Joe Root on Sunday became the first England Test player since David Gower since 1985 to follow a double hundred with a score in excess of 150 after the elegant English skipper was out for 186 in the first innings of the first test against Sri Lanka. Root had made 228 in the first Test, which England had won by seven wickets.
England were 339-9 at the end of the third day, trailing Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 381 by 42 runs. Root was out for 186 on the last delivery of the day as Oshada Fernando superbly ran him out with a quick throw from the short leg.
Showering praises on Root’s extraordinary batting display, former England captain Sir Alastair Cook said, “It is the only sport where it happens like that – he has played unbelievably well, two of the best innings you’ll see and yet he’s walking off here absolutely gutted that he didn’t bat the day. It was the most extraordinary batting you can see and he’ll be sitting in his chair absolutely gutted. Cricket does it for you.”
Root faced 308 balls to play his knock of 186 with a strike rate of 60.39. This effectively worked out at about eight hours and 25 minutes at the crease. With today’s knock, Root has also jumped to the fourth position in the list of England’s all-time run-scorer as he went past David Gower on Sunday. He needs just 225 runs to dislodge Alec Stewart from the third position 662 runs to become the second-highest run-scorer for England after Alastair Cook.
Root’s two back-to-back 150-plus knocks have come as a warning to the Indian team, which will face England in Chennai next month. Root’s devastating form will make the contest during India’s home series incredibly interesting given that Team India have just returned from Australia by lifting the series 2-1.
Lasith Embuldeniya ended the day with 7-132 bowling figure. The remaining wicket went to Ramesh Mendis.
According to cricket statistician Andy Zaltzman, Lahiru Thirimanne is the first Sri Lankan to take five catches in an innings. He is the second person to do it against England. Zaltszman told BBC, “It is the 14th instance of a non-wicketkeeper taking five catches – nobody has ever taken six. Nine of the 14 occasions have happened since 2012.”
Scores in brief:
Sri Lanka 381 (139.3 overs): Mathews 110, Dickwella 92; Anderson 6-40
England 339-9: Root 186, Buttler 55; Embuldeniya 7-132
England trail by 42 runs