Sunderland Echo

Bess hoping England can Dom-inate in Test matches

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England's Sri Lankan Test warm-ups started on a suspicious­ly green pitch last Friday, but Dom Bess is licking his lips at the prospect of a spin-friendly surface in Galle this week.

England took to the pitch in Hambantota for a low-key workout between Team Root and Team Buttler.

Captain Joe Root fared best with the bat, helping himself to an unbeaten 74 as his side posted 184 for two in 50 overs on a track that was unusually grassy and highly unlikely to be replicated when the first Test gets under way at a ground notorious for its lavish turn.

In the reply, James Anderson found himself on a hat-trick after successive dismissals of Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, the latter bowled by bigmovemen­toffthesea­m,but ahalf-centuryfro­mOlliePope– only present for rehabilita­tion reasons – turned a top-order collapse into a less grisly 120 for six.

Bess has already bowled more than anyone else - wheeling through 16 overs for 59 runs and the early wicket of James Bracey hacking to mid-on – and is relying on more assistance whenthecom­petitivest­uffgets under way.

"It had a bit of grass on it – I'd be very surprised if we got that sort of pitch again out here," he said, of conditions at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium.

"It's quite clever from the Sri Lankans, whatever they're doing in terms of the pitch.

"But I know myself and, bowling on that, I won't be thinking too much on the wicket.

"It was more about getting on grass again and competing against each other. That was the main objective: adapting to the pitch, the heat and the Kookaburra ball. It was a really good workout."

 ??  ?? Dom Bess is hope for a spinfriend­ly wicket.
Dom Bess is hope for a spinfriend­ly wicket.

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