England’s batsmen were once again looking to follow Joe Root’s lead after Sri Lanka defied James Anderson’s best efforts in another hard-fought day in the second Test at Galle.
The hosts posted a challenging 381 in their first innings, with Anderson raising his own bar at the grand old age of 38 with career-best figures in Asia of six for 40.
England then lost both openers with just five on the board before Root reeled off a fluent 67 not out to follow last week’s double hundred, ably backed by his fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow in a stumps score of 98 for two.
Anderson’s masterful six for 40 was the standout performance as all 10 home wickets fell to pace, the first time that has happened on this island in two decades and, while that was a feather in the cap of the English seamers, it was also an awkward statistic for spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess.
Between them the duo sent down 64 overs for 195 as they failed to make any kind of impression on proceedings.
Root surpasses Sir Geoffrey Boycott
Sir Alastair Cook - 12,472
Graham Gooch - 8,900
Alec Stewart - 8,463
David Gower - 8,231
Kevin Pietersen - 8,181
Joe Root - 8,119
Sir Geoffrey Boycott - 8,114
Tweet of the day
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 23, 2021
Kevin Pietersen shares some advice he received from India great Rahul Dravid on the job of playing spin in Asia.
The wait goes on
Niroshan Dickwella’s dismissal for 92 meant he has now failed to convert all 16 of his Test fifties.
View from the middle