LONDON - Joe Root reached his second test 150 and lusty hitting from Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan helped England build a large first-innings score on the second day of the opening test against Sri Lanka at Lord's on Friday.
The hosts took lunch on 473 for eight with Root unbeaten on 152 and Liam Plunkett on two as the hosts look to bat the touring side out of the match. Root reached the 150 mark with a three off the final ball before the interval and will be eyeing his top score of 180, also made at Lord's against Australia last year.
Having had little luck tossing the ball up late on the opening day, Sri Lanka's bowlers set out to bombard Root and Matt Prior, both dropped towards the end of England's 5-0 Ashes loss to Australia, with short balls on a pitch that appears set to become easier to bat on as the match progresses.
Wicketkeeper Prior, who passed 4,000 test runs early in the day, never looked entirely comfortable, eventually falling for 86 when he could only fend a well-directed bouncer from Shaminda Eranga to Kaushal Silva at forward short-leg. That ended a productive 171-run sixth-wicket partnership that had put the hosts in control of the match having been in trouble at 120 for four shortly after lunch on the first day.
Silva had stood in as wicketkeeper for the first three overs of the day after Prasanna Jayawardene was taken to hospital for a scan on a hand injury sustained in the warm-up. Jordan, who along with Sam Robson and Moeen Ali is making his test debut, struck a breezy 19 before becoming Eranga's third victim, looping a simple catch to Prasanna after taking 10 runs from the previous three deliveries.
Fellow fast bowler Broad also ensured a high run-rate, hitting nine boundaries before being caught in the deep by Dimuth Karunaratne off Nuwan Pradeep for 47 off 38 balls. England face Sri Lanka in the second and final test of the series at Headingley, starting on June 20, before hosting India in a five-match series.