FIRST TEST REVIEWS: Joe Root’s double century was one of an English batsman’s great innings

England rode to victory in the first Test over Sri Lanka at Galle after Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence led Joe Root’s side to a seven-wicket victory on Monday.

After a brief shock near the end of the game on the fourth day after a rush of fast English wickets, Bairstow and Lawrence knocked off the last 36 runs at Galle to lead the tourists 1-0 for the second and final test – starting on Friday.

After the emphatic victory, Sportsmails Lawrence Booth has judged both the England and Sri Lanka players on their efforts during the first test …

Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence saw England cross the line when they beat Sri Lanka in the first test

Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence saw England cross the line when they beat Sri Lanka in the first test

Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence saw England cross the line when they beat Sri Lanka in the first test


Joe Root – 9: Went on his way to the perfect 10 until he ran out on a chaotic fourth night. But his 228 was one of an English batsman’s great innings, full of precise sweeps and decisive footwork. Still misses a trick in the field every now and then, but gets the Test wins.

Stuart Broad – 8: Three previous test trips to Sri Lanka had brought him three wickets to 83. But he doubled his number on the first day to set up England, and was unreachable in the second innings. A match analysis of 26-14-34-3 was masterful.

Jos Buttler – 8: His best game with the gloves, and with Foakes breathing down his neck. Withdrew his first Test stumping, and a smart catch to fire Mendis in the second innings. Also made a useful 30.

Dan Lawrence – 8His international debut produced 94 first-class runs for once on a rotating circuit – and the feeling that England has discovered a batsman with the nous and the shots to play Test cricket. The dolly he dropped the first morning can be laid down to butterflies.

The English Captain Joe Root was in a class of his own with a brilliant double century in Galle

Jonny Bairstow – 7.5: Played two nerve-racking innings, adding 114 with Root in the first and then an unbeaten 52 with Lawrence in the second after England threatened to stumble over a small target – though Root won’t thank him for his part in the runout.

Dom Bess – 7: Match numbers of eight to 130 didn’t tell the whole story. His first innings five for 30 was bizarre, and he had to work harder in the second. But Chandimal and Dickwella’s wickets were crucial in opening up Sri Lanka. Still needs to work at a consistent length.

Sam Curran – 7: Given the new ball looking for an early swing, but instead made two major incisions with the old ball, removing both openers to break through Sri Lanka’s resistance in the second innings. Will face competition from Chris Woakes for a place in Friday’s second Test.

Jack Leach – 7: Wasn’t flattered by numbers of one for 55 in the first innings and understandably looked rusty on the third day. But found his groove to the right-handers, finishing with his second Test five-for, both in Sri Lanka.

Jos Buttler put down his best match with the gloves under pressure from Ben Foakes

Mark Wood – 6: Wicketless, but energetic – and his extra pace proved useful to Root when he wanted to disrupt the batsmen’s rhythm. Might miss the second test: A long history of injuries means he needs to be cared for.

Zak Crawley – 3: Back to Earth after finishing the summer 267 against Pakistan. He chose the wrong ball to attack in the first innings, then poked like a rabbit into a headlight in the second. One to experience.

Dom Sibley – 2: Welcome to Asia. After many runs in South Africa and England last year, Sibley got an ominous taste of the first of six Tests on the subcontinent. Two innings, six runs, a terrible leave of absence. And a bad drop when Thirimanne was only 51 is approaching 111.

But for Dom Sibley, it was a test to forget after scoring just six points for England

Sri Lanka

Lahiru Thirimanne – 8: Made up for a lame layoff to leg slip in the first innings with a brave century – his first in Tests for nearly eight years.

Lasith Embuldeniya – 7: He’s only 24 and looks like a spinner who could attack Sri Lanka for the next decade. England caused severe jitters on the fourth night.

Angelo Mathews – 7: He almost made it a game with his second innings 71, but his first day ‘slice to slip’ summed up Sri Lanka’s carelessness.

Kusal Perera – 7: Threatened twice, but given away twice: a reverse sweep to slip, followed by a carve to a deep backward point. However, England should be wary.

Asitha Fernando – 6Bowling seam in Sri Lanka may be ungrateful, but he found himself on a hat-trick in England’s first innings after removing Buttler and Curran.

Dilruwan Perera – 6: Late wickets massaged his figures in the first innings, when his off-breaks weren’t consistent and he couldn’t match Embuldeniya’s threat in the second.

Lahiru Thirimanne booked a brave century in the second innings to frustrate England briefly

Dinesh Chandimal – 5: The Sri Lankan captain couldn’t really set the example: he got to 20 twice, before hitting the spinners.

Niroshan Dickwella – 5: Can be dangerous, but never quite got going – except behind the stumps, where it rarely stops.

Wanindu Hasaranga – 4: His fractures were milked four times in the first innings and Chandimal barely trusted him in the second. But a good googly.

Kusal Mendis – 4: Earns a few runs for surviving 102 minutes in the second innings, which he started with the prospect of a record five Test Ducks in a row.

Dasun Shanaka – 4: Hard to see what a seam-bowling all-rounder is doing in the side at No. 8 under these conditions. Made 23 and thrown four, and seven overs. A wasted space.

Dasun Shanaka was ineffective, struggling with the bat while bowling only seven overs in total


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Reviews

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *