Root ton drives England to 309/6 against Sri Lanka

Root ton drives England to 309/6 against Sri Lanka

Root ton drives England to 309/6 against Sri Lanka

Top-order batsman Joe Root's strokeful 121 helped England post a respectable 309 for six against Sri Lanka in a pool A ODI match of the cricket World Cup, here today.

Electing to bat at the Westpac Stadium, England were in a bit of trouble at 161 for four before a 98-run partnership between Root, whose 108-ball stay was laced with 14 fours and 2 sixes, and James Taylor put the innings back on course to a big total.

The defiant stand, which is a record 5th wicket partnership for England in World Cup matches, came in just 11 overs as the Sri Lankan bowlers had little answer to brisk run-scoring.

In the end though it was an unbeaten 19-ball 39 from Jos Buttler that really pushed the England total beyond the 300 plus mark.

The Eoin Morgan-led side though started off well with Moeen Ali (15) and Ian Bell (49) sticking it out in the first 9 overs.

Fielding was a big let down by the islanders, as Bell was dropped in the fourth over twice and later Root was also given a life when he was in single digits.

Sri Lanka captain and medium-pacer Angelo Mathews (1-43) drew first flood after picking up Ali and off-spinner Tilakaratne Dilshan (1-29) soon scalped Gary Ballance (6) with a caught and bowled effort.

Bell hung around for a while only to see new-ball bowler Suranga Lakmal (1-71) deny the opener his fifty. Morgan (49) also stuck around for sometime but Thisara Perera (1-55) got his prized wicket an over before the start of the powerplays in the 35th over.

After that it was a Root-Taylor show as the duo combined the right dose of caution and aggression to not only see England out of trouble but also took the attack to the opposition.

Root, who struck his 4th ODI ton in 52 matches, was severe on Perera in the 45th over as he smashed a six and three fours after Taylor's opening six to fetch 25 runs from six balls.

Taylor got out to Lasith Malinga (1-63) after his 26-ball cameo and Root was trapped LBW off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (1-35) but only after the duo had done sufficient damage.

The final five overs gave England 52 runs and the last over 22 as Buttler smashed 6 fours and a six to finish off with a flourish.