Jonny Bairstow century highlights England fightback on day one
England 279-6 (Bairstow 107no) v Sri Lanka
Third Test, London, day one
A splendid unbeaten century from Jonny Bairstow and a fluent 85 from Alastair Cook led England’s fightback as they scored 279 for six at stumps on day one of the third Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s following a middle order collapse that left the team struggling at 84 for four at one stage.
England won the toss and opted to bat first with an unchanged line-up. Sri Lanka drafted in Kusal Perera and left out Milinda Siriwardana.
On a flat surface, Cook (85) and Alex Hales (18) began cautiously and took England to 35 for naught in the first 10 overs. The pair upped the ante and brought up the team fifty in the 13th over.
The 56-run opening stand was broken when Rangana Herath (2-45) had Hales caught in the slips in the 20th over.
Nick Compton (1) struggled to get going once again and was dismissed in the 25th over, caught behind off Suranga Lakmal (2-66).
An over later, Lakmal trapped Joe Root (3) lbw but the on-field umpire turned the appeal down. Sri Lanka reviewed the decision and after replays showed the ball hitting leg stump, the decision was overturned.
This flurry of wickets left England at 74 for three at the end of the first session.
In the very first over of the second session, Cook brought up a well-paced fifty. Sri Lanka’s onslaught continued as in the 32nd over, Nuwan Pradeep (2-79) castled James Vince (10), leaving England at 84 for four.
Early in his innings, in the 36th over, Bairstow (107 not out) was dropped by Shaminda Eranga (0-63). Making use of this reprieve, Bairstow capitalised on a steady start and put on a solid 80-run stand with Cook.
This partnership kept the Sri Lankan attack at bay and England reached 143 for four at the end of 50 overs.
With a few minutes to go for the tea break, Cook was trapped lbw by Pradeep in the 57th over. At the end of the second session, England were positioned at 165 for five.
In the second over of the final session, Bairstow reached his fifty and in the 62nd over, Sri Lanka reviewed an lbw appeal against Bairstow. The ball was just clipping leg stump so the on-field call of not out was upheld.
With Moeen Ali (25) giving him company at the other end, Bairstow played positive cricket in the 63-run stand for the sixth wicket.
With six overs for the second new ball, Herath returned to have Ali caught in the slips.
Chris Woakes (23 not out) welcomed the second new ball with three fours by the end of the 84th over. Four overs later, Bairstow etched his name on the Lord’s honours board with his third century of 2016.
At stumps, England were unbeaten at 279 for six. Lakmal, Pradeep and Herath shared six wickets equally.
© Cricket World 2016