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England leads opener

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

LONDON, - Joe Root's maiden Test double century took England to 9-575 declared on the second day of their series opener against Sri Lanka at Lord's on Friday.

Root was exactly 200 not out when England captain Alastair Cook called a halt to the innings an hour after lunch.

James Anderson, who in his role as a No 11 batsman had helped see Root to his landmark score, nearly had an early wicket when Dimuth Karunaratne was given out lbw by Paul Reiffel.

But, after Sri Lanka challenged the former Australia paceman's decision, tracking technology showed the ball going over the top of the stumps.

At tea, the Sri Lankans were 35 without loss, with Karunaratne 19 not out and Kaushal Silva 16 not out.

Root's innings was the second time in as many Tests at the ground that the 23-year-old Yorkshireman had made his Test-best score at Lord's following his 180 against Australia last year.

England's total was their highest against Sri Lanka, surpassing the 6-551 declared they made at Lord's in 2006.

It was also the first time in 14 Tests that England had passed 400 in an innings.

England, struggling at 3-74 when Root arrived at the crease, resumed on Friday well-placed at 5-344.

Root, recalled after being dropped for the final Test of England's 5-0 Ashes drubbing in Sydney in January, was 102 not out.

Matt Prior, dropped from the side for the final two Ashes Tests, was 76 not out -- having only narrowly survived a second ball lbw appeal from left-arm spinner Rangana Herath on Thursday.

Sri Lanka unsettled both Root and wicketkeeper Prior as pacemen Nuwan Pradeep and Shaminda Eranga pitched short from around the wicket, a tactic that twice yielded a dividend for Eranga.

Prior fell 14 runs of a comeback hundred when he fended a rising delivery to short leg having helped Root put on 171 for the sixth wicket. Eranga struck again when Chris Jordan, one of three England debutants with Sam Robson and Moeen Ali, gloved a looping catch behind for 19.

Stuart Broad, primarily a seamer, kept the runs coming, however, with a flurry of boundaries, including two dismissive square-cuts off Nuwan Pradeep.

However, he pulled the seamer straight to deep mid-wicket to end a run-a-minute 47.

Liam Plunkett was then dropped on two when Eranga put down a routine chance at mid-wicket. It was an expensive miss as Plunkett, in his first Test for seven years, having helped Root add 81 for the ninth wicket.

Root's double century took just over five hours off 298 balls with 16 fours.





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