Root look­ing for an­other sweet per­for­mance at Kandy

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

GALLE, Sri Lanka: Eng­land cap­tain Joe Root be­lieves Eng­land will go into the sec­ond Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy on Wed­nes­day with "huge amounts of con­fi­dence" af­ter over­com­ing the hosts in Galle.

"We played some re­ally good stuff," Root said af­ter the com­mand­ing 211-run vic­tory. "The way we played through­out the four days, with ev­ery­one con­tribut­ing and play­ing a part, is re­ally pleas­ing."

"We said we were go­ing to do things slightly dif­fer­ently at the start of the se­ries and we've re­ally backed that up and given our­selves a re­ally good chance to go to Kandy with a lot of con­fi­dence and back up what's been a bril­liant four-days here," he said.

Eng­land got off to a shaky start in Galle, los­ing five wick­ets for just 103 runs, with de­but opener Rory Burns back in the pav­il­ion for nine, Moeen Ali out first ball and Ben Stokes gone for seven.

But from lunch on­wards, Eng­land were in the driv­ing seat, not least due to debu­tant Ben Foakes's 107 -- mak­ing him man of the match -- and with valu­able con­tri­bu­tions from Jos But­tler, Sam Cur­ran and Adil Rashid.

Sri Lanka were then bun­dled out for 203, with Ali get­ting four wick­ets for 66 and fel­low spin­ners Jack Leach and Rashid tak­ing two apiece, giv­ing the hosts a 139-run first-in­nings lead.

Keaton Jen­nings then made an over­due re­turn to form in Eng­land's sec­ond in­nings with an as­sured 146 not out, al­low­ing Root to de­clare set Sri Lanka an enor­mous tar­get of 462.

They were all out for 250 and Ali took four wick­ets for the sec­ond time in the match, ably as­sisted by Leach who took three and by Stokes with ag­gres­sive, chin-high seam bowl­ing.

"We had some clear plans about the way we were go­ing to ap­proach this game in par­tic­u­lar on this sur­face. To see them work, to see the hard work lead­ing into the game pay off, is great," Root said.

"The way we played in the sum­mer (beat­ing a vis­it­ing In­dian side 4-1) was a sign of this team mov­ing for­ward and we've re­ally backed that up in this per­for­mance," he said.

"It's very dif­fi­cult to win Test matches abroad now. I think that makes it even sweeter when you do come to a very dif­fi­cult venue, like Galle, and man­age to win games. Hope­fully we can build on this and it's not just a one-off for us." - AFP

Cap­tain Aaron Finch won man-of-the-match af­ter Aus­tralia fi­nally snapped their seven-game run of lim­ited overs de­feats with vic­tory over South Africa on Fri­day. - AFP photo

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