Hales, Root lead the way for England
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP):
Alex Hales and Joe Root made half centuries to help England to 310-6 at stumps on the first day of the second test against Sri Lanka yesterday, although the tourists had a late boost with the dismissal of in-form Jonny Bairstow just before stumps.
Hales made 83 and Root 80, and their third-wicket partnership of 96 pushed England into a solid position at a cold and cloudy Riverside Ground. However, both missed out on centuries when they appeared set for three figures.
Hales was out to a reaction catch at slip by Angelo Mathews off spinner Milinda Siriwardana, dismissed after he had launched a big six down the ground off the slow bowler. Hales is still searching for his first test century.
Root, who had played serenely, was surprised by the bounce of a delivery from Nuwan Pradeep (3-69) shortly after tea and was caught in the covers.
Bairstow, coming off a century in England's big win in the first test, contributed a typically attacking 48 from 57 balls with five fours before becoming seamer Pradeep's third wicket of the opening day. Bairstow was dismissed four overs before stumps when he bottom-edged through to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Moeen Ali was 28 not out and Chris Woakes undefeated on eight at the close.