Ton-up Joe Root puts England in command

Afp, Galle

16 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

England captain Joe Root hit an unbeaten 168 as his side built up a lead of 185 over Sri Lanka on a rain-hit second day of the opening Test.

England were 320 for four when rain halted play in Galle. Root and Dan Lawrence, who scored 73 on his Test debut, built a 173-run partnership after the tourists resumed the day on 127-2.

Root, who is batting with Jos Buttler (7), hit his 18th Test ton and kept up the pressure on the home bowlers despite losing overnight partner Jonny Bairstow for 47 early in the day. Root started the day on 66 and passed 100 soon after lunch with a single off Dilruwan Perera. He raised his bat and hugged Lawrence.

Earlier Bairstow became left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya's third victim, caught at gully. The wicket ended a 114-run third-wicket stand for the tourists.

Off-spinner Dom Bess returned career-best figures of 5-30 to help skittle Sri Lanka out for 135 -- the lowest first-innings score at the venue -- in two sessions on Thursday after the hosts elected to bat.