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Sri Lanka fight back after Root double ton

After Joe Root’s impressive double ton in Galle, Sri Lanka have staged a great fightback in their second innings on day three of the first Test against England.

Before bad light brought an end to the third days, the hosts were 156 for two, and cut short England’s first innings lead to just 130 runs. Lahiru Thirimanne was unbeaten at the crease with 76 runs (6 fours). He shared a 101-run partnership with Kusal Perera for the first wicket off 37.4 overs. Perera returned to the pavilion scoring 62 runs. It was for the first time in two years, that England failed to take a wicket in the first 30 overs.

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Earlier Sri Lanka had been bundled out for just 135 runs in their first innings. In reply, England made 421 runs thanks to Root’s 228 (his second best Test score, behind 254 against Pakistan in 2016) as well as Daniel Lawrence making 73. Root’s innings included 18 fours and a six.

On his way to the brilliant innings, the England skipper Root on Saturday (January 16) became the second-fastest England batsman to score 8,000 runs in Test cricket.

Overall Root is the seventh England batsman to achieve the feat. He took 178 innings to reach 8,000 runs, while Kevin Pietersen is still the fastest to do so in 176 innings.

This 228-run knock which ended with Root being the last man to be dismissed for his side, he completed his fourth double century in the longest format of the game; also his second double ton as captain.

Besides it is also the third-highest score ever by an opposition player in a Test played in Sri Lanka, behind Stephen Fleming’s 274* in 2003 and Chris Gayle’s 333 in 2010.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 135 (Dinesh Chandimal 28, Angelo Mathews 27; Dom Bess 5-30, Stuart Broad 3-20) & 156/2 (Lahiru Thirimanne 76*, Kusal Perera 62; Sam Curran 1-25) trail England 421 (Joe Root 228, Dan Lawrence 73; Dilruwan Perera 4-129, Lasith Embuldeniya 3-176) by 130 runs.

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