Root century steadies England at Lord's

England

England made a sterling recovery from their initially wobbly state on day one at Lord's, recovering to reach stumps against Sri Lanka on 344 for five, with centurion Joe Root unbeaten at the close.

England made a sterling recovery from their initially wobbly state on day one at Lord's, recovering to reach stumps against Sri Lanka on 344 for five, with centurion Joe Root unbeaten at the close.

Root was on 102 while Matt Prior was on 76 at stumps, the pair having put on 135 runs together to put England in a good position, having been three down in the morning session as the top three failed to fire.

Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first, a surprising decision at the time but one that worked out well as their fast bowlers took three cheap wickets and found some swing in the air and movement off the pitch.

Sam Robson, one of three England debutants on the day, got off the mark with a single to cover to start his international career, but that was the only run he got as he edged Nuwan Pradeep behind for Prasanna Jayawardene to catch, diving to his right.

Opening partner and England skipper Alastair Cook, in desperate need of international runs, was once again out cheaply. He struggled to 17 before bottom-edging Nuwan Kulasekara back onto his stumps, trying to cut.

This brought Ian Bell to the middle to join number three Gary Ballance, and the pair worked to stabilise the first Test innings of the English summer. They nurdled and nudged their way to a 52-run partnership over the next hour.

But Ballance was increasingly uncomfortable in the middle, and it was not a surprise when one too many prods outside his off stump saw him take the edge, and Prasanna again too the catch off Pradeep. Ballance departed for 23.

At lunch, Bell, looking as solid as ever, was on 41 not out, including six fours, while Root was on six. After the interval, which Bell started off with a big six, he moved on to his half century but was unable to push on, out for 56.

After the third umpire overturned the on-field not out, and Shaminda Eranga claimed his wicket, debutant Moeen Ali came to the middle to join Root, and he immediately looked comfortable, especially compared to Robson and Ballance.

The pair put on 75 runs at three to the over by tea, adding 97 runs in total in the afternoon. Sri Lanka's bowling was behind the over rate, and they'd only bowled 53 overs with a session to go.

The evening session also saw just the loss of one wicket, that of Ali for 48 soon after the restart. He nicked Rangana Herath to Prasanna behind the stumps, bringing Prior to the middle. The wicketkeeper had a lucky escape before even getting off the mark, as DRS umpires call saved him from LBW.

But the Sussex man took it in stride as he and Root played out a century stand in the evening, batting at more than four to the over. Prior showed a much improved technique, with more backlift and foot movement.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior (wkt), Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson

Sri Lanka: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (capt), Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga

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