seemed to have carried on from where he left last summer, crisp & easy on the eye for that fifty. Moeen showed a lot of promise on debut but for his dismissal. Crucial knock from Prior, for the team as well as for him personally. Looked good & looked typically himself after a long while.

    If England can get close to 500 & Jimmy/Broady get a few early wickets, day-2 may well be England's.

  • on June 13, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Alastair Cook will continue to fail as a batsman until he is relieved of the captaincy and the one day cricket

  • on June 13, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    England looked terribly nervy and unsure, but Bell, Root and Ali calmed them massively especially Ali did s sterling job apart from a brainfade.Frankly none of the England wickets were taken by bowlers just giifted to them by poor shot selection and nerves getting better of them.Always felts once the back 3 hours of the day come, this attack will just wilt away and they did, and the signs are ominous for SL. They conceded 310 in 4th innings against Pak at Sharjah in 60 overs, the attack is terrible.As for Mendis apart from one series against India he hasnt done anything He averages about 45 odd without that series and most of those tests were in SL too and spinner cant do much on 1st day pitch anyways or that match is at Lords which is fairly hostile to them.Frankly SL should have batted and got whatever they could manage 310 -320 and in poms were nervy as this morning trailing by 250 with just 7 wkst in hand would have suddenly looked precarious.

  • on June 13, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    omg so much hateriate young fast men did great and herath did a great job he was so unlucky not to get prior but that how it goes ,there were no help from him but he did a great job for his captain .It was just the first day they will come out fighting today belive in them sri lankan fans please just don't say we should have him or that ,this is a good team support them to take the cup home

  • THEBEAST7 on June 13, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    @ Shehan_W 100% spot on mate! How can a totally out of form guy like Dimuth get selected ahead of a proven test player in Chandimal is beyond me. They did what they always do to the poor fellow in the warm up game. Shuffled him up and down and made sure he gets dropped. SL will pay heavily for that mistake of picking up Dimuth instead of Chandimal. Dimuth is a walking wicket in the middle and SL are as good as one down for none with him.

    Prior has always done extremely well against SL in the past.

  • Darkmanx12155 on June 13, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    SL is playing a handicapped team. They are -3 players. (Dimuth, Sanga and terribly out of form Mahela) so SL will already start the game with 0/3 situation. england will go on to win this game by the end of day 4

  • lebigfella on June 13, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    I rate Root... but he's no Sachin Tendulkar Now he could play... if he persevered he could have been a great player

  • on June 13, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    England have done well to get 344 runs scoring at almost 4 runs per over on the first day of a test match. Unfortunately Sri Lanka went in with 7 batsman instead of carrying another spinner to support the bowling unit especially in a test match. Winning the toss and bowling is another blow especially when you have 7 batsman in the team. They have paid dearly for this lapse in judgement. Sri Lanka will have to tighten their game on the second day if they are to make an impact in this test.

  • anver777 on June 13, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    Root's calm & composed century showed the new look Eng, the route for a big 1st innings score... Unbeaten Prior is playing another fighting knock, which he usually does when Eng needed the most !!!! If Eng gets 450-500 runs then SL will be under pressure & have to fight for the survival....

  • Biggus on June 13, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    @SoyQuearns:- Hey, ease up on the Poms a bit mate. Not too long ago our Aussie team was in a mess and I'd rather we didn't crow too much right now. One day you're the rooster, next just a feather duster. Our present form has been good but it's precarious. We shouldn't be sticking our heads so far out of the trench just yet.

  • Prem2248 on June 13, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    They shouldn't have sent Ajantha & S'nayake acclimatised to English condition even if S'nanyake was reported as it was happened to Saeed Ajamal after England's lost to PAK recently. They may have done it on purpose to prevent S'nanayake from bowling in the Tests even though selectors have already decided to play their henchmen instead.

  • Prem2248 on June 13, 2014, 3:37 GMT

    Two spinners brought for the Tests are very ordinary kind of Domestic Cricketers. If one had arranged all domestic spinners in the order of their 1st Class Aves, the 2 would have placed below 30 the position. The senior's inability to bat under pressure and on lively pitches and Herath's weakness in taking good batsmen out is the main cause that we have hardly won a series since the day Atapattu left from the top order and Murali's retirement. You can't play henchmen at International level but promising youngsters that comes out of school every year as it happens with other Countries. We need intelligent knowledgeable past Cricketers to pick these quality youngsters. It is sad to note that all such personalities have completely kept away from the Game due to reasons that can't be explained. If Ballance of Z'bwe,Robbson of Aus, Jordan of WI can be picked for Enngland why can't our own youngsters that excelled at school, YouthWCs & Domestic Cricket such as Cahndimal,Roshen Silva,2bCNTD

  • Poholiyadda on June 13, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka's decision to drop Prasad who bowls regularly at 85 mph ( took 4 wickets in the warm up match) and Chandimal who averages 51 in tests is some what hilarious (Chandimal also scored a century in his final test innings against Bangladesh). There are many young sri lankan young fast bowlers including school cricketers who bowls faster than Kulasekara could have done better yesterday. Joe Roots looks like he will be the next big player in English cricket, but I have to say that Matt Prior was very lucky to be given not out in the second delivery he faced. It was a very critical decision of the game that went towards England. Hopefully Sri Lankans will also get those little doubts in their favor when they bat in this game.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 13, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    I'm very proud about Sri Lanka's fast bowling attack. They took the advantage in the early few overs with the new ball. Awesome stuff. Looks like the pitch has turned out to be a batsmen's paradise. Hope three hundreds from our batting heros, Sanga, Mahela, Kuaushal Silva. They can do it. Good to see a youngster like Joe Root getting into a hundred. Nice to see. Good luck to him. He has a bright future ahead of him.

  • rajkirp on June 13, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    Surely, we do not want the repetition of the results of the last tour. So, it would have been nice for the entire Indian team to get together now and watch and discuss out the England - SL matches and formulate strategies to adopt, what line and lengths to bowl or not to bowl and how and when to stay from nibbiling outside the off stump.

  • Hammond on June 13, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Good to see England stepping up the aggression in the batting stakes. Will be interesting to see how aggressive they get with the 4 quick bowlers as well. Jordan and Plunkett for pace and bounce and Anderson and Broad for length and movement. Good test cricket watching ahead.

  • RohanMarkJay on June 13, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    I agree with SLMaster, Sri Lanka should have batted first. Sri Lanka would have racked up close to 400 today in good batting conditions with 500 for Sri Lanka's first dig would have put real pressure on England's wobbly batting line up. Like the Aussies managed to do granted they had Johnson .Sl would have been in a winning position by the end of day 2. Anyway all the best to Sri Lanka. They have a great chance to win a test series in England. I hope they don't blow it!

  • on June 13, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    The whole thing boils down to one of inspiration, and that was lacking in the Sri Lanka camp. I only watched for about 2 hours and what i saw was pathetic. The Lankan captain was hardly seen. When Bell got out they should have seen the opening but all what they did was move from over to over. There was no talk with bowlers, trying to inspire them and motivate them, crowding Ali with close fielders was not there and so was with Root when he came in. Inspirational leaders take bull by the horn but with Lankans they could hardly see any horns and allowed the Poms to get back. Leadearship is all about doing right things and not let things go with the flow. Without Malinga the attack looked pedestrian barring Pradeep. Also why did they not play Mendis?

  • on June 13, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    A very good chance for a medicore pathetic team like england to win a couple of test matches due to some medicore pathetic bowlers in the sri lankan team,this attcack will not even be able to bowl out a school team,anyway england can enjoy this before they get thrashed by india and australia in the future..hehe

  • on June 13, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    well played joe, hope your root is strong enough to hold the burden of england

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 13, 2014, 2:14 GMT

    Sri lanka can never win test matches away with these non performing slow fast bowlers. Sri Lanka should deserve this position in current test match due to poor team selection . Why our selectors couldn't give chances or find real fast bowlers? Our selectors and team management need only win but they never assess individual performances of each players in the team. So that is why they repeatedly give chances to players who should be dropped earlier . We lost Kapugedara, Champagne Silva,and Mubarak due to this mix management . Neither team or players gain benefit. Sri Lanka can never win away test matches with these fast bowlers unless herath strikes

  • on June 13, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Great to see Matt play as we know he can. A bit worried early on but great dig in by Jo and contributions from others. Belly said someone needs to score big hundreds for us to get back to winning games. Hopefully Jo and Matt can go on and put us in great position to pressurize this good Sri Lankan side. Can't wait for tomorrow.

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on June 13, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    Hadn't realised Matt Prior was back in the side. Good on him - he has been a great player and a wonderful competitor. As an Australian I am never confident until he is out when playing us. Hope he makes a hundred tomorrow.

  • SoyQuearns on June 13, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    Good to see England learned that the way to win a game is by scoring runs and scoring them quickly.

    Heaps of early statements on here about Robson and Ballance - give them a chance would you? I'm an Aussie, and I'd love nothing more than to see England continue to fall far, far downward, but Ballance, Robson and Ali are bright, young and talented. People on here saying Robson and Ballance aren't the future already? Geez. Tough crowd in England.

    My rebuttal to that is - if not Robson (average 42) and Ballance (average 52) then WHO?

    Taylor and Lyth - they are fair alternatives. Lyth would do well to get picked, I think he flies under the radar, and Taylor - well, I feel that the selectors must not like something about him as he was cast aside quite quickly.

    Make no mistake though - the SL bowling attack, especially in 'Western' conditions, are very meek and mild. England would do well to measure their concept of success here. In the overall scheme it means little, sadly.

  • Englishmanabroad on June 13, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    @ Aussiesfalling: I wonder if you would still be congratulating the selectors if Prior had been given out 2nd ball.??

    @ VillageBlacksmith: "...and Bell failed to go on yet yet yet yet again"'. How many do you have to score before you are considered to have "...Not failed"?? So if he scored 60, or 70, or 80, or 100? and "failed to go on yet yet yet again" You get my drift here ??

    Bell manages to "go on" significantly more frequently than anyone else in the line up. As for Robson & Balance, I don't know enough about either of them to express an opinion. (Not impressed so far.)

  • Biggus on June 13, 2014, 0:44 GMT

    @St.John:- If Rodney Hogg's comments about SL's bowling attack were accurate why are they hateful? Personally I don't think SL's bowling is any worse than India's but neither are likely to cause heart palpitations outside of the subcontinent in test conditions. Vaas was a very good bowler but none of the current line up are fit to polish his boots.

  • on June 13, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    to Waqas Ahmed: Wait to see the score at the halfway mark, SL have yet to bat. As for England, another failure at the top. Having Prior back helps England. If England get to say 500 by tea tomorrow, and SL batsmen do OK (wicket seems good at present, we may be looking at about evens with less than two days to go. This puts pressure on Cook to either make a bold declaration (never seen one yet) or go all out for a draw.

  • MeijiMura on June 13, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    Congratulations to Mathews, the most defensive and negative captain in international cricket, for winning the toss and bowling in perfect batting conditions. He has single- handedly thrown the Test and the Series away before a ball was even bowled with such a ridiculous decision. Hopefully we'll see more competent captaincy and decision-making at the toss when India tour in the second half of the season.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on June 13, 2014, 0:06 GMT

    This pitch looks like another flat batting beaut designed for a draw that has been so typical of Lords of recent.Though I've not watched the game here in India,I assume so reading the report.Eng may well succeed in this defensive ploy with draw on cards.

  • rk_ks on June 13, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    All the fans who supported SL, are now bashing. If SL win this test, then they will be like they are best team in the whole galaxy. And SL fans what happened to your world class spinner. What happened to this overrated player.

  • dunger.bob on June 12, 2014, 23:19 GMT

    350 runs in a day is pretty good going. It sets the match up and leaves plenty of time. Good work from England, especially considering they were 120/4 at one point.

  • on June 12, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    Selection is a big problem. Rather than play its strengths, Sri Lanka and tried to strengthen its weaknesses. "The uniqueness of Murali, slingshots of Lasith Malinga and finger-flicking variations of Ajantha Mendis are all absent from this side."

  • Ms.Cricket on June 12, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    The fools who made Root open or bat at 3 where he has struggled awfully have been shown. Root's right place is at 5 or 6 maybe 4 once he gets more experience.

  • on June 12, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    "Moeen Ali began sketchily" Did he? Not in the game I was watching. He left a string of balls wide of his off stump then hit ten in an over (which included his only edge of his innings - played down with soft hands). Is that the shot you mean - are you basing "sketchily" on that one shot? Or were you watching a different game?

  • on June 12, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    Does the SL batsmen have what it takes? Both Jayawardena and Sangakkara are ageing stars, none are prolific in the UK, I would say they are already past their best but I would like to be proved wrong otherwise. Interesting to see SL bowlers on top for the first 2 sessions, they held the balance of power until it was taken away by Prior and Root. SL are very good at home but are poor abroad. If prior can get back into form, then their is no reason why Pietersen and Trott can't do the same.

  • vstrider on June 12, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    feel sorry for mathews, he likely wanted to bat first on this track but knew that with this grass and Anderson Broad etc that SL would have been lucky to make 150

    well done root prior bell etc but the bowling is genuine county standard at best, that said you can only play what is thrown down at you, always been a fan of Nuwan K, but he looks average on a seamers friendly pitch early doors

    Still a long way to go for england, Mahela and Kumar world class players

  • 512fm on June 12, 2014, 21:44 GMT

    Englands revival? You have got to be kidding me, this is one of the weakest bowling attacks in test cricket they are playing. They are doing exactly as they should to this pop gun attack. They couldn't have really asked for an easier schedule this summer after coming out of that disastrous Ashes campaign.

  • Balladeer on June 12, 2014, 21:28 GMT

    Oh, and another thing - why Ballance/Bell/Root/Ali, when Ali plays for his county at 3 and Ballance at 5? Ballance may not be a great no. 3, but I'm sure he could give them a decent knock from his proper position! Probably too late for Ali/Bell/Ballance/Root now, though...

  • Balladeer on June 12, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    I do wonder what will happen to the pitch now. The ease with which a batting line-up of the out-of-form, newbies, and Bell clawed their way back into contention once the green top disappeared makes me wonder whether there'll be much there, for Anderson at least. Anderson's a technician who works best on pitches with movement, and that may already have gone. On the other hand, Broad, Jordan and Plunkett should all be able to utilise their raw pace. Hopefully it won't require too much spin...

    If that sounds pessimistic, then that's because we English are inclined to be. It's far from all dour: Matty and Rooty did a good job out there, with both coming in at tough times and under personal shadows. Matty may have got a dubious let-off, but he made the most of it. Ali (whose name remains un-y-able) played a good knock too, for a débutant coming in at 120-4. Not a rebirth on its own, but encouraging signs. Hope to see/hear that long tail in action tomorrow!

  • Speng on June 12, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    Can't say I know anything about this Robson geezer but is he really England's best choice to go beside a fragile Cook? Whose out ball was ridiculous as the cut was never happening. I reckon Ballance and Bell should swap spots.

    Can't understand SL not going two spinners as the army of dobblers they've got isn't going to do well when the ball's not swinging. I reckon they bowled first just to avoid Jimmy et al with the fresh pitch but even if it's sunny and dry for the rest of the match I'd rather bat first because if the Pom quicks can get it reversing. BTW what's a Liam Plunkett? Where the spinners @? Swanny got a bunch on this pitch last year.

    How was Prior not out? i though umpire's call was for half or less of the ball? As brave as the umpire in the Windies game was to Chanders out when he'd made a huge step down the pitch (rightly as it turned out) this guy was brave not to raise the finger.

  • markatnotts on June 12, 2014, 20:51 GMT

    @Twinkie, no the DRS hasn't changed it wasn't overturned for belief on the on field decision he was partially outside the line and nothing to do with Hawkeye. That said if it had been given on field it would have remained out. Anyway as I have stated before if the pitch starts with grass at Lords by day five it is more like a day two sub continent track. All sensible bets should be on a high scoring bore draw given the weather.

  • on June 12, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    Good fightback by England following the early wickets by Sri Lanka. Top marks to Root for an excellent innings, with a respectful nod to Prior, Bell, and Ali. England's day, but fine margins indeed for Prior.

  • on June 12, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    Srilanka was hard done by the umpire not giving Prior out but anyways England played. Looks like Eng will win this easily.

  • nursery_ender on June 12, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    Posted by Twinkie on (June 12, 2014, 18:44 GMT) Has the review system changed? I'm wondering because it looked like almost all of that ball to Prior was hitting the stumps. It didn't look like it was just clipping the bails. Rules changing so quickly, I'm not sure what they are.

    It wasn't hitting the stumps that was in question, it was whether or not Prior was hit in line. Hawkeye ruled that as 'umpire's call' so he was given not out because that was the call on the field.

  • Chris_P on June 12, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    @JonoMakim. The best thing about working evenings is getting to watch test cricket in England. Agree, the Pommy seamers hold the result of this match. I wrote earlier Prior should never be discounted, the guy has bottle, has taken a lot of tough knocks but always comes back looking for more. Sri Lanka's batting needs to lift on previous overseas efforts to make a game of this.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 12, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    Lords sure isn't the easiest of grounds to debut on with that slope. O.K. Robson plays County Cricket there, but tests are a big step up aren't they?

    Ali I reckon was going for glory and wanted his half-century + more. His fateful shot aside, that was a great debut innings and I hope we see more of that talent. Think there was also a rather ugly, uncontrolled hook to fine leg off a short ball, but other than that his control and awareness was fantastic throughout.

    I think England should try and push on to a big, intimidating score tomorrow. The forecast is looking great, and as I posted earlier, England's new look tail has the potential to wag. And then it the turn of the bowlers... I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself, but the likes of Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene are definitely big guns you need to get rid of early. England's annoying habit of allowing the tail to rack up significant runs has also really annoyed me in the not too distant past. Need all 20 wickets guys!

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 12, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Robson & Ballance are def not the future and Bell failed to go on yet yet yet yet again… Ali looked OK but the bowling was hardly threatening… Lyth should def be in this side, he is in form NOW, when the team need him, not 6 months ago like Robson when Robson wasn't in the team… Ballance just does not look class, to get a 20 and then not go on vs this bowling says it all… Taylor & Lyth pls, plus they're English.

  • creekeetman on June 12, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    spot on St. John, SL's attack is pathetic, and bowling first was foolish.

  • Strikeforce2007 on June 12, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Still not lost for Lanka, get the pommies out before lunh, place at par score on their inning...this pitch could get dicey on day 4 onwards..wickets galore predicted

  • Roshan_P on June 12, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    Gwaaarrrrn Rooty! He deserves this after all the stick he's been getting. He hasn't been in bad form for Yorkshire, and I've always maintained that he is a good batsman. He has a pretty solid technique and is very calm and level-headed, with a capacity for some flair too. Should be kept in the Test team but maybe not in the T20 team. I hope the other Yorkshire lads do well, although I am not too sure about Ballance at 3. He seems more of a middle order player to me.

  • neil99 on June 12, 2014, 19:01 GMT

    To coin an age old phrase, one swallow doesn't make a summer. A decent day, but England's revival? More bandwagon jumping, if ever I've heard. It's not a revival until the SL and India series are won comprehensively, and even then England are clear favourites being at home, SL are poor in tests and India can't win away. Looks like England losing the T20 and ODI series (a format in which SL are strong) has been forgotten already by the very shortsighted.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 12, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    Well, most relieved man on the pitch for me was no doubt one Matt Prior! Got the benefit of umpire's call second ball he faced, but boy did he make the most of his reprieve. I'm really happy for him, and so glad England had the sense to persist with him.

    Great knock by young Root. He loves Lords no matter where he bats in the order, but I love him in the middle.

  • Twinkie on June 12, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Has the review system changed? I'm wondering because it looked like almost all of that ball to Prior was hitting the stumps. It didn't look like it was just clipping the bails. Rules changing so quickly, I'm not sure what they are.

  • Herath-UK on June 12, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Had they played Dilruwan things could have been different. The team has faced many set backs but has come over them triumphantly & Rieffel's poor decision cost them a lot today. We have to assume it's a genuine mistake & look at the positives for a better tomorrow.

  • Aussiesfalling on June 12, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    Those that wanted Buttler rather than Prior ignored Prior's batting form this season, form that he reproduced today, taking advantage of Reifel's decision. The selectors should be congratulated.

  • LAKINGSFAN on June 12, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    This SL bowling is neither threatening(pace) nor probing(line and length). I see Eng winning or a draw in cards.

  • St.John on June 12, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    It's been said before. Sri Lanka just don't have the bowlers to get any decent Test side out green tinge, or any pitch. Rodney Hoggs hateful, but telling comments about the Sri Lanka new ball attack is still valid. Mathews of all people should know the weakness of his Test bowling unit and should always try and bat first on a decent wicket and put as many runs up as possible, but he often sends the opposition in to bat terribly afraid to take first lease… SL will NEVER, NEVER, make any inroads in Test cricket unless they have Test standard quickies (Steyn, etc..) to support their spinners or single spinner (Herath) as the case was.

  • lebigfella on June 12, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    I have only just realised that Liam Ka-Plunkett is in the team... one of the strangest and out of the blue selections in... wait a minute, this is England. He hasn't done too much recently to warrant even the faintest consideration. Mmm, not entirely sure ... his overall first class averages is pretty mediocre… we will see Big shame about the token Aussie but great work by Root and Matt Prior... back in nick it seems... Hopefully the start of a great summer for all... and I seriously hope Mr Plunkett pays the selectors back for their audacious choice Good luck Lads

  • Rawanaa on June 12, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    120 for 4 then 344 for 5... why they picked kulasekara behalf of Prasad...??? Worst decisions cost them the momentum.. it will cost the match either.. lost the victory & well played matt & root

  • Derek_Haines on June 12, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    As an Aussie, I hate to see England doing well. But I have to temper that by saying, I love it when a lad from Yorkshire does good!!! Well done Joe Root! Now al England need is a Yorkshire captain, and they can start playing real tough, hard cricket once again.

  • on June 12, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    I think Joe Root was very solid today. He didnt get on the front foot as often as you would have liked, the 'fast' bowlers were bowling rather slow and he could have chanced coming forward to just back of a length balls instead of hanging at the crease, but he still managed to grind them to dust. Tomorrow is a new day and Sri Lanka will look to get one of these two out early but seeing how the fast bowlers were worked over today and how toothless they looked bowling in the late 70s to early 80s, i suspect another 40 overs of run scoring awaits us. I am guessing another 150 on the board atleast. Very good stuff. Prior was very lucky to escape that lbw but that said, he batted quite well since.

    What really made it England's day was their scoring rate: For a long time it was 4+ and they finished just under 4 an over. Positive batting. Very refreshing from England.

    Ali should be kicking himself for that brainfade.

  • on June 12, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Well said Rondy, poor team selection.

  • GrindAR on June 12, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Malinga is the difference

  • rajcan on June 12, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Mathews poor use of bowlers not bringing results and also going to injure fast bowlers.

    In a test match, only one spinner is bowling, not even used any part time spinners. Gave only one over to Thirimane, he should have been given more overs before Prior and Root settle in, now they are settled batsmen, will be very hard to bowl any overs by part timers.

  • SLMaster on June 12, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    I am really surprised SL didn't choose to bat first. On Lord's you always bat first.

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 12, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    I like Kulasekara' attitudes. He gives his maximum for the team. But he has lot of limitations . main problem is his lack of pace. It is too easy to handle . He is 32 yrs. With ageing his speed will reduce further. ODI 158 Matches 168 wks. That is also not impressed as a leading fast Bowler . I think we hv never looked at these figures Bcoz Malinga and other bowlers take wickets and win matches for us. So I believe he should only play t20.bcoz his big hitting help us. We should give more chances to our other fast bowlers who bowl 130-140 kmh. I impress with recent performances of Lakmal. I think he should be a good replacement for Kule in ODI.

  • Balladeer on June 12, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    The English openers will be kicking themselves that they didn't just ride out the initial movement and cash in, like the middle order is doing now. Confidence building to be sure. Shame that Ali slogged his wicket away: he sounded like he was doing rather well, from how the Test Match Special chaps were cooing over him.

  • on June 12, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Most ridiculous decision from Sri Lanka to put England in as look at the conditions! Also the pitch at Lords always deteriorates later in the match , so batting last is just bizarre as all England need to do is post a decent total.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on June 12, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    @ Jeewaka9999 Well Said Mate. Kulasekara only one day bowler up to now he proved it again. His bowling is not threatening at all and his 120 k speed is too easy to handle in this kind of surfaces. We want 135-140K bowlers to get wickets in these tracks. Both Prasad and Welgadara could ball up to that speed. Dimuth hasn't get good scores against low ranked teams like BD. It's unfair to give endless chances to him. Instead of him, Chandi or Dilruwan should play.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 12, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    Shaky start, and a few good starts/50's but just not progressing on from the middle order. Hopefully Root, Prior and the tail can rack up an intimidating first innings score here. Not sure if I would have inserted England this morning given that pitch and the weather forecast. Sri Lanka bowling well though, and hopefully we'll see England's new bowling unit perform well when it's their turn with the ball...

  • on June 12, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Interesting contest so far, England will be hoping someone goes big, but they do bat deep so useful contributions right down to numbers 9 and 10 may seem them post 350+ In any case. Really hard to judge how much the English seam attack is going to get from this pitch, which looks a little lethargic for mine. Wondering if it will harden up and get a bit quicker tomorrow? Shaping up as a good test providing Sri Lanka can bat somewhere near to their abilities.

  • Rondy on June 12, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    I'm not sure on the basis of selection for final xi by Jayasuriya & Co. First I think Prasanna J shouldn't be in the squad at all when we have 3 other competent wicket keepers who are all better batters than him. Dimuth has been constantly failure & has not done much to retain his place. I think Tharanga should've been in the squad. Kulasekera is not a test wicket taking bowler. The most strangest thing is dropping of Chandimal who has a test average of 50plus besides scoring a Century in the last test. Have a look at Averages of current batters vs Tests- Kaushal-38(8),Dimuth-30.21(11),Kumar-58.07(122),Mahela-50.3(143),Angelo-46.16(38),Lahiru-32.87(10),Prasanna-31.22(55),Chandi-51.47(12)

  • on June 12, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Gooch?

  • nursery_ender on June 12, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    Posted by Sahil Raut on (June 12, 2014, 12:11 GMT) No specialist spinner will hurt england. When the pitch will offer help to spinners moeen and root will have to bowl a few

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a Lord's pitch to help the spinners.

    This looks like a typical Lord's (county) pitch: decpetively green at the toss, tempting the captain to insert on winning the toss, but the advantage is generally gone by lunch.

  • Bansam on June 12, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    How can Cook complain about spirit of the game for mankading. Look at Moeen Ali. He is two steps out of the crease before the bowl leaves the bowler. Shouldn't umpires warn them or register the run as short, Bowlers should not be scared to run them out.

  • on June 12, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    good luck srilanka. support from pakistan

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 12, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    This is poor from Sri lankan team management. 1. Chandimal is a better test batsmen than Dimuth. Dimuth didn't do much to impress or confirm his selection when he was given chances. 2. Selection of non performing Kulasekara over Welagedara or Prasad. He takes 1 wkt per inning. Is it enough to justify his selection for test team? One day series 5 matches 5 wickets. I feel very sorry for other fast bowlers in SL. They never get a chance till this one is continuously selected.

  • on June 12, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Bell and moeen Ali are the men I am looking forward to. Plunkett is a gamble, will see how that turns out. No specialist spinner will hurt england. When the pitch will offer help to spinners moeen and root will have to bowl a few and Lankans can play the rookies well. England favourites here!

  • notimeforcricket on June 12, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    I think England have probably got the team right. this guy Robson seems to have good potential. According to KP Root is made of the right stuff and will come through. When you look at statistics for opening partnerships, it seems tha Cook/Compton is the best pairing but that might be because Cook's form was slightly better during some of the Compton era. I am concerned about Balance at no. 3 (I would have been tempted to go with Cook/Robson and Carberry or Compton as top3, possibly Moeen) but he seems to be proving me wrong as I write!

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on June 12, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    I totally Upset of Jaysuriya Era of SL Cricket. In T20 we lost superb players like Kapugedara,Jeewan Mendis In ODI great match winners Like Upul Tharanga and Thisara Perera. Now in Test we lost Chandimal who's Test Average is more than 50. Whether Win or Loss finally we totally lost our future

  • on June 12, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    Sri lanaka has won all the recent ODI T20 test s. I'm hoping that will continue. SL's having great time.

  • CodandChips on June 12, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    I do feel sorry for Woakes. He is being starved of cricket. And because Championship games don't' start until Sunday/Monday, he can't now go and play for Warwickshire. And since England didn't release any players for the T20 Blast, I doubt he'll get released this week.

    Unfortunate for Robson. He looked absolutely gutted. All the Lyth fans (like me), or the Compton or Carberry fans will not let this innings go under the radar. It's one innings though, so it doesn't mean much. Can the same logic be applied to Simon Kerrigan?

    With sun and heat for the whole test match, will a part-time spinner suffice? Yes Ali has reportedly improved a lot, but come the 4th/5th day, if Sri Lanka are batting in the 4th innings, Ali could be bowling a lot of overs. Reminds me of the game in 2012 against South Africa when Kevin Pietersen was the main spinner.

  • disco_bob on June 12, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    This is going to be a similar situation as in Australia. SL will need 3 wickets before lunch or it is going to be a long long day.

  • disco_bob on June 12, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    This is going to be a similar situation as in Australia. SL will need 3 wickets before lunch or it is going to be a long long day.

  • CodandChips on June 12, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    I do feel sorry for Woakes. He is being starved of cricket. And because Championship games don't' start until Sunday/Monday, he can't now go and play for Warwickshire. And since England didn't release any players for the T20 Blast, I doubt he'll get released this week.

    Unfortunate for Robson. He looked absolutely gutted. All the Lyth fans (like me), or the Compton or Carberry fans will not let this innings go under the radar. It's one innings though, so it doesn't mean much. Can the same logic be applied to Simon Kerrigan?

    With sun and heat for the whole test match, will a part-time spinner suffice? Yes Ali has reportedly improved a lot, but come the 4th/5th day, if Sri Lanka are batting in the 4th innings, Ali could be bowling a lot of overs. Reminds me of the game in 2012 against South Africa when Kevin Pietersen was the main spinner.

  • on June 12, 2014, 10:47 GMT

    Sri lanaka has won all the recent ODI T20 test s. I'm hoping that will continue. SL's having great time.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on June 12, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    I totally Upset of Jaysuriya Era of SL Cricket. In T20 we lost superb players like Kapugedara,Jeewan Mendis In ODI great match winners Like Upul Tharanga and Thisara Perera. Now in Test we lost Chandimal who's Test Average is more than 50. Whether Win or Loss finally we totally lost our future

  • notimeforcricket on June 12, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    I think England have probably got the team right. this guy Robson seems to have good potential. According to KP Root is made of the right stuff and will come through. When you look at statistics for opening partnerships, it seems tha Cook/Compton is the best pairing but that might be because Cook's form was slightly better during some of the Compton era. I am concerned about Balance at no. 3 (I would have been tempted to go with Cook/Robson and Carberry or Compton as top3, possibly Moeen) but he seems to be proving me wrong as I write!

  • on June 12, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Bell and moeen Ali are the men I am looking forward to. Plunkett is a gamble, will see how that turns out. No specialist spinner will hurt england. When the pitch will offer help to spinners moeen and root will have to bowl a few and Lankans can play the rookies well. England favourites here!

  • Jeewaka9999 on June 12, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    This is poor from Sri lankan team management. 1. Chandimal is a better test batsmen than Dimuth. Dimuth didn't do much to impress or confirm his selection when he was given chances. 2. Selection of non performing Kulasekara over Welagedara or Prasad. He takes 1 wkt per inning. Is it enough to justify his selection for test team? One day series 5 matches 5 wickets. I feel very sorry for other fast bowlers in SL. They never get a chance till this one is continuously selected.

  • on June 12, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    good luck srilanka. support from pakistan

  • Bansam on June 12, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    How can Cook complain about spirit of the game for mankading. Look at Moeen Ali. He is two steps out of the crease before the bowl leaves the bowler. Shouldn't umpires warn them or register the run as short, Bowlers should not be scared to run them out.

  • nursery_ender on June 12, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    Posted by Sahil Raut on (June 12, 2014, 12:11 GMT) No specialist spinner will hurt england. When the pitch will offer help to spinners moeen and root will have to bowl a few

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a Lord's pitch to help the spinners.

    This looks like a typical Lord's (county) pitch: decpetively green at the toss, tempting the captain to insert on winning the toss, but the advantage is generally gone by lunch.