London: Yorkshireman Joe Root's maiden double hundred has given England a big advantage in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's after the hosts declared their innings on 575 for nine.
England's Joe Root celebrates his double century against SL at Lord's. Pic/AFP.
Sri Lanka fought back well reaching 140 for one at stumps on day two on Friday. The Sri Lankans are still 435 runs behind and need a further 235 to avoid follow on.
They lost opener Dimuth Karunaratne for 38 as debutant Chris Jordan claimed a wicket in his first over of Test cricket. But Kaushal Silva added 82 runs for the second wicket with Kumar Sangakkara as the tourists ended on a positive note after a tough start. Sri Lanka haven't lost a Test Match at Lord's in 23 years. Root became only the second Englishman to score a double hundred against Sri Lanka after Jonathan Trott and helped the hosts to their highest score against the Sri Lankans surpassing their 551 for six declared made in 2006.
Resuming from the overnight score of 344 for five, Root extended the partnership with wicketkeeper Matt Prior to 170 runs, also a record for England against Sri Lanka for the sixth wicket. The one dimensional Sri Lankan attack struggled on good batting conditions as England scored at a healthy rate on day two.
Seamer Shaminda Eranga threatened to help Sri Lanka regain the initiative when he bowled a good spell in the morning session where he had two wickets in quick succession.
Bowling with a leg slip and a short leg in place, Eranga bowled short and had Prior caught at short leg by Kaushal Silva for 86 and another short ball accounted for Jordan. But overall he was erratic giving away too many loose balls down the leg side and finished with three for 163 in 30 overs.
Stuart Broad made 47 off 38 deliveries with nine fours and added 64 runs for the eighth wicket with Root.
Nuwan Pradeep claimed his wicket and two balls later should have had Liam Plunkett, but the chance was put down by Eranga at midwicket. That proved costly as the ninth wicket stand between Plunkett, playing his first Test in seven years and Root produced 81 runs and more importantly got Root closer to the double hundred.
Anderson, in with Root 19 runs shy of a double century, showed his confidence by getting off the mark with a reverse-swept four off Herath. Root's lapped two off the spinner then took him to a double century in just over five hours off 298 balls with 16 fours.