Joe Root hit consecutive centuries against Sri Lanka
Joe Root hit consecutive centuries against Sri Lanka Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Joe Root, the England captain, fought hard to keep his team in contention in the second Test against Sri Lanka by posting his 19th century on Sunday.

England reached 181 for four at lunch on day three to trail Sri Lanka by 200 runs in the first innings.

Root was unbeaten on 105 at lunch off 153 balls with 14 boundaries. He was well supported by Jos Buttler, who was 30 not out. The fifth-wicket partnership was 49 runs.

Having walked in to bat with England at seven runs for two wickets, Root had raced to 67 on day two as England reached 98 for two at stumps on Saturday. But on day three, Root was more cautious with the wicket offering plenty of turn and bounce for the Sri Lankan bowlers.

England lost two wickets in the opening session Sunday, both to left arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, who has now accounted for all four England wickets.

Embuldeniya bowled unchanged for 90 minutes in the morning from the City End and in the process dismissed overnight batsman Jonny Bairstow (28) and rookie Daniel Lawrence (3).

Embuldeniya struck in the sixth over of the morning when he had Bairstow caught at second slip by Oshada Fernando. Sri Lanka successfully reviewed the not out verdict after the appeal was turned down.

Lawrence faced 21 deliveries and struggled against spin before being caught at first slip by Lahiru Thirimanne.

Root had no problems dealing with spin. Sri Lanka had an interesting field set for him, placing three men on the boundary for the sweep shot.

Playing his 99th Test match, Root posted back-to-back hundreds with a single to mid-wicket off Dilruwan Perera.

England won the first Test by seven wickets.