Bairstow piles on the runs

2016-06-10 14:39
Jonny Bairstow (AP Photo)

London - Jonny Bairstow's Test-best score of 156 not out strengthened England's grip on the third Test against Sri Lanka on Friday's second morning.

At lunch, England, already 2-0 up in the three-match series, were 384 for seven.

Bairstow shared a seventh-wicket stand of 144 with Chris Woakes, whose 66 was his maiden Test fifty.

His latest innings meant that Bairstow has converted all five of his first-class fifties, shared between Yorkshire and England, this season into hundreds.

Stuart Broad was five not out.

England resumed on 279 for six with Bairstow, dropped on 11, 107 not out and Woakes unbeaten on 23.

Bairstow's second century of the series, following his 140 on his Headingley home ground during an innings and 88-run victory in the first Test, helped rescue England from the depths of 84 for four on a first day where captain Alastair Cook's 85 was the only other major innings.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews appeared resigned to England reaching 300 as he spread the field early in Friday's play.

Woakes cut left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for four and then clipped paceman Nuwan Pradeep off his pads for another boundary.

Two balls later, Bairstow stylishly late-cut Pradeep to the third man rope.

Woakes, recalled for England's series-clinching nine-wicket win in the second Test in Durham after fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes was injured, then produced another shot straight out of the textbook when he cover-drove Shaminda Eranga for a resounding boundary.

Another four, this time behind square on the offside, off Eranga -- playing despite having his action reported in the second Test -- saw Woakes to a fifty in 102 balls with seven boundaries.

Woakes proved just how docile conditions were on a pitch where the early seam movement had now evaporated by comfortably pulling a long-hop from Eranga -- one of several persevering but rarely threatening Sri Lanka quicks -- in front of square for four.

But just when it seemed England would get through the session without losing a wicket, the advancing Woakes was caught and bowled by Herath off a chipped drive.

Bairstow batted on, however, and his leg-glanced four off medium-pacer Mathews saw the wicket-keeper surpass his previous Test-best 150 not out against South Africa at Cape Town in January.

Read more on:    england  |  jonny bairstow  |  cricket

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