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Hales and Root star on day one

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 27-05-2016
Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Alex Hales and Joe Root struck half-centuries as England shaded Sri Lanka on day one of the second Investec Test at Emirates Riverside.

Hales (83) scored a third Test fifty and Root (80) hit his 20th during a 96-run partnership for the second wicket as England, victorious in last week's first Test at Headingley by an innings and 88 runs, closed on 310-6. 

Hales and opening partner Alastair Cook (15) did miss out on milestones, the former spurning the chance to become the first Englishman to hit a hundred in all three forms of international cricket and Cook (15) falling five runs short of 10,000 in Test cricket.

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However, Hales and Root's efforts and a sixth-wicket stand of 70 between in-form Jonny Bairstow (48) and Moeen Ali (28no) ensured England made a bright start to their bid for a series-sealing victory, at a ground where they have won all five of their previous Tests.

Cook and Hales played sedately after the skipper opted to bat, sharing an opening stand of 39 in 13.5 overs before Cook clipped Suranga Lakmal - into the Sri Lanka side for the injured Dushmantha Chameera - to a tumbling Dimuth Karunaratne at second slip.

Lakmal, whose dismissal of Cook came two deliveries after he opted to bowl around the wicket, then caught the out-of-sorts Nick Compton (9 off 34) superbly at deep-square after England's No 3 mistimed a pull stroke off Nuwan Pradeep (3-69).

Compton has now mustered a combined 75 runs in his last seven Test innings but Hales is experiencing an upturn in form, with his half-century in Durham coming off the back of a gritty 86 from 206 deliveries in Leeds.

Hales hit nine fours and a six in his impressive knock but perished one delivery after depositing recalled left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana (2-35) into the stands, visiting skipper Angelo Mathews taking a blinding one-handed catch in the cordon in the 49th over.

The opener's demise stopped him adding a Test ton to his two ODI centuries - achieved against Pakistan and South Africa over the winter - and his unbeaten 116 against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20, though his tandem with Root left England in a healthy position.

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Root added a further 59 with James Vince (35) before both batsmen departed within the space of four overs - Root, who has now been dismissed six times in the eighties in Test cricket, spooning into the off-side and Vince pouched brilliantly by Lahiru Thirimanne at short cover following a loose drive.

Sri Lanka's mini-charge was quelled, though, by Bairstow and Moeen, who had each been shunted one spot up the order following the absence of knee-injury victim Ben Stokes to allow Chris Woakes to slot in at No 8.

Woakes (8no) entered the crease for the final 20 minutes after Bairstow under-edge Pradeep through to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal, the Warwickshire all-rounder's gorgeous straight drive lifting England above 300.

Watch day two of the second Investec Test from 10.30am, Saturday, Sky Sports 2. Before then, you can catch highlights of day one (8pm), plus The Verdict (9pm) on Sky Sports 5 on Friday night.

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