England Provides A Batting Master Class On Day Two
17 January 2021 08:06 pm
1st Test - Sri Lanka Vs England - Galle - Day 2
England ended the day in a commanding position, as they piled on a further 193 runs for the loss of only two wickets in a rain shortened day in the 1st Test played of the two test series powered by Daraz for the Moose Clothing Cup 2021 against Sri Lanka at the Galle Esplanade on Friday.
England who routed Sri Lanka by winning the last series that they played 3/0 in Sri Lanka, once again continued their dominance in this game too, as day two concluded.
It was a sheer batting master class by a bunch of talented English batsmen, who provided a demonstration of how a test match ought to be played and especially how to bat on subcontinental pitches.
If it was not Baistow and Root, it was then Root and Lawrence, the English debutant who battered with such grace, elegance and authority.
From using their feet to meet the spinners in smothering the spin, to rocking back and playing the ball late, to defending it with soft hands, they demonstrated it all with such aplomb.
The trio even dispatched the loose balls with such disdain, picking and choosing the vacant areas with such ease.
The Sri Lankans too played their part in contributing to their woes on the field.
Many a catch and many a stumping went a begging with wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella being the main culprit on several occasions.
England started off the day on the backfoot as Johnny Bairstow pushed one to Kusal Mendis in the gully off Lasith Embuldeniya, to be caught as early in the second over of the day.
This was after Joe Root had survived a strong appeal for LBW in the previous over.
Thereafter the batting masterclass was further enhanced with the entry of 23 year old Essex's Daniel (Dan) William Lawrence to the crease.
Lawrence could not have asked for a calmer influence to help him out in his debut innings, than that of his skipper Root.
He got off the mark with the second ball he faced when Dilruwan Perera bowled him a full toss outside the off stump, which he gleefully put away through extra cover for a boundary.
Lawrence followed his first boundary with two superb back cuts for four, before going on to flat bat spinner Hasaranga De Silva through the covers for another four.
Oozing with confidence, Lawrence then on bended knee smoked one over the mid wicket boundary off Perera for a huge six.
With lunch looming in the background, Root on 96 then slog swept Embuldeniya in his quest to get to his century before lunch only to see the deep mid-wicket fielder pull it back just inside the boundary rope.
He remained 99 not out at lunch.
Sri Lanka's troubles on the field continued yet again when on the stroke of lunch Embuldeniya drew Lawrence with a well flighted delivery.
The batsman stepping out was beaten all ends up, as his slightly feathered deflection was dropped by Dickwella who could also have stumped the batsman if only he could have safely held on to the ball.
Sadly for Sri Lanka it was never meant to be as England went to lunch at 206 for 3, with Lawrence unbeaten on 40.
Shortly after the lunch break Root paddled a single to notch up his 18th century in test cricket. It was also his 3rd against Sri Lanka and his 7th overall as England captain.
Wanting to register a personal landmark for himself, Dan Lawrence then went onto push one to mid on, to bring up his maiden 50 on debut.
Sri Lanka's dismal day on the field continued when Lawrence batting on 60 edged a ball that flew to Kusal Mendis at gully.
Lawrence's debut was certainly blessed with immense luck, as the ball flew through the outstretched hands of Mendis.
Sri Lanka then took the new ball and hoped that the harder ball would grip, bounce and turn and also bring them that much needed wicket.
England soon notched up their 300th run in the 84th over and shortly thereafter, off spinner Dilruwan Perera got one to surprise Lawrence, as the unexpected bounce went onto glove a simple catch to Mendis fielding at short leg.
Jos Butler who joined his skipper Root then saw England to tea at 320 for 4.
However with the heavens opening and raining down bucket loads of water, play was abandoned for the rest of the day.
Joe Root remained unbeaten on 168 and Butler opting to play himself in, remained not out on 7.