Joe Root brings up his 19th Test century!
WICKET! Lawrence c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 3 (England 132-4)
WICKET! Bairstow c O Fernando b Embuldeniya 28 (England 116-3)
Day two at Galle was one where both teams had a couple of times to drive home the advantage and both were able to wriggle off the hook after getting into strife. All told, it leaves honours just about even as we enter morning three, England 98-2 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 381 with Joe Root having already made his way to 67 dreamy runs after he came together with Jonny Bairstow (24) when the score was 5-2.
So far in this series, the visiting skipper has been a cut above all comers with the blade, using his dazzling feet to deal with the home side’s spinners, be in in defence or in attack. He did plenty of the latter before the close last night, already striking ten boundaries. It’s difficult to think of a time when he’s looked so in control as a batsman since assuming the armband nearly four years ago.
A neat statistical quirk thrown up in this brief tour is that Embuldeniya has picked up both of England’s openers, Dom Sibley and Zac Crawley, in all three innings for single-figure scores. And of course, that only goes to reinforce how impressive Root has been, always walking in before he’s had a chance to enjoy a cuppa.