England v Sri Lanka, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day

Sri Lanka solid after Root's double-ton

The Report by David Hopps

June 13, 2014

Comments: 86 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 140 for 1 (Silva 62*, Sangakkara 32*) trail England 575 for 9 dec (Root 200*, Prior 86, Bell 56, Pradeep 4-123) by 435 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Highlights: England ends day two 435 runs ahead thanks to Root's 200*

Dip your bread, Joe Root will have been told since childhood on batting days like this. Like Oliver Twist, he dipped his bread and then asked to dip it some more. Sri Lanka did not possess a bowler with the capability to scold him. The outcome was that he launched England's Test summer at Lord's by becoming the fourth-youngest England batsman to hit a Test double-century, a poster boy for a new generation.

England's 575 for 9 was their highest Test score since they made 591 for 6 declared against India at The Oval three years ago. Sri Lanka responded in kind, losing only Dimuth Karunaratne in the 40 overs to the close, so encouraging the perception that a draw is achievable and that this Lord's pitch will remain a featherbed to the end.

There are a few lurking signs of indifferent bounce, however, and after a run of six successive draws between 2006 and 2008, there have been ten positive results in the last 11. This match is not quite moribund yet.

This was a bountiful Lord's batting surface and the Sri Lanka attack had serious limitations, but Root's response over eight-and-a-quarter hours was impeccable. He likes Lord's. Last summer, against Australia, he made 180 before missing out on a double century as he attempted a 'Dilscoop'.

Joe Root greets the applause for his double-ton, England v Sri Lanka, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day, June 13, 2014
Joe Root progressed untroubled to a double-hundred as England piled up the runs © Getty Images

There was a uniformity in his progress. He reached his hundred just before the close on the first day. His 150 followed from the last ball before lunch on the second day, another clip through midwicket, an area where he was highly productive, this time off the left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. Herath, too, was lapped for the runs that in turn brought up his 200, an immediate declaration, and an infectious grin.

"Grin away," Bill Sikes told Oliver Twist. "Grin away." But Sikes was menacingly brandishing a poker. Sri Lanka's fielders bore only warm congratulations.

Sri Lanka looked so disconsolate they might have turned Lord's, with all its trappings, into a day in the workhouse. Their over rate was criminal - 12 overs an hour on the second day as they stretched the game out wherever possible to spare their pace bowlers and generally failed to get on with the job. England were not too much better as six overs went unbowled. Test cricket cannot afford such liberties.

Sri Lanka's confident response with the bat will have steeled their nerves. Anderson had Dimuth Karunaratne lbw in the first over, but Paul Reiffel's decision was overturned on review because the ball was too high. Karunaratne also edged Broad between second and third slip before Chris Jordan dismissed him with his third ball in Test cricket.

But Liam Plunkett's fire was extinguished by the pitch and the suspicion of cramp and a measured innings by Kaushal Silva, sternly bearded, survived into the third day after TV replays spared him a catch at the wicket off Broad when 39. Matt Prior insisted afterwards that it was a clean catch, and cricketing instinct felt that way, but zoomed-in cameras habitually introduce an element of doubt to low catches and this was no different. Those who nonsensically accused Prior of cheating have presumably never been on a cricket field in their life.

England earlier rid themselves of an unwelcome batting statistic when they reached 400 for the first time in 27 innings. As Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton struck hundreds in Wellington only 15 months ago, few would have imagined the canker that would take hold of their batting and the conflicts and personal trauma that would unfold. Back-to-back series against Australia can have that effect.

The jollity of the second day at Lord's had an entirely different feel. England made 129 in the morning session, rattling along at five an over. In no rush to leave the pleasuredome, they piled up a further 102 after lunch.

The new ball was only nine overs old when play resumed on the second morning. But the day was warm and sunny, the pitch sedate and Root and Prior already had 135 runs in the bank from the first day. The Middlesex flag flew at half mast in memory of their former coach, Don Bennett; many Sri Lanka players wore black armbands to mourn the death of the wife of their former bowling coach, Champika Ramanayake.

It was not long before Sri Lanka changed tack and started banging the ball halfway down the pitch in the hope of reminding England of their frailties against the short ball in Australia. All they lacked was a Mitchell Johnson. And a quick, bouncy pitch. And a hostile crowd. In fact, come to think of it, they lacked quite a lot.

Shaminda Eranga, short of match practice, had looked out of synch on the first day, but he carried the short-ball fight with resolve. Prior and Jordan both fell to short balls into the body from around the wicket, Prior angry with himself as he fended to short leg, still 14 runs short of a century, Jordan looking more mystified as his shot in self-protection arced gently to the wicketkeeper.

That keeper was Prasanna Jayawardene, although he had not taken the field at the start of the day after injuring a hand in the warm-up. While Jayawardene had a scan - which showed no real damage - Silva, a regular wicketkeeper, deputised.

Sri Lanka were content to encourage Root off the strike, but when they did so they met a barrage of blows from the lower order, briefly from Jordan and latterly from Broad and Plunkett. Broad's gung-ho innings ended on 47 when he slapped Nuwan Pradeep to deep midwicket - he might have been stumped on the same score - and Plunkett looked quizzically upon Sri Lanka's short-ball trap - fine leg, long leg, deep square leg, square leg and short leg, and pulled three boundaries in an over. He got out pulling eventually, which on the law of averages alone was no surprise.

Root never became involved in such fripperies. He remained sharp of wit and clean of stroke, never rushed (at least not until the closing overs), but always keen enough to keep his innings interesting. It was an innings which might have shaped a career. Whether it will reshape the game remains to be seen.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 14, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

Well Done Sanga at Lords in England

Posted by markatnotts on (June 14, 2014, 12:02 GMT)

I can't believe some of the non English fans moaning about the pitch when they would have been up in arms if the pitch had any pace and bounce and - horror of horrors seam movement.

Posted by Nuwas on (June 14, 2014, 11:20 GMT)

You know nothing @Priyantha Gunaratna, have you seen how extra ordinary Anderson is on flat pitches while kule performs well even in those kind pitches? You really know nothing...

Posted by markatnotts on (June 14, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

@Blade-Runner, SL did have the best bowling conditions if the game in the first hour or so of day one, and I actually thought they did pretty well. Buy if you're going to bring up the Prior not out, what about Silva. The point is these even themselves out. I also wouldn't be too quick to dismiss England's bowling even on a very bland wicket.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (June 14, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

Still some SriLankan fans not understand the difference between Test and ODI Cricket. That's why they said Kula is best bowler in this match. They may consider his economy rate it's less than Pradeep and Eranga. He got one and only wicket because of Batsmen Technical Error neither it good or wicket taking ball. If Welagardara, Prasad played instead of him we could ball out Eng 450. Mind Prasad get 4 wickets in Practice Match.

Posted by Mervo on (June 14, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

If Root can score 200, with his footwork, that wicket is slow and soft. Drawn out draw coming ....

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (June 14, 2014, 8:40 GMT)

Can we be happy when comparing our attack with England attack? Anderson is the only recognised bowler they hv. That is why they lost 5-0 to Australia. Their attack is also one of the weakest,. so please don't be happy if we want to be a good side in the world. I can't justify Kulasekara selection as a leading fast bowler. I know he gives his maximum for team but his pace is too easy to handle. Look at his figures. ODI 152 matches 168 Wkts. Test 37 innings 47 Wkts. Can we be happy if one of our leading bowler takes 1 wkt per inning? I think we can't. We also never expect 4-5 Wkts from him. But if he is our leading bowler, performance should be better than this. I believe we do unfair to other young talented fast bowlers.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

As a groundsman myself, it pains me to day that the pitch is disappointing. Unless something drastic happens to it or England get early wickets, it's got a draw written all over it. I think Sanga is licking his lips at thought if batting all day on it.

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 14, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

I did think we should have had Dilruwan instead of Dimuth ,he is a walking wicket which he demonstrated again. He is good but not adjusted to Eng yet. Dilruwan would have given the pacers some breathing space & himself taken some wickets. Hopefully the team management will be wiser for the second Test.

Posted by social_monster09 on (June 14, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

Well played Root a humble inning. But he only shows his talent at Lord's twice & nowhere else in the world so give him some time or some years to establish his place in the test team. Well all are complaining here that this is a flat track yes it is but if Harris or Johnson or Steyn is bowling on this same track the storyline would be different. So the only reason behind these massive scoreboards is ordinary pace bowling & pathetic fielding from both sides nothing else. This match is crawling towards a draw if SL will able to bat the all three sessions of 3rd day play...

Posted by AlSmug on (June 14, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

playing sri lanka at lords ,one would demand a 3 day victory for the home side , why anything less would be a poor performance , this current England side looks weaker than mr.burns

Posted by A1499 on (June 14, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

Conditions good for batting. sl should bat fr as long as possible . apart from the next nw ball at 80th over there is no other threat from the eng seamers . sl can build on this and make a massive score . brilliant play frm kaushal and sanga ystrday.SL PLAYERS SHOULD KEEP PLAYING FREELY THOUGH . Yesrdays rr was pretty good . they will do well to keep it around 3.5 runs per over.as england showed , when rns ar cmn it becomes difficult fr opposition

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 14, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

@Joby_George SL batsmen need to learn IPL rocket/helicoptor shots to play in Test matches.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (June 14, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

Good to see England hitting the deck harder and harder, so that the ball gets softer and softer, leading to an easier run chase. Keep it up! :P

Posted by Blade-Runner on (June 14, 2014, 7:25 GMT)

People were too quick to judge Sri Lankan bowlers calling 'em a "glorified county attack". So, what do you think about England attack now ?? A village attack ? They bowled 40 overs 'n picked up a grand total of 1 WICKET !! I'd like to remind everyone that SL pacers had England 22/2 first, 120/4 and then 206/5. If Prior wasn't so darn lucky, England would have been 206/6 and all out for less than 350.

But the truth is that this is a disgraceful pitch. It offered nothing for pacer or spinners. So much for the home of Cricket. If this match was being played in India or Sri Lanka, everyone would start whining about how flat the pitch was and Asians were killing test cricket. #enough said.

Btw, I thought that SL bowlers did pretty well within their limitations ,under these conditions.

Posted by Joby_George on (June 14, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

Indian Batsmen should learn from SL batsmen how to play test cricket outside subcontinent.

Posted by SICHO on (June 14, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

I can see a lot of comments about Kula being a swing dependant bowler... Well he's no different from Anderson, no swing= Jimmy disappearing all over the park. It's actually evident in this match (ER of 4+ /over). This match is heading in one direction, and that's draw, even if England bowl out SL at score of around 375, they don't have a proper spinner for a day 4-5 pitch. Though SL have Herath, the pacers aren't really threatening.

Posted by Rawanaa on (June 14, 2014, 6:17 GMT)

I thought it was the poor performance of Srilankan pace attack but they were good than England pace attack because in lords dead pitch Srilankan seamers took 4 wickets for 120 but england seamers took only 1 for 140. Best of luck srilanka for bat till the 4th day 3rd session & make a lead..

Posted by jonesy2 on (June 14, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

two very very poor bowling attacks will make for a very very ordinary series to watch. root scoring a double ton sums it all up

Posted by dunger.bob on (June 14, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

What if SL bat till tea tomorrow giving them a 100 run lead. Then their spinners skittle Eng cheaply and quickly giving them plenty of time to score the 50-100 they need. .. just a scenario, I'm not saying it will definitely happen.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 5:25 GMT)

The wicket was flat. But Sri Lankan pace bowlers failed to stick to basics of line and length bowling, bowling in the corridor of uncertainty etc. Fielding was horrible. Throws from outfield were neither aimed at the wicket keeper nor the bowler. On the other hand bowler was very often not behind the stumps to gather the throw. I have never seen Prasanna keeping so poorly. Either age is catching up with him or he is short of first class match practice. SL should have agreed to a 14 player format in the only warm up game and slotted in Eranga for a brief spell or two as match practice. Kulasekara can swing the ball but he is nowhere near test class contrary to the views of Nuwas and Prabash1985. Once the shine disappears off the new ball he looks very ordinary. Do not even think of comparing him with Anderson. Even before tour began I knew Kuashal is going to make runs and I am glad he is doing hat. He is Thilan Samaraweera type gritty test batsman. We need more of those in test team.

Posted by milepost on (June 14, 2014, 5:23 GMT)

@greatest game, "Wonderful innings by Joe Root. Yes, the pitch is flat & the bowling was not all too threatening". Pretty much sums it up, Root will never make a run against a quality attack on a pitch that has anything in it. His continued re-selection despite making a score every 12 months is mind boggling. Even the Sri Lanka rookies are already exposing the 2nd weakest attack in the game. Don't bet on an England resurgence just yet lol.

Posted by android_user on (June 14, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

it's green pitch but batting pitch, our bowlers did good job, kule the best swinger, and we can be happy abt our new fast bowlers

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 14, 2014, 5:11 GMT)

Conditions look very good for batting. The first session on day 3 will be very important. England will be hoping for some quick wickets early to exert some pressure on SL or the game will most likely be heading for a draw. That seems the most likely outcome anyway but 3 or 4 wickets in the first session could break the back of the SL batting. Scoreboard pressure can do strange things.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

only hope for srilankans in this match is to bat throught the rest of the days and draw...and it does not look on this pitch,,,and drop useless bowlers like eranga and bring in mendis for the next match..

Posted by Nuwas on (June 14, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

lol its a batting pitch, Kule did good, If I were to pick best two swing bowlers of recent era of cricket , the two would be Kule & Anderson.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (June 14, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

Sri Lankan fast bowlers must try to field properly. It's very bad of them!

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (June 14, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

Nuwan Kulasekara is our best swing bowler. England is known for swing. So, that's why they included Kule. You don't need 150kmph to take wickets. He has done that over many years, and please stop complaining about it. It's a batting pitch, so get over it.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 4:03 GMT)

The selection of Lanka team was a surprise. Eranga did not have a single outing prior to test, and was selected in preference to Prasad who has the ammo for pitches in england because he can make the ball bounce which others could not. Herath is ok in south Asia but not in UK. the better choice would have been Ajantha with his height and bounce. Wrong selection by the selectors to take their friends to the team has allowed poms to make such a big score.

Posted by shajw on (June 14, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

I agree with AS7777's comments on Kulasekara - he is just not a Test player. Given that Mathews is quicker, taller, stronger and equally capable of swinging the new ball in the first ten overs, what value does Kula add? Sri Lanka would have been better off playing a spinner, or even Dhammika Prasad, who bowled so effectively in the warm-up match. This is where the Asian teams are guilty of fogeyism and reluctance to take a punt on a wildcard...

There could even have been an argument for playing Senanayake ahead of the preferred Perera, had Sri Lanka gone in with a second spinner. Given the Buttler incident, there is every chance the England batsmen would have been indiscreet against Senanayake in an effort to tonk him out of the park every time...

Kaushal Silva remains the bright shining light for me amongst the emerging Lankan players and I'd love to see him a get a hundred at Lords, as I would Sangakkara.

Let's hope it happens!

Posted by Gloryof96 on (June 14, 2014, 3:43 GMT)

Well done Joe Root.

1. Remember the last time Eng played SL on a day where the Eng football team was playing in the FIFA WC?

2. This game has a remarkable resemblance to a match when the visiting team won the toss and batted, scored +500 runs with 3 centurions on a flat track.

has the Eng sun already set after the new dawn?

I certainly hope that I wont be eating a humble pie tonight!!

Posted by AS7777 on (June 14, 2014, 3:18 GMT)

I don't understand what's the role of Nuwan Kulasekara here. Even most of female fast bowlers around the world can bowl faster than him and he is only effective in first 5-10 overs only. 75mph opening fast bowler is like a big joke to me. Eranga and Pradeep did well in this dead pitch and SL batsmen proved so far that English bowlers aren't that better than them.

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 3:15 GMT)

I like to ask one question from the people who are try to match sri lankan pace attack to club level bowling. End of the day 2 SL score 140/1. So what happen to England master class pace bowlers? Still they can take only one wicket in 40 overs. What are they going to do? Where is their abilities? Honestly i want to tell this pitch does not give any chance for bowlers. This work like a dead pitch......

Posted by class9ryan on (June 14, 2014, 2:55 GMT)

With the Indians visiting Lords to play the first Test at Lords, beware India from this Lord of the Lords.

Posted by android_user on (June 14, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

I don't agree with the assumption of a looming draw as Eng posted their total very quickly, 19 Sri Lankan wickets in three days is very possible especially as the pitch crumbles. I realize they are only playing minnows but Eng look to be a vastly different side to the one who limped out of Australia.

Posted by sudaththa on (June 14, 2014, 2:37 GMT)

Well played Joe Root!!! Srilanka have to work on their bowling, a lot!!! make some fast training tracks in SL and train good fast bowlers!!! SL cricket think about it... Finally Sanath is doing a good job.. good selections for the England tour. but work with chandimal.. he has an good future..

Posted by   on (June 14, 2014, 2:10 GMT)

Post KP England team is taking roots. Great.

Posted by KANCHANA623 on (June 14, 2014, 2:09 GMT)

Sl should bat till 4th day's tea to score a lead of 175+. On a deteriorated 5th day wicket Herath can fancy a five wicket hold and a SriLankan famous win.

Posted by disco_bob on (June 14, 2014, 1:16 GMT)

With every other post decrying the pitch and predicting a certain draw, seems to indicate that this match will be anything but a draw. I'd like to see bat out the day but I fear an early morning collapse could end this match in four days.

Posted by dunger.bob on (June 13, 2014, 23:41 GMT)

700+ runs and 10 wickets in two days play. .. Not a lot there for the bowlers so far it would seem.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

Well played, Root, you have to take your chances when presented to score heavily, and you can't ask for anything more. Still some work for SL to do, but a draw does look likely, but there's still 3 days to go.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 23:03 GMT)

Re: over rates. I would like to see a new section of extras. If the batting side is scoring at 3/over and the bowling side is 3 overs short per session, then extras are added at the end of each session at the going rate. Adjustments can be made for delays not caused by the fielding side so the batsmen can not fiddle the system (ie, pulling away just before deliveries, etc), large no.s of 6s where they have to retrieve the ball (I wish!), etc. The problem is often caused by the fast bowlers staring in dismay as the ball goes to the boundary. They stand half way down the pitch, mutter under their breath, wait till the ball is with the keeper, THEN turn around, walk slowly back to their mark, and THEN the captain will come and consult and reset the field.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 13, 2014, 22:21 GMT)

Pleased for Root. Re England as a whole - not sure whether to be happy about the lower order making so many runs or more worried by the lack of runs from the top 3?

As already said it looks like a draw already

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

Draw. Yawn. The team might be trying to take Warnie's advice but the groundsmen definitely aren't.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 13, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

Was at the game today, lovely day. Weather, cricket, what more can we ask? Test cricket, full house, life is good!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 13, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

Solid stuff from Joe Root, and nice impetus from England's tail today. Credit to the Sri Lankan bowlers for hanging in there, and Eranga's bouncer barrage to Prior and Jordan was very well executed.

I thought Prior handled the questions re. the Silva catch very professionally and wisely; no moaning/disgruntled attitude - simply just cricket. Good on ya Matt Prior. You win some, you lose some.

This is England's game to lose from here it has to be said. Big intimidating score posted on the board, and England will bowl the fourth innings barring a major collapse by Sri Lanka tomorrow + follow-on. But MUST earn the breakthroughs and bowl smart. Lack of a frontline spinner is always going to make bowling harder in tests in my opinion. What England really need is one or two of the seamers to find that 'fire in the belly' that Broad showed during the 2013 Ashes during several innings. Otherwise, Sri Lanka have the batsmen to bat this game away to the draw and beyond. Sleep well England.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 13, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

Mike - please don't rubbish the Sri Lanka pace attack just because England put up a decent score on a flat pitch. You only have to see the SL innings to see that the so called test class pacemen from England getting pulverised. It is the wicket mate just as the England fast bowlers find out in the Asian subcontinent!

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 19:14 GMT)

Once the rains comes in Tomorrw and grey skies appear the ball will start doing something. England must dismiss SL by tea Tomorrw to have a chance of winning. On the contrary if SL can bat till post tea Tomorrw say another 70 overs they cah fight to save this match. It's a griff hanger from now provided the skies turn grey and the ball begins to move. Otherwise time to sell more beers on the ground...

Posted by SL_Boy on (June 13, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

common guys slow down, Srilanka once scored 900+ simile ground just careful ... the way it goes i'm looking 2 to 3 hundreds ...

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

Makes you wonder...Root gets a double ton and England 575..how many will Jaywardene get? 300? Both teams lack extra pace, just like the pitch itself. England's 'attack' is particularly bland and distinctly unthreatening, and Ali is at best a county spinner. Draw likely.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 13, 2014, 18:32 GMT)

I really hope the match officials or ICC do something about the over rate in this match. From an England perspective it has been a problem for the whole of the Cook regime, and it was also present under Strauss. Banning a captain would certainly give them a reason to speed it up.

I wonder what's next for Joe Root. More runs? Injury? Replacing Ballance or Robson or even Cook at the top of the order? Bowling 30 overs tomorrow? Who know what England will do with him.

Posted by Indians-love-flattracks on (June 13, 2014, 18:31 GMT)

Jeez this pitch is worse than the one's you see in India... Thought England pitches would offer a bit more pace and bounce.

A draw written all over this..

Posted by Speng on (June 13, 2014, 18:24 GMT)

Lord's was an absolute ripper last year when Jimmy and Swanny took 19 off it, what happened? Hope this is not a portent for the rest of the summer as eight high scoring drawn tests is noone's idea of fun viewing.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 13, 2014, 18:12 GMT)

England prepared a dead wicket to ensure their 'youngsters' get some runs.

Posted by bobmartin on (June 13, 2014, 18:12 GMT)

Where are the fearsome English speed merchants who have been selected for just such a time as this.? .. Completely innocuous... The Sri Lankans bounced out several of the English batters.. and what have our pacemen done...? Nothing. Unless there is a huge turnaround tomorrow.. which judging by todays performance I can't see happening.. the game is dead...

Posted by SUPER_SIX on (June 13, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

This Lord's pitch is pretty much similar to SSC in colombo.

Posted by chucking_thug800_wickets on (June 13, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

@Englishcricket. I can understand you have not got out of your deep well.n dts your whole world just like a frog..which is typical of English. .they always think their players are best. . a single inning does not make him the bezt young player. you need to look around.

Posted by fguy on (June 13, 2014, 17:58 GMT)

pitches like these & the ones in the last test in NZ (v IND, where B Mac made 300) are what is going to kill test cricket not t20s

Posted by Kays789 on (June 13, 2014, 17:50 GMT)

Had this game been played in the subcontinent, all the comments and tweets would now be about how the asian countries are killing the game. What a rubbish pitch to start the summer.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 13, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

This match looks destined for a draw. With 3 more hot and sunny days to come, I really can't see much else. Sri Lanka's bowling attack didn't look the most threatening.England's doesn't look much better. Without the front-line spinner that many of us wanted, it will be a real struggle, considering the rest of the attack is pretty similar. Saying that, if Plunkett or Broad could rediscover some pace, wickets could start to fall.

I think Cook should have bowled Moeen Ali more than 3 overs. Bowling just 3 overs of spin, especially on that pitch, just seems ludicrous. He is a much better spinner than bowling just 3 overs suggest, and to me looked good. Cook once again guilty of not showing confidence in his bowlers, as he did with Simon Kerrigan, Chris Woakes on their test debuts.

On the Prior catch, my gut feeling is it was out, but those ones never get given. We've certainly had our fair share. Bell's one at Lord's vs Australia last year was criminal. Just need to forget about it.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 17:32 GMT)

"...Joe Root got lucky..." Hmmm, I don't think there's such a beast as a 'streaky' 200!!

Posted by jb633 on (June 13, 2014, 16:57 GMT)

Draw written all over this game. We are still rubbish and you must always play a spinner in a test match.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Dreadful, dead pitch, offering nothing ... ah, me!

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Chaminda Vaas, the only top quality pace bowler Sri Lanka had at test level, perhaps should guide the likes of Eranga and Pradeep a bit more vigorously. However, the pitch too is docile. Sri Lanka should make 450 with likes of sanga and mahela in their ranks.

Posted by Cricsnake on (June 13, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

Well played England. Nice recover from deadly blows at the beginning. Root was outstanding and Prior, Broad, Moeen all supported him. Bell made a good start despite wickets fall at the other end. Now its the turn of SL batsmen. Need some good start from Dimuth & Kaushal & Sanga, Mahela, Mathews & Thiri all need to capitalize & pose a good total. Prasanna & Kule can save the tail with some valuable runs. England attack will be much tougher than SL as they have some quality & experienced pacemen & its a good test for the Lankan batters on a fast track. Hope SL could do well.

Posted by InternationalCricketFollower on (June 13, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

No idea why Kaushal Silva did not play during the early years. Prasanna is such a liability. Drop Prasana and pick Chandimal. They should pick Kaushal in for ODIs as well.

Posted by Cricsnake on (June 13, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

Congrats Joe Root for his maiden double ton. Nicely played & well controlled brilliant innings. Good recover by England on the second day. Hope SL batsmen could do the same against better English bowling attack.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (June 13, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

Best young test batsman in world Joe Root. He will destroy Indian bowling and will score 300.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

This series is as topsy turvy as it gets. SL up one day; down the next. England batted like lions all of a sudden. Root was outstanding but so were a couple others. Who could have predicted this from their sorry performances just days ago. Cricket we r told is the game of uncertainty. But these two teams have redefined that with their unpredictabe performances, from one day to the next.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

Dead pitch. The only chance England have is to knock SL over in the second innings. I would not be surprised to see SL get 450+ in the first innings. At one point a Sri Lankan bowler put a ball down at 89mph and it bounced twice never getting above shin high. The pitch is as dead as a dodo.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (June 13, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

Sri Lanka is still in the game! We, never believe in defeat. We always believe that we can drag anything backwards. My personal opinion is that Joe Root just got lucky to bat in such an easy wicket to bat on. So, Sri Lanka should face the first session of all days carefully, and the session with the new ball. That's all you need to do. If you play carefully as Root did, all the big guns as well as promising youngsters will get enough runs on the board, and will be surpassing England score. I don't see anything to worry much, honestly. I watched almost all the match, and I'm saying, "nothing too fancy about England. Just a nice pitch to bat on. Get rid of the new ball and moisture, and you'll be fine. Play your game".

Posted by LJ253 on (June 13, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

I seriously cannot understand how sri lanka continue to produce such sub standard pace bowlers. In their history of test cricket, chaminda vaas is the only decent pace bowler. Not one other fast bowler in their history is anything less than rubbish at a test match level. Something really needs to be done about this in sri lanka, or else they will never be able to compete away from home.

Posted by android_user on (June 13, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

I think job done by eng batters. let's see England bowlers job. well played root and Matt.

Posted by tanstell87 on (June 13, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

great knock by Root...could not buy a run in Australia where he scored only one 50...

Posted by rk_ks on (June 13, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Where are the people who told "Oh Kula, you are a beauty. You are the best". And what happened to the best spinner in the world who took only one wicket. Just because the spinner took 5 wickets in a t20, he became the worlds best right. Only SL can do this, when they win they were best team in the world, when they lose they criticize like anything and also they point the finger towards umpiring.

Posted by rajcan on (June 13, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Every single record in the book will be broken against SL in lords. I cant understand Mathew is just using only 5 bowlers, only one spinner. Not giving any overs to any part timers, you never know, one bad over in test match is not going to kill you. Thirimane bowled one over for 7 runs, that's it.

SL team selection is not making any good players, it is just contributing to failures. Upul Tharanga still young, have proved that who can score against moving balls, was not playing ODIs and not in test squad.

Disaster to leave Tissara perera our of ODI line up too. Now same mistakes going on with test team selection, proven players are not in this pool.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

poor umpiring and poor commentary in England

Posted by lazyone on (June 13, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

it is big mistake to include Kulasekara. He has no pace to cause any trouble. Prasad should have been in the team.

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (June 13, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

Dear Sri lankan selectors and team management, when Lakmal is ready for next test match, please replace 4 wkt taken Pradeep with him. Bcoz U all expect only swing from non performing Kulasekara, please let him play in 2nd test match. SL selectors expect only swing but not Wickets from Kulasekara. When u see the swing u can be very happy and select him for future test matches also

Posted by Cricsnake on (June 13, 2014, 13:48 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.

Posted by ladycricfan on (June 13, 2014, 13:47 GMT)

Good first innings total for England. Well done Root. Not much assistance for the bowlers from the pitch though. Hope it changes the character a bit to give some help to the bowlers in the coming days. Much maligned Indian spinning tracts are more interesting to watch, keep you on the edge all the time.

Posted by Cricsnake on (June 13, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

England can easily score 700/8 & declare if SL use this kind of wild bowling strategy. Batsmen need to try hard to get out. I don't understand what Mathews & co doing. Better to bowl in a conventional way, either in the corridor just outside the offstump with slips as we have quite short & medium pace bowlers. We could use the bodyline tactic if we had tall & quick bowlers who could clock 90+ mph just above the chest of Plunkett.

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (June 13, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

Current Sri lankan cricketers can be categorized considering current performance × continuously performing - Kumar Sangakkara × frequently performing - Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Kaushal Silva × Occasionally performing- Dilshan, Thirimanne, Lakmal, Shaminda, Thisara × Rarely performing- Mahela, Kule, Chandimal, Kusal, Pradeep, Dimuth, Prassanna SL win matches mainly due to continuously and frequently performing players. But rarely performing are lucky enough to stay in the team due to performances of Others . Can we hv replacement for those rarely performing players? If so we can be num 1 side in both format of the game

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 13, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Nice job by the poms,at last! The Sri Lankan's decision to bowl first is questionable given their strength is their batting and the only real chance they have in the bowling department is their spin option.

Posted by   on (June 13, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

its no surprise even if england score 1000 with the last wicket against pathetic bowling and pathetic feilding from SL....even james anderson can score a double hundred here and ceertainly root looks like he will score 500..haha

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
Tour Results
England v Sri Lanka at Leeds - Jun 20-24, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 100 runs
England v Sri Lanka at Lord's - Jun 12-16, 2014
Match drawn
Northants v Sri Lankans at Northampton - Jun 5-8, 2014
Match drawn
England v Sri Lanka at Birmingham - Jun 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 10 balls remaining)
England v Sri Lanka at Lord's - May 31, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 7 runs
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