SL vs ENG Test Highlights: Joe Root Stars With 186-Run Knock, Lasith Embuldeniya Takes Seven as England Close Gap Versus Sri Lanka in 2nd Test on Day 3
Joe Root plays a defensive stroke again Sri Lanka in 2nd Test in Galle©ICC-Twitter

England captain Joe Root’s 186 helped England reduce Sri Lanka’s lead to 42 runs on the third day of the second Test at Galle International Stadium. Sri Lanka’s Lasith Embuldeniya was the star of the day for the hosts as he picked up seven wickets in the 41 overs he bowled. England finished on 339/9 at Stumps on Day 3, trailing Sri Lanka’s 381 by 42 runs.

Root, who had scored a fabulous double ton in the first Test, looked good to repeat the feat in Galle as well but fell victim to an Oshada Fernando throw that caught him short. He was denied a second double century this series when he was run out towards the end of the day. The 30-year-old faced 309 balls in the innings while the rest of his teammates struggled to deal with the spin being generated by Embuldeniya.

Courtesy this knock, the England captain has now gone past Kevin Pietersen and David Gower to become his country’s fourth-highest run-getter in Test cricket. He shared a 111-run partnership for the third wicket with Jonny Bairstow, a 97-run stand with Jos Buttler for the fifth and then put up 81 runs for the seventh wicket with Dom Bess.

Embuldeniya provided nearly all of the important breakthroughs for Sri Lanka through out the day with fellow spinner Ramesh Mendis the only other player to pick a wicket. Mendis ended the fourth wicket stand between Root and Buttler by snaring the latter caught at short leg. It was Mendis’s maiden Test wicket.

However, it was Embuldeniya who emerged as the star for Sri Lanka as he accounted for seven of the nine English wickets, making sure that Root ran out of partners even as the batsman continued chipping at the lead.

With the deficit under 50, England still could have finished on a high but an error in judgment from Root rounded off a more satisfying day for the hosts.

Earlier, the visitors stuttered at the start of the third day when they lost Jonny Bairstow for 28. He had added just four runs to his overnight score. Embuldeniya continued to trouble the England batsmen and was responsible for Bairstow’s downfall,

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 381 (Angelo Mathews 110, Niroshan Dickwella 92; James Anderson 6/40) vs England 339/9 (Joe Root 186, Jos Buttler 55; Lasith Embuldeniya 7/132); England trail by 42 runs.