Dan Lawrence and Jonny Bairstow helped England reach their modest target of 74 (Photo: PRI).

Joe Root said the way England played against Sri Lanka in the seven-a-side match was very pleasing, stopping at the bowling of Don Bess and Jack Leach, who both came out of the first Test with an A.

England suffered a bit of a slump, falling to 14-3 at the end of Matchday 4 in Wales. Dom Sibley, Zach Crawley and Root fell, but a resurgent Jonny Bairstow and a debutant Dan Lawrence brought the tourists across the line on the final morning with a stand of 62 places.

Their partnership was not without its problems, however, as Lawrence – who impressed with a score of 73 in the first set – was brought down by an lbw recall on the bowling of Dilruwan Perera.

English drummer Lawrence impressed from the start (PRI photo).

The hosts then failed to convert a cross from Dilruwan to Lawrence that would probably have been cancelled, and the Essex striker remained in the side to help England to the modest 74 goal.

Coming here with so little preparation and playing like we did in this match was really impressive, England captain Root, who scored 226 in the first set, told Sky Sports.

Yesterday I thought it was a great job, there wasn’t much to look forward to, we worked really hard and the fact that two spinners came out with two fives is a brilliant achievement, especially when you consider how little cricket they play as well.

In a series like this, where the pressure is always there, but with no preparation, I think it shows his character.

The whole bowling group in general and the afternoon bowling in particular was a very good performance, so a good start to the tour.

We know we have to keep improving and we will, but with the start we’ve had, it’s really good.

Birchtow revival makes impression in Halle (Photo: PRI)

Spinning players Bess and Leach had to prove themselves in this test and did so with impressive figures of 8-130 and 6-177 respectively.

The last time two spinners left the Test between Sri Lanka and England with five wickets each was in the first meeting between the two teams in 1982.

Yes, it is a brilliant achievement that should not be overlooked, Ruth added.

What’s exciting is that the band still has a lot of work to do and, more importantly, we have that spirit for the rest of this winter tour and the next test race.

Praise for spinners Bess and Leach after victory (Photo: Sports in the Sky)

Asked about the physical and psychological consequences of staying in the bubble for a long time, Root said there are many different problems associated with it, and I think that’s why it’s very important to always strive for success.

That’s what bowling is all about: Look for partnerships with the drummer and find a way to do things together.

When you start to play yourself, it can be very, very difficult, and I think we did that very well throughout the game.

Root’s double cent in the first round in England was key to the tourists’ victory (PRI photo).

Root has often been criticised for failing to make the 1950s The Yorkshire star was happy to prove some sceptics wrong by showing her personal achievements to battle.

What upset me the most during my run was my attitude, because I thought I had hit a really good point early on, he continued.

I was able to spread my legs well, move forward and backward, and I felt I had a good balance between offense and defense.


I haven’t strayed from that; I’ve probably sometimes criticized people who seek a transformation of that beginning.

It’s good to move on and make a really big one. I talked a lot before the game, so it’s good to see it through to the end.

England and Sri Lanka return to the same venue for the second and final Test on Friday, with the match starting at 04:30 GMT.

MORE: Cricket Australia and Justin Langer apologise to India for alleged racist violence during the third Test.

MORE: Steve Smith tells how he deliberately scratched guard Rishab Punt.

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