Joe Root finds form as England clear next round of Covid tests


Team Root make 184 for 2 from 50 overs before allowing Team Buttler time to bat

Team Root 184 for 2 (Root 74*) vs Team Buttler

England’s preparations for the Test series in Sri Lanka have stepped up a gear with the start of an intra-squad warm-up game in Hambantota. After tests revealed no new Covid-19 cases in the tour party, the squad have been split into two teams – Team Root vs Team Buttler – for the two-day game.

With no access to independent umpires or scorers, there is a slightly unusual look to proceedings. England’s director of men’s cricket, Ashley Giles, and their bowling coach on this tour, Jon Lewis, umpired in the first session. Paul Collingwood, the assistant coach, and Jeetan Patel, the spin bowling coach on their tour, umpired in the second.

But with the first Test less than a week away, there was no lack of intensity in the cricket. Joe Root has warmed-up for the series with 74 not out from 117 balls and added 95 for the third-wicket with a fluent Dan Lawrence, who made 46 not out. After 50 overs, when Team Root decided to allow Team Buttler a bat, the score was 184 for 2.

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