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By Bharath Ramaraj
Jun 13, 2014
England at the end of the first session of their second day’s play of the first Test match against Sri Lanka at Lord’s made 473 for the loss of eight wickets. They started on a sedate note with both Matt Prior and the centurion, Joe Root looking to play themselves in. Sri Lankan seamers looked to dig in a few short balls. It troubled both Root and Prior. Root got a top edge off Nuwan Pradeep‘s bowling and Kaushal Silva deputising for Prasanna Jayawardene for a brief period couldn’t take what can go down only as a technical chance.
Eranga and Pradeep continued to bowl short pitch stuff. Eranga went around the wicket and did extract something from a good batting track. He eventually was rewarded with Prior fending off a short delivery to the short-leg fielder, Silva. He also got Chris Jordan’s wicket. The No 8 batsman too was bounced out by the seamer. He was caught by Jayawardene, the wicketkeeper. Stuart Broad then, flayed Sri Lanka’s pace attack all over the park. He was finally out for 47. Root on the other hand, played his own game and now has 150 to his name.
In fact, England would he happy about the fact that they have crossed 400 runs after a longtime. The last time they did was back in March 2013 at Wellington against New Zealand. Since then, their batsmen have struggled for runs. Despite not compiling a century, it was a good day for Prior too. He became the third wicketkeeper from England to amass 4,000 runs in Tests for his country.
Earlier, Root, who made a fine century held the innings together by showing good defence. Once set, he looked to come forward and that helped him to keep Sri Lanka’s pacers, who were were bowling a full length to him at bay. He also stitched fine partnerships with Moeen Ali, the debutant and Prior, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman.
It was Sri Lanka who won the toss and chose to bowl what with the track offering a bit of help for the pacers. England on the other hand, picked three debutants; Sam Robson, Jordan and Moeen. This is the first time since 1921 that England have given three players a chance to make their debut in a Test match.
England 473 for 8 (Joe Root 152*, Matt Prior 86; Nuwan Pradeep 3 for 105) vs Sri Lanka.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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