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Joe Root’s century puts England on top in the first Test

By Bet Barter

January 17, 2021

England's Test skipper Joe Root scored his first Test century and helped England assert their authority against Sri Lanka. Root remained unbeaten and took the team's lead to 185 on a rain-hit second day of the opening Test. Essex batsman Dan Lawrence also made an impressive performance with 73 runs off 150 deliveries. Root was unbeaten on 168 off 254 balls at the end of Day 2.

Root also held a 114-run partnership alongside Bairstow before adding another fifty-plus partnership with Lawrence. The captain has used the crease well and forced the Lankan bowlers to make errors. The England cricket team is now leading by 185 runs with six wickets in hand. The visitors managed to restrict Sri Lanka for 135 in the first innings inside the first two sessions. England's off-spinner Dom Bess picked up a five-wicket haul, and Stuart Broad managed to pick up three wickets.

The middle-order batsmen Root and Lawrence confronted the host's plans with a 173-run partnership. Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella missed two opportunities to hold onto the edges off Lawrence's bat. However, off-spinner Dilruwan Perera finally dismissed Lawrence in the second session with the second new ball. The Essex batsman performed brilliantly in his debut test. The 23-year-old hit six boundaries in his knock.

Joe Root nearing the 8,000-run mark in Tests

Joe Root registered his 18th Test hundred and his second in Sri Lanka with a single in the first over after lunch off 163 balls. He smashed seven boundaries in his brilliant knock. It was also his early test century since scoring 226 against New Zealand in Hamilton in November 2019. With his 18th Test hundred, the skipper has equalled former England David Gower and Michael Vaughan's record. In his 98th Test match, Root has surpassed 7,900 runs in the format and is nearing to achieve another feat of 8,000 Test runs. He will become the 31st cricketer overall and seventh Englishman to get past 8,000 Test runs if he achieves this feat. The 30-year-old continued to dominate the spinners and accomplished 150 runs off 225 balls.

England cricket team will tour India for a full series including four Tests after the completion of the on-going series in Sri Lanka. The on-going England vs Sri Lanka series has resumed after being cancelled in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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