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Sri Lanka vs England, first Test day three: live score and latest updates from Galle

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4:13AM

Game on

A couple of minutes until play resumes. Captain Root continues on 168 and would love a double-hundred. The pitch is turning more and more so it will be no easy task, which is a major issue for Sri Lanka who will have to try and survive when it comes to their second innings.

4:07AM

The next Root?

I have one piece of pre-reading to fling your way before we turn our attention to the on-field action and it is this from our chief cricket writer Scyld Berry: Dan Lawrence’s assured debut reminded me of Joe Root’s first Test

Here is a snippet:

Uncanny. Several are the differences between Joe Root and Dan Lawrence, but the similarity between their Test debuts is uncanny. Both scored 73 in Asia in highly challenging circumstances in their first Test innings; and both live for cricket, especially batting  — and bowling some offspin to while away the hours between innings. It is asking too much of any young batsman to become as consistent as Root, with his 67 scores of 50-plus in his 98 Tests, and Lawrence by nature is more of a dasher, but this similarity — at the outset of their careers at least — offers a delicious prospect.

3:58AM

Today’s forecast

There are showers scheduled to come and go later in the day but it looks like play should begin on time. I wonder if England will start getting a wriggle on with this poor weather taking time out of proceedings. Mind you, this is only the start of day three and if they get things right they should only need to bat once in this match.

A slightly elongated day in store:

  • Session 1: 4.15-6.30am (all times GMT)
  • Lunch: 6.30-7.10am
  • Session 2: 7.10-9.25am
  • Tea: 9.25-9.45am
  • Session 3: 9.45-11.45am
3:41AM

Good morning

Welcome to day three of this first Test from Galle, where something would have to go seriously awry for England not to triumph. Perhaps rain is Sri Lanka’s best hope. Both of the first two days have been weather-affected, but so swift was Sri Lanka’s batting disintegration that the tourists have already amassed a 185-run lead.

Captain Joe Root has been the star of the show, putting any 2020 worries behind him with a wonderful unbeaten 168. Have a read of Tim Wigmore on England’s captain right here. And here is a taster:

Where the 2018 Root’s instinctive response to a pressure situation was to counter-attack, this inclination was a little less free-wheeling. Coming in after two early wickets, Root took 30 balls over his first six runs; in defence, he smothered spin with the meticulousness of an archivist poring over a rare manuscript. 

Whether in attack or defence, the defining feature of this innings was the decisiveness of Root’s footwork. The worst place to play spin is from an indeterminate position on the crease, neither properly forward nor back – vulnerable to late turn and yet not far back enough to guard against it. England’s top order were often marooned in this awkward position, but Root’s judgement, and alacrity on his feet, helped him avoid this danger zone.

Root shared a fourth-wicket stand of 173 with debutant Dan Lawrence, who provided 73 of the runs in what was a dashing first outing in international cricket.

The Essex batsman instantly delivered on some of the lofty expectations which have been placed on him as one of the county game’s most highly-rated performers, mixing obvious intent with a wider scoring arc than might have been expected following Sir Alastair Cook’s pre-match warning of his leg-side tendencies.

With Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes all currently absent for different reasons, Lawrence certainly did enough to suggest selection meetings may soon become tricky affairs.

“I was very impressed, I thought he played magnificently well,” said Root. “It’s great to see guys coming in and having success straight away. But the most important thing is they see that as the start, something to build on and don’t just be happy with it. He showed exactly why he deserved his opportunity to play and it’s the start of something very special for him.”

As for his plans for today, Root said: “I’m trying to make [his hundred] another really big one and drive the game forward. We want to put them under pressure and bat just once.”

Play gets underway at the slightly earlier time of 4.15am (GMT) to try and make up for some of the overs lost to rain.

Original Source

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