- Sri Lanka (135 and 156-2) trail England (421) by 130 runs
- Root’s inspired 228 keeps England in command
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71st over: Sri Lanka 187-3 (Thirimanne 97, Mathews 10) Another near-miss for Thirimanne off Bess as he top-edges a sweep and just eludes the man running back from midwicket. But, again, Bess follows his moral victory with a bad ball – another short one, another cut for four. “England need to be 10 per cent better,” says David Lloyd.
70th over: Sri Lanka 180-3 (Thirimanne 91, Mathews 9) Broad goes off and Jack Leach comes on, so it’s spin from both ends. After a year of illness and inaction, Leach is still scraping off the rust. He hands Mathews a freebie with a short ball outside off and that’s another cut for four.
Time for a word from Abhijato Sensarma. “Sri Lanka are in the process of winning hearts with this show of grit,” he reckons. “But no one remembers rearguards in the long run unless they actually alter the nature of the result. This is their chance to show the world they aren’t merely miracle men who rely on individual innings. Even the slightest sniff of victory from here, of course, shall be to the credit of the entire team.” Some of us might settle for being mere miracle men.