England v Sri Lanka, first Test, day one as it happened

Joe Root's unbeaten 102 helps England recover from 120-4 to close day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka on 344-5.

12 June 2014 Last updated at 10:17

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As it happened

  1. 18:50: 

    And so we come to the end of the summer's first day of Test cricket, one that ultimately belonged to the new-look England, even if it was two familiar faces that did the business.

    Tomorrow, England will look to press their score to 400 and beyond, then hope they have picked the right attack to take wickets on this greenish, slowing deck.

    How will you pass the time before then? I hear there's something going on in Brazil. Goodnight.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Gary Ballance did well but then he played at a wideish ball. A quick 20 doesn't count, you've got to do it for a while. Joe Root played a lovely innings, I don't think he put a foot wrong. He has always been a good player and one day he may well go up to three or open but since he came into the team his footwork has been found wanting. At number five or even four the ball should be older and it was a lovely innings which he should be proud of.

    "I thought Matt Prior played superbly, I like a wicketkeeper who comes in at six or seven and takes the game by the scruff of the neck. I just think sometimes he plays shots too early. He got the bit of luck but he's played beautifully."

  3. 18:46: 

    Joe Root: "It's a very slow wicket, hard to time when the ball goes softer. There was a period in the middle when we went from scoring at four an over to three. It was a day when you had to scrap.

    "There's nothing that beats Test cricket and the challenge of scoring runs in the first Test of the summer after the winter we had was something that I relished.

    "Getting forward is something that I'm working on and what I want to develop. I worked hard on that today."

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Those first three for England are a problem. I don't think they are that good against the new ball those new lads, they played too attacking. Bell should bat at three, he's the best player, has the best range of shots, he's the most experienced, he should bat at three. You've got to go in with great technique and footwork and see off the new ball.

  5. 18:44: 

    Also, for as good a day as this was, the England top order will looks a little wobbly. Alastair Cook's struggles continues, while Sam Robson and Gary Ballance have only three caps between them. Is Ballance a number three? Is he only there by default because England want Bell at four and Root at five?

  6. 18:43: 

    Just one point to ponder. This is starting to look very for good batting. If the sun remains for the next few days, the green tinge will disappear and the ball will start to spin. Will England regret not picking a specialist spinner?

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a good day for England, I wouldn't say it was a really exciting day but it was good cricket. The bowling was not special, its hardly a good county attack. That's not England's fault but we've done exactly what we should, battered them at the end. As an opener myself I knew it would be hard in that first hour but this is going to flatten out and I would have had no hesitation in batting first. It didn't have moisture it had a little bit of grass but I think Sri Lanka put people in because they are a bit frightened they might get knocked over themselves."

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    Ben Stone: Well played Joe Root - keep him in the team, keep him at number 5, right way thought to next Ashes.

    John Pierce: Almost forgot what is was like to celebrate an Englishman's century in test cricket, nice job Joe!

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "So for all the talk of debutants, it's the familiar faces back in the fold who have dragged England into the ascendancy. This team have been painfully short of both big partnerships and imposing totals, so the unbroken partnership of 135 between Joe Root and Matt Prior could not have come at a more opportune time. The Sri Lanka attack has little in common with the rampaging Australia unit that saw both men first neutered and then dropped last winter, but neither will care: they have made the most of their second comings, and should do the same as England look to push on towards 500 on the second day."

  10. 18:40: 
    Eng 344-5

    That sixth-wicket pair of Root and Prior have added an unbroken 135 and will return tomorrow looking to bat Sri Lanka out of the game. For all the talk of a green top, Lord's was belting for batting when the sun came out. Unless Sri Lanka strike in the morning, they could be facing a first-innings mountain.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was Sri Lanka's morning and things were working out well for them, but as the sun came out and that tinge of green disappeared England flourished. Looking forward to a bit of a blast tomorrow."

  12. 18:38: 
    Eng 344-5

    On losing the toss, England looked all at sea thanks to some nagging Sri Lanka bowling and some indifferent batting. 74-3 in the morning session was an Ashes-style collapse. But, led first by Ian Bell, then followed by Moen Ali, Matt Prior and, most importantly, Joe Root, England have taken control.

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    Luke Gardener: Brilliant knock from Joe Root and very ably supported by Matt Prior as well. Good to be positive about England again.

    Paul Denny: Take a bow Joe Root. Different class.

    Luke Kellett: Loving the Root chants. What an innings, silenced the critics now big score please.

  14. 18:36: 
    Eng 344-5

    Root gets handshakes from plenty of the Sri Lanka team, which is good to see after the needle of the ODIs. Still the crowd chant his name as he skips up the pavilion stairs, underneath the applause of his team-mates on the balcony. As the players disappear inside, it will be England who enjoy their ice baths more.

  15. 18:34: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 344-5

    Nuwan Pradeep stirs himself to send down the last set, with England showing no let up in their intent. Two scampered by Root, who then covers up to the close. He tucks his bat under his arm and marches off to sleep on a hundred. England, after a sticky start, close on 344-5.

  16. 18:30: 
    Eng 342-5 (Root 100, Prior 76)

    What is impressive about the Joe Root knock is the struggle he went through at the beginning of the innings. He was mechanical, trying to find a way to score. It's only later that the boundaries have come. Replays show what a celebration it was, a huge punch of the air followed by another clenched-fist celebration. He's on strike for what will be the final over of the day.

  17. 18:26: 
    100 for Joe Root- Eng 337-5

    A wonderful knock by Joe Root ticks over to three figures. He's down the pitch to Rangana Herath, beating mid on and sprinting the three runs he needs. On completion, he punches the air and screams in delight. Lord's rises, not least the England balcony, which is full in it's acclaim for the Yorkshireman. Root is one of a long list of England batsmen who have struggled in the past six months, but now he has his third Test ton and second at Lord's.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "This is the Matt Prior we have been used to watching, busy, bustling."

  19. 18:24: 
    Eng 334-5 (Root 97, Prior 72)

    Now then, Joseph, how would you sleep if you remain in the 90s? Willing himself forward, just as he has all day, Root brings the bat down like a pendulum to drive Kulasekara straight for four. A single takes him to 97. Like Prior, Root has also been recalled for this Test, having been dropped for the final Ashes Test in Sydney. Selectors vindicated? The "Rooooot" drones can be heard inside HQ. He probably has two overs to move to a third Test ton tonight and will have the strike in the next one.

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    Ross Legg: All the naysayers this morning have gone rather quiet.

  21. 18:21: 
    Eng 327-5 (Root 92, Prior 70)

    Peter Moores sits on the England boundary, looking rather content with life. Seven years ago, on this ground, it was Moores, in his Test as coach, that gave Matt Prior his Test debut. Prior promptly got a hundred. The pair go way back, to Moores's days at Sussex. The wicketkeeper is transformed from the man who couldn't steal a run, let alone buy one, for the best part of a year. Flick Eranga fine for four, then dance at the pacer. Oozing confidence.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "You have to be able to score a good hundred as a wicketkeeper. As good a gloveman as Bob Taylor wouldn't get a game now."

    England batsman Matt Prior
  23. 18:17: 
    Eng 322-5 (partnership 112)

    Matt Prior is really looking like his old self now, pouncing on the tiniest hint of width to crack a cut off Kulasekara through point for four. Even with this new ball, Sri Lanka have looked short on ideas, miles away from the team that was all over England in the morning session. Attention turns to Joe Root, 91 not out. A hundred tonight?

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    Ben Thapa: To Robert Byford (1756). All of Root's early success was at 5. It was when he moved that the problems started. Thrilled for Prior - whether form has been good, bad or indifferent, he's a street fighter: we need that in a young side.

    Jen de Polo: Glorious day in London. Good rebuilding job done by England middle order at lords. must be 450+ pitch surely?

  25. 18:12: 
    Eng 314-5 (Root 91, Prior 60)

    Indeed it is Shaminda Eranga who is called on to fill the hole left by Pradeep's exit, with Prior whipping through mid-wicket when the right-armer gets too full and straight. The shadows are lengthening now, seats emptying as patrons head for the exit. Tickets for a day at Lord's are quite pricey - why would you leave early?

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    Mally Graveson: I simply love Test cricket! So much more compelling than any other formats. Talk about swings and roundabouts!

    Charlie Newman: The good thing about this England team is we bat right down to No. 10.

    Peter Smallwood: England with a decent run rate! What next England scoring loads of World Cup goals? Come on England.

  27. 18:06: 
    Eng 309-5 (Root 90, Prior 56)

    Joe Root had the widest grin at the end of the previous over, like a schoolboy who has just avoided detention. He gave Prior a big high five and a cuddle to celebrate the keeper's return to England runscoring. I'm hearing the Nuwan Pradeep has had to go off for some treatment, so Sri Lanka will now have to give the new ball to Shaminda Eranga. At the other end, Kulasekara, with the shadow of the pavilion slowly creeping behind, beats the leaden-footed Root. 24 minutes remain in the day.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "Matt Prior's fifty earns him the loudest cheer of the day from an appreciative crowd fully aware of the importance of this innings to the England keeper-batsman. The famous old ground is bathed in evening sunshine now as England begin to punish a tiring Sri Lanka attack."

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "That will be a wonderful feeling for Prior because of what he has gone through over the winter. There have been question marks about his place in the side but he has played really well. It's good to see him in this kind of form. The game can be turned around with a player like him."

  30. 18:00: 
    50 for Matt Prior- Eng 309-5

    Welcome back, Matt Prior. The England wicketkeeper, on his return to the side, goes to a 28th Test half century with a forceful cover drive off Nuwan Prasad. Prior, who was dropped for the final two Ashes Tests and pressured by the ODI form of Jos Buttler, survived that early scare to register only a second fifty in 19 knocks. Steely-eyed, his waggles a fist in the air and waves his bat towards the dressing room. He looks like a man with a point to prove.

    England's Matt Prior
    Text 81111

    Robert Byford: Don't understand people who question Root as a Test player. Seems he has everything he needs to be just that! For me I would have him higher in the order.

  32. 17:56: 
    New ball- Eng 299-5

    Nuwan Kulasekara is summoned, loosens himself by chucking a couple with the old rag, then asks for the shiny cherry. Umpire Pail Reiffel shows it to the batsmen, the scorers and the tea lady, before Kulasekara bustles in with his new present. Instant swing into the right-handers and down the slope, but a loss of line allows Root to tickle fine for four. On 89, he nears a third Test ton.


    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "Joe Root had as miserable a winter as anyone in the England team, nudged from his planned position as opener by Michael Carberry, exposed by the pace and bounce of Australian conditions, dropped for the final Test. But on his return to the ground where he hit his highest Test score against Michael Clarke's men 11 months ago, he has quietly compiled the most impressive innings on England's card so far. The attention may have been on the three debutants, but the 23-year-old has led England's fightback after that rocky start."

    England batsman Joe Root
  34. 17:51: 
    Eng 294-5 (Root 85, Prior 47)

    Enough of this phoney war now. Nuwan Kulasekara goes through some torturous stretching exercises, ready to be called upon for the final push. Mathews, fielders spread all over the baize, looks to get through the final set without taking too much damage. The skipper fails, allowing Root to clip past mid on for a teaser that keeps Herath interested all the way to the boundary. New ball ready, a different game ready to begin.

    Text 81111

    Ade: As much as I would like to see a Root or Prior century, anyone who think either would 'completely silence all doubters' must have just woken from hibernation.

  36. 17:48: 
    Eng 289-5 (partnership 80)

    Rangana Herath for what could be his final over for a little while, possibly even the day. Spinning himself a catch, he wheels in, adjusting his field to post a man catching in front of the bat on each side. Joe Root, though, looks like he could play this with the bat upside down, nudging a couple from it. Only one more over before the new ball.

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    Fahim Faisal: People be real; The problems still there. We're just lucky today that we're facing an average bowling attack.

    Ronan Reeves: S Lanka bowlers have done a fairly good job with no true seamer or spinner. England should at least get 450 here.

    Matthew Bennett: Sri Lanka looked so tired because they have worked hard in the field. Been chasing everything, fielding the boundaries well.

  38. 17:45: 
    Eng 287-5 (Root 79, Prior 46)

    Sri Lanka are trying to defend - there are sweepers on both sides - but runs continue to be leaked. Still it's Mathews, who has looked about as likely to strike as the Swiss army, with Prior half edging, half angling through third man for four. Prior is on to 46. The keeper has made only one Test half-century in his last 19 innings.

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    Ben Foulkes: Is the run rate a sign that this is a "new era" for the England team or just that Sri Lanka aren't as good as the Aussies?

    Chris Parker: Plunkett is averaging 35 with the bat this year, I'd definitely have him in next.

    Louis McMahon: This England batting order is all wrong, has to be Root or Ali at 3 and Ballance at 5.

  40. 17:41: 
    Eng 282-5 (Root 78, Prior 42)

    Herath, the mini-twirler, stays around the wicket, with Prior shimmying to nudge through the leg side for a couple. Lots of gaps in the field, exploited by this pair that have run very well through the wicket. Sri Lanka are looking a little fried, short of ideas, waiting for something to happen. Three until the new ball.

    Text 81111

    From Usher Rhodes, Re Beard XI: disappointed to see no mention yet of Alfred Mynn, the Lion of Kent, and officially the 4th greatest cricketer of all time. Perhaps all who've seen his portrait at HQ today have been too busy. Normally cricket and gustatory delectation would be sufficient excuses, but given the over rate, surely someone could have found the time to correct the omission.

  42. 17:37: 
    Eng 278-5 (76 overs)

    The hosts are making steady progress, but the nature of this genteel English summer evening could not be further removed from the bear-pits in which England were slayed in Australia. Lord's is calm, the Aussie amphitheatres were baying for blood. What's this, Matt Prior's attempt to liven things up? Very risky two to fine leg, needing a dive to get home. Even then, a more accurate throw would have had him in bother.

    England's Matt Prior
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    Ethan Robinson: Great chance for Prior to prove his selection in the team. There are many other talented, younger wicket keepers out there.

    Michelle Garland: Root needs to be the root for the remainder of this innings. Been wanting to use that for a while.

    Ed Stockton: Without tempting fate, it's good to see Prior knocking it about again after his sociopathic Ashes series.

  44. 17:34: 
    Eng 274-5 (partnership 65)

    Leftie Herath is stocky, more front-row than full-back. In the crowd, a woman in a ridiculously oversized hat snoozes on the shoulder of the man next to her. I do hope she knows him. Herath grouping in the same spot, Prior only once looking to get after him. Nothing doing, one from it.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "The atmosphere around the shady concourses and sunlit lawns of Lord's is matching the relaxed mood out in the middle of that session: plastic pots of Pimm's being sipped under trees, champagne guzzled on Harris Gardens picnic blankets, crafty snouts being smoked in the lee of the groundsman's sheds. Sport at its least frantic and most background."

  46. 17:31: 
    Eng 273-5 (Root 75, Prior 36)

    The Big Cheese? I'm not for one second having that is Matt Prior's nickname. Evening shadows being cast by every man on the lush Lord's turf, to the left as we look on behind the tired run-in of Angelo Mathews. A couple of Prior twos from the set, Sri Lanka just ticking down until they can have a red rock. Six to go.

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    Jimmy: People seem to forget that Matt Prior has played 75 tests and has effectively been England's answer to Adam Gilchrist - despite his poor form in the last 10 Tests, he still averages 40 for England batting at seven. All good players have dips in form. Remember when Cook was almost dropped from the team just before scoring 750 runs in the 10/11 ashes in Oz.. I back 'the Big Cheese' to deliver.

  48. 17:28: 
    Eng 269-5 (73 overs)

    I think Tuffers is right, because this is tantamount to an evening stroll through North London for England. Left-arm tweaker Rangana Herath switches ends once more, but is posing all the threat of Winnie the Pooh after too much honey. A lack of concentration is the batsmen's biggest worry until that new nut is due.

  49. 17:25: 
    Eng 268-5 (Root 75, Prior 31)

    If Matt Prior continues this evening and into tomorrow, registering a score that re-establishes him in this England side, will he reflect on that second-ball let-off? Funny how cricket works, really. Been dropped, under pressure from a youngster, could have been gone for a blob if not for the safety of a couple of millimetres. Angelo Mathews back with his dobbers, England nudging, nurdling and scampering.

    England batsman Matt Prior
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    Ross Lawson: I'd be tempted to send Plunkett in next for a pinch-hit. Jordan will take time on debut, and Broad has struggled with the bat.

  51. 17:20: 

    Just a point on the drinks break and over-rates. This break should really be taken at 17:00, because that's when the halfway point of this session should be. However, it seems to be a given that the day will not end until 18:30, hence the later break. Is there just universal acceptance that we can't bowl 90 overs by 18:00?

  52. 17:19: 
    Moeen wins England contract

    Hot off the press... Moeen Ali has been awarded an England increment contract for 2013-14. What's an increment contract? Players who do not have a central contract from the England and Wales Cricket Board earn points for playing a certain number of internationals - five points for a Test and two for ODIs and T20s - and are rewarded with a contract when they reach 20.

    England batsman Moeen Ali
  53. 17:18: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 261-5

    Huge no-ball from Shaminda Eranga. I haven't seen a bowler overstep so far on this ground since, erm, never mind. The whippy right-armer is definitely getting some reverse wobble into these right-handers, but retreating Sri Lanka now have two men out on the leg side. Ah, poor from Eranga, short, wide and given the treatment by Root. Only his fourth four, followed immediately by a fifth, both through the off side. Root takes a drink, perhaps now starting to think of three figures.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "There was more green than you expect to see here but this pitch has played impeccably."

  55. 17:11: 
    Eng 247-5 (partnership 38)

    I say Joe Root is accumulating, but every so often the bugle blows to signal a moment of madness. Aiming an ugly sweep at Herath, Root inside-edges past his stumps, the second time he's done in the past few overs. Two singles from the over, but a slice of luck for England's Milky Bar Kid.

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    Alan O'Grady: Surely 350 is a minimum target now?

    Sean Graham: I would really love to see Prior go on and get a score! Would completely silence all his doubters.

  57. 17:08: 
    Eng 244-5 (Root 64, Prior 23)

    Shaminda Eranga urges himself towards the Lord's media centre, the oval spaceship that has crash landed at the place where cricketing time has stood still. Joe Root, who looks like he only needs a shave once a year, continues his accumulation, nudging three on the leg side to go to 64 with only three boundaries. In contrast, Matt Prior has the facial growth of Homer Simpson. Shave once then watch it grow back before you've left the bathroom.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "When Prior is on song it doesn't half rattle things along in the middle order."

  59. 17:02: 
    Eng 239-5 (22 overs remain)

    Though batting is looking easier, Sri Lanka have stayed in the game well. At one point England's run-rate was up at 4.00, but now it's back to 3.50. Rangana Herath switches ends, now looking to turn the ball up the slope. Prior, though, is cat-like on his feet, leaning back to cut the ball at the last possible moment, from off stump through point in a flash.

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    Brett Portman: I would have to have Beefy in a Beard Xl.

    Former England all-rounder Ian Botham
  61. 17:00: 
    Eng 234-5 (Root 61, Prior 16)

    It was earlier this afternoon that we pondered how, now the zip has gone from the deck, a wicket was most likely to come through batsman error. That was the case with Moeen's loose shot, but things again now seem sedate in the evening sunshine. Shaminda Eranga returns, casting a shadow to his right as he hustles in. Just hint of reverse swing back into Root? Even if there is, the Yorkshire tyro helps himself to a couple through the on side.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "They've got a tail with potential. Jordan can bat, Plunkett can bat. I don't know which order they'll come in. Broad has scored a hundred here but he hasn't produced much lately."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  63. 16:55: 
    Eng 232-5 (66 overs)

    The great Mike Brearley, a one-time candidate to skipper the Beard XI, is the latest man picked up by the cameras. We also see one chap sporting some quite garish pink chinos. What is it about a hot day at Lord's that causes gents to lose their dress sense? Wimbledon is just as bad. Nuwan Pradeep, quite intimidating with his long mane, again goes short, causing Prior to pull. Few demons out there, 14 overs until the second new ball is available.

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    Lakers6CTYFC: Re. Beard XI. 1: M Ali, 2: CG Greenidge, 3: HM Amla, 4: IVA Richards, 5: GS Chappell, 6: WG Grace, 7: PJL Dujon, 8: MD Marshall, 9: TG Hogan, 10: RJ Bright 11: B Bedi.

  65. 16:49: 
    Eng 230-5 (partnership 21)

    There's been a few cricketers spotted in the crowd today, Ashley Giles and Chris Rogers to name a couple. The most notable is Steven Finn, looking lean and relaxed behind his shades. How long before we see him in an England shirt again. You have to think it's when, rather than if. Loose from Root against Herath, an airy drive that is inside-edged past the stumps. Quite needless.

    England batsman Joe Root
    Text 81111

    Nick: With England's World Cup game finishing around 1am Sunday, which of England's cricketers will be staying up to watch it? I see Anderson, Broad, Root and Jordan sneaking off to watch it in Sir Ian Botham's room with Bumble as look out.

  67. 16:47: 
    Eng 229-5 (Root 58, Prior 15)

    The sunshine has subsided, perhaps gone for the day. That's not to say it's not a pleasant evening, it's actually ideal for a pre-World Cup barbecue. Nuwan Pradeep, he from the 1980s, continues to tear in, asking Root to duck a bumper.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "We haven't got a recognised number two opener - that's why Robson has got his chance - and we haven't got a number three. They are big areas. They might have to go back to Nick Compton if Robson fails."

    England batsman Sam Robson
  69. 16:43: 
    Eng 227-5 (Herath 1-44 off 14)

    Thanks, JL. Herath is around the wicket to the returning Matt Prior, who still fills his shirt amply. I'm not suggesting that Prior is at all portly, quite the opposite - he's stacked. I just wonder if he intentionally chooses a smaller shirt to show-off. Lovely from the rippling Prior, eased through the covers for four.

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    TonyTimes2: Aren't there more results in Test matches now than ever before? Perhaps slow overs mean more tactical thinking & increase results.

  71. 16:40: 
    Eng 223-5 (Root 57, Prior 9)

    Nuwan Pradeep is back in the attack. He had Robson and Ballance caught behind this morning and has 2-44 from 12 overs thus far. Slim of hip and with his mullet and gold chain swaying in the breeze as he approaches the crease, he looks as though he might have been in a Duran Duran video from the mid-80s. Root, having found the fielder with a similar stroke off the previous ball, cuts stylishly behind square for this third boundary. And with that, it's back to Stephan Shemilt.

  72. 16:35: 
    Eng 217-5 (Root 52, Prior 8)

    Prior's lofted drive against Herath skips across the magnificently manicured Lord's outfield to the boundary. It just doesn't look right when you see Lord's in the close season and the grass has no stripes on it. Today, it is as good as ever, the immaculate chequered look is a delight.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk- Beard XI

    Mark Pettman: Saeed Anwar, WG Grace, Viv Richards (capt, below), Hashim Amla, Mohammad Yousuf, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior (wkt), Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Mushtaq Ahmed, Steve Harmison. Manager: Mike Brearley (1979/80). Scorer: Bill Frindall. If the pitch is taking spin, we can jettison Harmison and play either Daniel Vettori, Monty Panesar or Harbajan Singh.

    Viv Richards
  74. 16:32: 
    Eng 213-5 (Root 52, Prior 4)

    Kulasekara continues to probe outside off stump but his economy rate takes a dip as there are "buzzers" - two overthrows for Prior after a throw in an attempt to deny his quick single ricochets off the timbers.

    Alec Stewart, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Moeen played very well and looks a very promising player. I'm sure we'll see plenty more of him on the international stage. But generally the batting has been ordinary against a very workmanlike Sri Lanka attack."

    England batsman Moeen Ali
  76. 16:28: 
    Eng 210-5 (Root 52, Prior 1)

    After his reprieve, Prior gets under way with a nudge for a single into the leg side.

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "On nought, after being out of the Test team, Matt Prior has had a huge slice of luck there."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  78. 16:26: 

    Replays show it was hitting middle stump but the impact is umpire's call so the original verdict of not-out remains.

  79. 16:25: 

    Sri Lanka ask for a look at one from Herath that strikes Prior on the back leg as he pushes rather speculatively forward.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The youngster has played very well. He played some nice shots, some nice defence. That was a bit of experience from Herath - cleverness, knowhow. He bowled into rough, he tossed it up a little."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  81. 16:21: 
    WICKET- Moeen c M Jayawardene b Herath 48

    Now there we were thinking Herath was not looking dangerous. Moeen may have been of the same opinion and he goes for a lusty drive in a bid to reach his half-century, but gets a thick edge which is safely pouched by Mahela Jayawardene at slip. That brings Matt Prior to the crease.


    England's Moeen Ali and Joe Root
  82. 16:20: 
    Eng 209-4 (Root 52, Ali 48)

    Kulasekara tempts Ali outside the off-stump but he is content to let them pass by, before collecting a single into the leg-side when the bowler strays on to the pads. Two short of 50 now for the stylish left-hander.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Joe Root may well move up the order as he plays more cricket, but I don't think he's a top-three player in Test cricket at this stage."

  84. 16:17: 
    Eng 207-4 (Root 51, Moeen 47)

    A morale-boosting half century for the young Yorkshireman from 106 balls, only two fours in there but a very important innings. It's his fifth in his 16th Test. Is number five his long-term position though?

    How's stat?!

    Joe Root is the fifth youngest England player to reach 1,000 Test runs. Who was younger? Alastair Cook, David Gower, Michael Atherton and Leonard Hutton.

    England batsman Joe Root
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    Tim Handley: Peter Willey had a good bit of face fuzz as I recall. Surely there is enough here for England beard XI vs ROW beard XI.

    Lakers6CTYFC: Re. Beard XI. 1: M Ali, 2: CG Greenidge, 3: HM Amla, 4: IVA Richards, 5: GS Chappell, 6: WG Grace, 7: PJL Dujon, 8: MD Marshall, 9: TG Hogan, 10: RJ Bright 11: B Bedi.

  87. 16:13: 
    Eng 204-4 (Root, 48, Moeen 47)

    Kulasekara tests Moeen with a short one but the young left-hander is doing everything asked of him thus far, flicking the bumper disdainfully to the boundary as the partnership moves to 84.

  88. 16:10: 
    Eng 199-4 (Root 47, Moeen 43)

    Much has been made of Root's preference for the back foot but he uses it to good effect with a fluent clip through mid-wicket for three off the slow left-arm of Herath and brings up 1,000 Test runs.

  89. 16:07: 
    Eng 196-4 (Root 44, Moeen 43)

    Nuwan Kulasekara is given the first over of the evening session, two slips and a gully in place. A couple of Sri Lankan fielders have some delightful old school sleeveless pullovers with the decorative knitting pattern. I cannot get used to those golf-style polyester ones. Just a single to Root in the first over.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rukshan Soza: England will be happy with anything over 300. Mathews is as defensive a skipper as Cook.

  91. 16:01: 

    Thank you Stephan. Now what do we think would be a good score for England at the end of today? How many overs we will get is another matter. Technically there are still 37 remaining. In theory there is still a fair bit of batting to come, Liam Plunkett is due in at 10 and he made an unbeaten 44 at number eight towards the end of his first spell in Test cricket seven years ago. He has scored two fifties for Yorkshire this summer. Either way it's not a tail of Alan Mullally, Tuffers and Devon Malcolm.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alan Compton: Re. slow over rates. Multiply the number of unbowled overs by the run rate and award it as extras to the innings. Watch how quickly overs speed up.

    Alan Higham: Umpires need to be in the skipper's ear about over rates. Six runs per over short automatically added to extras at 6pm.

  93. 15:56: 

    So with the tea break almost done, I'm going for a break of my own. I'll leave you in the company of Jamie Lillywhite.

    Text 81111

    Richard in Sheffield: It's usually me with half a supermarket in the cool box. And yes, my comrades usually poke fun until about mid-day when I start limbering up with the first of the pork pies, which I'll pitch temptingly outside off stump. They always have a go at them, regardless of the pace and conditions.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Tony: Over rates. It's so simple to solve that it's embarrassing. 90 overs in a day, 3 sessions of 30 overs. Quite simply the session is not finished until 30 overs are bowled (breaks in play for weather and other hold-ups excepted). If that means that the lunch break is only 20 minutes and tea is only 5 minutes, then so be it. I just have a feeling that teams won't want to lose their breaks and you will find a sudden improvement in the over rate. The authorities are obviously not worried about it, as they don't seem to do anything about it apart from the occasional fine for a skipper.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Hannah Tomlinson: Re. N.Edmonds' email (15:06). It happened on 8th Sept '07. I remember as I was at a friend's wedding and a lot of the men were distracted!

  97. 15:49: 
    Eng 195-4

    And that is the very delicate state of this game. England's rebuilding has been serene, but further wickets would leave them in a parlous state. However, if they can get through the post-tea Sri Lankan assault, it could be fun in the sun. Despite it's green tinge, this looks a very good deck to bat on. 350 is probably a minimum requirement, 400 more like par.

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    Andrew Myerson: I think Merv Hughes and Mushtaq Ahmed (below, left) might just complete your Beard XI attack.

    Mushtaq Ahmed and Monty Panesar
  99. 15:47: 
    Tea- Eng 195-4

    England looked very much in the mire at 120-4, but debutant Moeen Ali has looked every inch a Test cricketer in an unbroken stand of 75 with Joe Root. Both men have 43. Sri Lanka were flagging somewhat towards the end of that passage, but will come hard in the evening. Quick wickets will have them right on top.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I've liked Moeen Ali mentality from the minute he walked out there. He looked like he was playing for Worcester. It's the same red ball coming at you it's just more pressure. When he gets a bad ball, even though it was the last of the session, he puts it away. He's nice to watch."

  101. 15:44: 
    Tea- Eng 195-4

    Mercifully, that is tea, ending a very sedate last quarter of that afternoon session. The state of play is rather summed up by that last over, delivered by the part-time medium pace of Lahiru Thirimanne, who is cut for four by Moeen Ali from the final ball before the break. After that morning wobble, England claim the afternoon honours to move to 195-4. It's been their session, but the game is in the balance.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The over-rate is disgraceful. It's one thing that the authorities have to do something about. Not at the end of the innings, they have to do it on the day."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  103. 15:40: 
    Eng 188-4 (Root 41, Moeen 38)

    Did I say one left? Rangana Herath has rattled through that set, hitting repeat on the same delivery as six times Moeen comes forward to smother the left-arm tweakers landed on a good length. Now we really only do have one to go.

    Text 81111

    Richard, Sheffield: Re 14.58, crowd etiquette: it's usually me with half a supermarket in the cool box. And yes, my comrades usually poke fun until about mid-day when I start limbering up with the first of the pork pies, which I'll pitch temptingly outside off-stump. They always have a go at them, regardless of the pace and conditions.

  105. 15:38: 
    Eng 188-4

    England digging a trench in which they hope they will take their afternoon refreshments. This fifth-wicket pair are almost shotless in their determination to get to the break. Having said that, Shaminda Eranga's wide-of-off-stump line isn't very appealing. Another maiden. One to go, I reckon.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tom Holmes: This is proper Test cricket, a real contest between bat and ball and a very even game. England need to get to tea with six intact.

    Ray Allger: I'm still not 100% sold on Root as a top class Test batsman, but Lord's seems to bring out the best in him.

    Sahil Oberoi: Moeen's beard isn't the only similarity with Hashim Amla, looks incredibly calm & unflustered out there.

  107. 15:33: 
    Eng 187-4 (50 overs)

    Finally the scoreboard is asked to tick around once more, albeit via an inside-edged Joe Root couple through mid-wicket. Careful there Moeen, don't go throwing this away. Dance at Herath, thick inside edge past the helmeted man crouching at short leg. Maybe two or three left before the break.

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    John O'Leary: Re Crowd Etiquette. Was literally driven off the Hill at the Adelaide Oval under a hail of half empty plastic pint pots by paralytic Aussie fans baying for blood during Ashes '98. Well and truly beaten on and off the pitch. A low point in my cricketing journey.

  109. 15:30: 
    Eng 183-4 (27 runs in last 10 overs)

    Are we just meandering to tea here? England's scoring has slowed, while Sri Lanka seem happy to sit in the game, waiting (or hoping) for an error. Moeen leans towards Eranga with his white trousers tucked into grey socks beneath the straps of his pad. The seamer on a full length, the batsman driving, unable to break the cover ring. Another maiden.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "Moeen Ali scoring well through the leg side - almost a third of his runs have come in the arc between midwicket and square leg. His partnership with Joe Root is now the biggest of England's pedestrian innings, and if these two are still together an hour after tea then the balance of the day will have swung back England's way."

    England batsman Moeen Ali
  111. 15:26: 
    Eng 183-4 (Root 39, Moen 36)

    The Sri Lanka attack is honest, probing, workmanlike, without necessarily being overly threatening. Wickets this morning came through a combination of accuracy and batsman error. What this attack is lacking is a spearhead or some mystery. Failing that, an absolute miser to squeeze the batsmen into submission. Where's Shane Watson when you need him? Herath to Root, a maiden.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jan Dekker: This beard XI. Strong on batting, but not many bowlers beyond IT Beef, Bishen Bedi and Ray Bright.

    Richie Macca: Re: Beards XI. I petition for a "No Goatee" rule here. It is like using a microwave to heat milk. It is all wrong.

    Barry Corless: Opening bowler Chris Old.

  113. 15:21: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 183-4

    It's hot, it's flat, it's cloudless. The ball is looking about as likely to move as a darts player that lives next door to a pub, so you feel that the only way a wicket will come is through batsman error. Moeen almost obliges. As we've discussed, he looks less comfortable around off stump and nearly slides a catch to point. Just short. Ooohhh, big shout for leg before as Eranga comes down the slope to Root, but there's a big inside edge.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I look at the attacks of Sri Lanka and India, who will be coming here later this summer, and, even though these are inexperienced England batsmen, they should be able to score. This has been England's problem for some time - they have not been able to score enough in the first innings to put the opposition under any pressure."

  115. 15:17: 
    Eng 181-4 (Root 37, Moeen 35)

    Herath to twirl away with a slip, short leg and short mid-wicket for Moeen. As Lord's is temporarily plunged into shadow, England rotate the strike, with Root then taking the tip-and-run option. We're just over 20 minutes from tea, but have only bowled 46 of the 90 overs due in the day.

    England batsman Joe Root
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    Mike Jestico in Leeds: I didn't know what to take to my first Test match (first day at Headingley against Australia in 2001) so after a bit of thought I bought a takeaway curry for two the night before and put it in the fridge. It made an excellent lunch the next day for me and my girlfriend and drew admiration from those around us.

    James White: I took a full cheese board with me to the Friday of the Ashes Oval Test last year. I'm not quite sure how I managed to convince security to let me take a large chunk of wood into the ground...

    John O'Leary: Re crowd etiquette. Was literally driven off the Hill at the Adelaide Oval under a hail of half empty plastic pint pots by paralytic Aussie fans baying for blood during Ashes '98. Well and truly beaten on and off the pitch. A low point in my cricketing journey.

  117. 15:14: 
    Eng 177-4 (partnership 57)

    Nuwan Pradeep has flapping shirt, flapping hair, flapping everything as he sprints towards Joe Root. From looking so uncertain when he arrived at the crease, Root has warmed to his task and is now judging length with more assurance. Conscious of the need to come forward, he still looks more at home on the back foot. A flick to fine leg takes him to 36, which includes only two boundaries. Busy accumulation has been his game.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "They've been relatively positive against Herath, who is a wily old campaigner. He's been hit for two sixes, one by Bell and then more surprisingly by Moeen from the first ball he faced from him. A par score is hard to be exact but I would say around the 350 mark. It looks a good pitch and it seems to be changing colour."

  119. 15:10: 
    Eng 173-4 (Root 33, Moeen 31)

    Glorious afternoon, made for cricket. Herath v Moeen once more, with the left-armer overpitching to be driven for three. In primarily to bat, Moeen's spin has helped him earn his place in the team. But, if and when Ben Stokes returns, could Moeen be pushed further up the order?

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "Former England fast bowler Gladstone Small has been entertaining Lord's spectators at lunch with stories from his playing days, and he's now hanging out in the press box with us. Asked what topics get the most laughs, his answer is instantaneous: 'Drinking. Lads being lads.' And then proceeds to relate how fielders sometimes staved off boredom by filling their gatorade bottles with lager shandy."

    Former England bowler Gladstone Small
  121. 15:06: 
    Eng 169-4 (Root 32, Moeen 28)

    When the ball is on or outside off stump, Moeen gets so far across that he exposes the leg peg. He's leaving Nuwan Pradeep, strolling down the pitch in mid-over to give Root some glove love. Pradeep, shirt un-tucked, elbows jutting, Lego hair bouncing, continues to dangle the ball, but Moeen isn't interested. Stalemate.

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    Nick Edmonds: It's occurred to me that on Saturday, barring something very peculiar, England's men's cricket, football and rugby union sides will all be in first-class competitive action. Do we know if this is a first?

    Wayne Roney
  123. 15:01: 
    Eng 168-4 (42 overs)

    So, Moeen Ali, you've played the seamers without fuss, how do you get on against the spinners? Rather well, actually. The very first delivery of tweak he faces in Test cricket, Moeen belts it for six. Rangana Herath over the wicket, wide of off stump, Moeen fetching it with a slog-sweep clearing the cow corner fence for a maximum. Easy as you like. Next, please.

    England's Moeen Ali
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    Daniel Gibson: Sir Botham and Sir Richards must be 1st names on sheet for Beard XI.

  125. 14:58: 
    Eng 162-4 (Root 31, Ali 22)

    Those topless 'gentlemen' have got me wondering about the etiquette of being in a cricket crowd. Is going topless OK? We've all been in the crowd when some oaf carrying four pints in a cardboard holder has spilt three of them down the back of your neck. And what about eating? There's always someone with half a supermarket in a cool box, eating pasta salads, scotch eggs and crisps. What's the form there? Nuwan Pradeep and his long mane, England accumulating.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Luke Kellett: Moeen Ali and Hashim Amla to open the batting for the Beard XI?

    Hashim Amla
  127. 14:54: 
    Eng 158-4 (partnership 38)

    It's fair to describe the current passage of play as 'proper' Test match cricket. An even contest between bat and ball. The probing bowling of Angelo Mathews, the watchful batting of Moeen Ali, from whose helmet glints the reflection of the sun. What's not proper is the behaviour of three elder gentlemen in the crowd. Just because the sun is out fellas, that doesn't mean you should subject us to your topless, greasy torsos. Is that allowed at Lord's? Might they get thrown out? Someone have a word.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a lovely sunny day, the pitch is true. The bowling is honest, but not devastating and it's a great opportunity for Moeen Ali. He's got to get runs to stay in the team, his off-spin bowling won't be enough."

  129. 14:49: 
    Eng 156-4 (Root 27, Moeen 20)

    All rather subdued in the spell after the refreshments break at HQ. Sri Lanka slightly retreating, just two slips for Root, who eases Kulasekara through the covers for a couple. A little has been made of the rate at which England have scored - around four an over. A sign of new-era intent? One rate that isn't so great is the Sri Lanka over-rate. Only 38 in the first three hours of play - there should have been 45. 90 to be bowled in the day, no later than 18:30 BST. I can't see us fitting them in.

    England's Moeen Ali
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "Moeen Ali really looks the part. His every movement is purposeful, whether playing in attack or defence, striding around and prodding the pitch between deliveries or eagerly looking around for scoring areas. Alec Stewart says Moeen's 162 against Surrey last week was the finest Championship innings he has seen for four years."

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    The Other Will Thornton: Re. 14:32. Fascinated that somebody shares both my views and my name. Either that or my identity has been stolen in some devious, cricket-based fraud.

  132. 14:42: 
    Eng 154-4 (Root 25, Moeen 20)

    Mathews trundles in, not the most neatly attired, with shirt outside his trousers (Alec Stewart would not approve). Moeen content to play watchfully - unlike some of his colleagues earlier we have to say - and not give chances to the two slips and a gully. Another maiden and time for a reflective drink.

  133. 14:38: 
    Eng 154-4 (Root 25, Moeen 20)

    Kulasekara may not be causing the problems he did this morning but Root has not quite got his timing right and he gets an inside edge with an attempted cut that fortunately for him goes into the ground and not the timbers. At the end of the over some tape is called for and is bounded round the willow. Good to see the old-fashioned tape is still required with these ultra modern blades.

  134. 14:33: 
    Eng 154-4 (Root 25, Moeen 20)

    Still Mathews, the man struggling to get to the crease, as the stump camera shows more of those fluffy white clouds over head. Two slips wait for Moeen, the second of which drops his head as the left-hander unconvincingly defends with the inside edge. Bar that, though, there is little to trouble the bat.

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    Paul Hannaford: Any Beard XI will of course include the first and most legendary beard of Dr WG Grace. But I would also include the slightly greying chinnage of Mike Brearley (below, left) from 1979 which almost made him a stunt double for the Ayatollah Khomeini.

    Mike Brearley and Greg Chappell
  136. 14:29: 
    Eng 151-4 (Root 22, Moeen 20)

    Nuwan Kulasekara returns to his earlier home of the Pavilion End, looking move the ball down the slope in to Root and away from Moeen. England rebuilding nicely in the sunshine to the sound of a humming Lord's crowd. Seats have slowly filled after the lunch break, less white plastic on view, more white legs. Moeen is well out of his crease, leaning forward in his stance, straining to get forward.

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    Ian Carr: Played against Moeen Ali when captaining Four Oaks Saints v Moseley Ashfield 2s. He was then a very small and slight 13-year-old. He came in with them three down for 20 and I rallied the troops like an inspirational leader and said, 'Right, look at this little lad coming in now, we're into their kids.' He got 146 not out from a total of 286-5. I feel we played a major part in his development and his England debut today.

  138. 14:24: 
    Eng 146-4 (34 overs)

    As Angelo Mathews introduces his own, lumbering, medium-pace in to the attack, more is revealed about Moeen Ali's technique. That open stance makes it easier to play through the leg side, but it also means the front foot has further to travel when he plays on the off side. Perhaps there's just a little gap between bat and pad when he plays defensively. Sri Lanka have spotted something, they are plugging the gully/backward point area.

  139. 14:22: 
    How's stat?!

    England have not passed 400 in their last 26 innings - against New Zealand at Wellington in March 2013 was the most recent - and they have managed 300 only twice in the last 11 attempts.

  140. 14:19: 
    Eng 146-4 (Moeen 19 off 17)

    Mooen looks strong off his pads, whipping for a couple, but slightly uncertain on and around off stump, again edging for four. As if to prove the point, when an Eranga inswinger drifts into the pads, Moeen again clips leg side, taking four to the longest part of the ground. There's no way to duck the issue, his beard is simply outstanding. He would stroll into the Beard XI.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jake Wilkinson: Moeen scored 136 against the Sri Lankans in a tour game for Worcestershire in 2011. Think he'd probably settle for that today!

    John O: I'd hate to be fielding close in against Moeen Ali, that beard is mesmerising.

  142. 14:15: 
    Eng 135-4 (Root 18, Moeen 8)

    Joe Root is starting to look a little more comfortable, batting just out of his crease to get well forward to the wobbly Kulasekara. The wily seamer, noting that Root is jumping on the front dog, sends down the surprise bumper. Nothing like one up him to keep the batsmen honest.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Hayes: That innings just about sums up Bell's career. Looks amazing. Gets 50. Gets out without making the big contribution.

    Benny Singarajan: This is why Test cricket is so brilliant. Safe and secure and review later you're in trouble.

    Mark Kelly: It's almost as if every time Bell hits 50 he thinks "that's enough of that".

  144. 14:10: 
    Eng 131-4 (Eranga 1-44 off 9)

    Moeen, slightly open stance, mutters to himself as Eranga hustles in. He's finally asked to play his seventh ball in Test cricket, then opens his career account by clipping through square leg for four. Can you imagine how good it must feel to score your first boundary in Test cricket? If the first was elegant, the second is streaky, a thick edge between third slip and gully. Still, Moen looks becalmed, no outward signs of nerves.

  145. 14:09: 
    More on Moeen

    Worcestershire's Moeen Ali comes from a family with strong cricketing connections. His brother Kadeer, who now plays for Staffs, was an England U-19 player who scored six first-class centuries, and another brother, Omar, plays for Worcestershire second XI and in the minor counties for Shropshire.

    Moeen's cousin is Kabir Ali, who played one Test for England against South Africa in 2003 and another cousin is Aatif Ali, who has played second XI cricket for Hampshire, Worcestershire and this year for Leicestershire.

    Mooen has scored 13 first-class centuries in 114 matches and this season averages 74 in five Division Two Championship matches.

    England's Moeen Ali
  146. 14:05: 
    Eng 123-4 (Root 14, Moeen 0)

    A large cloud covers the sun to plunge Lord's into temporary gloom, just as the dependable Nuwan Kulasekara comes back into the attack following the fall of Bell. Moeen may be in this side as a spinning all-rounder, but the leftie bats three for Worcestershire, so blade-wielding is definitely his stronger suit. He watches on as the skipping Kulasekara has Root leaving on off stump.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "Bell's dismissal was greeted with glee by the Sri Lanka fielders and their supporters. He had looked in the same fluent nick as last summer, the memories of those ghastly dismissals down under drifting away in the warm summer air, and that lbw leaves new-look England in familiar old straits."

    England batsman Ian Bell
  148. 14:01: 
    Eng 121-4

    Bell's wicket brings Moeen Ali to the crease for the first time in Test cricket, the Worcestershire left-hander watchfully leaving his first two deliveries in the big time. Ian Bell actually looked pretty confident as that review was taking place, but it was Eranga who was punching the air when the replay came on the big screen. Moeen, all armguard and lengthy beard, is still not forced to play, which is a lovely introduction to Test cricket.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Playing across the line, through mid-wicket, when it's knocking middle out. It's a good position for either side. England have people who can bat but this kid Ali has never played Test cricket, Prior hasn't played much, Broad hasn't played much. Liam Plunkett is batting very well but he is mainly a bowler. England might get 300-odd but they could get bowled out for 250."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  150. 13:56: 
    WICKET- Bell lbw Eranga 56 (Eng 120-4)

    The big wicket! Ian Bell is gone, falling to both an excellent delivery from Shaminda Eranga and a good review from the Sri Lankans. Like we thought, it just looked very close. Nipping down the slope, back in to Bell, who was playing around his front pad. The technology confirmed it wasn't too high, rather that it would batter the top of middle stump. With Lord's barely half full, you will never hear a wicket greeted with such silence.


  151. 13:55: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 120-3

    Heart-in-mouth time, because this is close. Eranga to Bell, coming down the slope. Appeal rejected, but reviewed. A touch high?

    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "I'd like to say that the Lord's crowd warmly applauded Bell's fifty, and to a certain extent they did, but more than half of them missed it because they are still lapping up the early-summer sunshine on the Lord's lawns."

  153. 13:53: 
    Eng 119-3 (Bell 56, Root 12)

    Without being unfair to Joe Root, who hasn't been at the crease for too long, it's almost like two different games are going on out there. While Ian Bell is all liquid chocolate, Root is staccato, punchy, mechanical. A jab forward to defend Herath, then a whip through the leg side for a single. The Yorkshireman is desperately searching for a method of scoring runs.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Bell is relaxing his hands and letting the ball come off the face of the bat, not pushing at it like Sam Robson did."

  155. 13:50: 
    50 for Ian Bell- Eng 116-3

    Well played, Ian Bell. When all around him have looked wracked with uncertainty, Bell has looked a class apart. The Warwickshire man moves to a 40th Test half century with the most effortless drive off Shaminda Eranga past mid off for four. Where might England have been without him last summer? More to the point, where would they be without him today?

    England batsman Ian Bell
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "After lunch you should bowl your best bowler and the one most likely to get a wicket. Herath is a good bowler, there is a time and place when he will be a matchwinner. This is a moment for me when he shouldn't be bowling. The batsmen have to start again after lunch, I'd bowl the seamers and see if I can nip another out."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  157. 13:45: 
    Eng 105-3 (Bell 47, Root 7)

    Herath is wide of the crease from around the wicket, looping the ball at a sharp angle and looking for turn down the slope across the right-handers. Oh Ian Bell, will you dance with me? Poetic shimmy down the pitch, right foot to left, then a wonderful lofted drive for a straight maximum. Silky.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Michael Watson: So, the England cricket team has just had a major shake-up, yet it looks like it needs a major shake-up.

    Tom Lambert: At lunch after putting side in, par would be getting 2 wickets. Sri Lanka on top but not out of sight. Interesting afternoon session.

  159. 13:42: 
    Eng 98-3

    Lord's is an oil painting as the umpires emerge. Sri Lanka huddle under a baby-blue sky that is decorated by cotton-wool clouds. Glove love between Ian bell and Joe Root as they emerge to resume. Bell has 41, Root has six and will be on strike to the portly left-arm spin of Rangana Herath.

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    Will Thornton: The Spirit of Cricket means two things to me (as a fan): 1. It is about not exploiting the rules in ways that they were not intended to be used (think tax avoidance versus evasion). Not using loopholes. 2. It is about respecting the fans. We pay to see cricket played as intended, not some school boy interpretation.

  161. 13:41:  
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialSpirit of Cricket award

    Nominations are open for the annual CMJ Spirit of Cricket Awards are open, in memory of former MCC president and TMS commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins.

    Four awards are given to those who have best exhibited the Spirit of Cricket on a specific occasion or throughout the season.

    The winners are selected by a panel of judges from MCC and the BBC, with nominations closing at noon on 1 September.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Channonball: Just looked at tickets for Eng vs India at Lord's this summer. £93 per ticket! Why are Test match tickets so expensive?

    Craig Stevenato: Once again a complete failure to bowl 30 overs in a session. Time to punish teams properly.

  163. 13:38: 

    Have you lunched well? Not as well as the Sri Lankans, I fancy. It was a morning that belonged to the tourists at HQ as, Ian Bell aside, England struggled. The hosts bat deep - Liam Plunkett at 10 is capable of going two places higher - but from 98-3, one more wicket opens the door to debutant Moeen Ali and a Matt Prior that is playing for his place.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alexander Nelson: Sick of despairing England fans. It's day one on a green top, opening batsmen will get out in such conditions, nature of the beast.

    Jack Peat: As a traditionalist I'm concerned by how shorter formats might be impacting Test cricket.

    Will Barker: What a surprise to see people getting into Cook he will get better then everyone will forget this.

  165. 13:31: 

    If you're just joining us, England took lunch on 98-3. A difficult morning session began with Sam Robson - one of three Test debutants - and Alastair Cook falling cheaply. Ian Bell and Gary Ballance staged something of a recovery from 22-2 with a half-century stand. When a leaden-footed Ballance was caught behind for 23, it was left to Bell to take the hosts to the interval with an unbeaten 41.


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    Harriet Marlow: Wish I were at Lord's right now. Hungry, and Sri Lankan fans bring the BEST sharing picnics...

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's on that knife-edge at the moment. Sri Lanka will be saying they have done OK but the three England players that are out know they did not get unplayable balls. Sri Lanka have bowled well but in the last half an hour with the ball not doing as much it looks like a terrific cricket wicket. It's going to be an absolute beauty to bat on."

     Sri Lanka celebrate Sam Robson's dismissal
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Scott: Ian Bell is just an absolutely wonderful cricketer. Should play him where he wants. Our best player.

    Adam Patterson: Gary Ballance should probably bat 5 where he scores runs game in game out for Yorks. But in reply to Salman Ansari class is there.

    Voice From The Stand: If I ever get the chance to bowl at Ian Bell, I will bowl wide half volleys just to see that cover drive. Exquisite.

  169. 13:09:  
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    During the lunch break, Test Match Special will be looking back at 200 years of the MCC. Right now, there's a wonderful audio package charting cricket that has been played at Lord's down the years. This is actually the third different Lord's ground. Impress your mates over lunch with that fact...

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Michael Ly: I like Root at 5, you need a cool head and technique at 3 down. Bell and Ballance must swap order, Bell's good enough now.

    Jack Mendel: Ian Bell is our Shiv Chanderpaul..

    Dan Webster: Never thought I would say this, but where would we be without Ian Bell.

  171. 13:05: 
    Lunch- Eng 98-3 (Bell 41, Root 6)

    Ian Bell and Joe Root trudge off, both holding their bats by the blade. It's been Sri Lanka's morning - three wickets is exactly what they would have wanted after winning the toss and electing to field. The tourists have bowled well on a green deck, but it's not been unplayable. England have simply struggled with the ball moving about on a full length, Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance both playing poor shots. Sam Robson, on debut, can be forgiven, while Ian Bell looks like he's playing a different game to the rest.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The art of batting is picking up length quickly and Bell is doing just that. I think he has got rid of that tag of not scoring runs when it matters. He was the reason why England won the Ashes 3-0 last summer."

    England's Ian Bell
  173. 13:02: 
    Lunch- Eng 98-3

    Nuwan Pradeep, two wickets for his morning's work, to bowl the final set of the session. Having switched ends for his second spell, Pradeep has often slid down the slope to the leg side of the right-handers, again doing so to Joe Root. A single off the penultimate ball, with bell covering up for the final delivery of the session. That is lunch.

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    George in London: I too am concerned about our middle order. Why Ballance is at 3 (bats 5 for Yorkshire), Root at 5 (opens or bats 3 for Yorkshire) and Ali at 6 (bats 3 for Worcestershire) is confusing. Surely these players are picked to play Test cricket on their county form. Therefore, should be filling similar roles for England that they do so well for their respective counties. I feel it is the correct middle order for England, just upside down!

  175. 12:57: 
    Eng 96-3 (24 overs)

    Indeed it will be the left-arm spin of Rangana Herath, looking to turn the ball down the slope, away from this pair of right-handers who have a slip and a short leg for company. Bell immediately skipping down the track in defence to the loopy Herath, just one from it. Probably only one to go before the break.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "Sri Lanka's morning so far, and the atmosphere at Lord's accordingly muted. The pitch, while green, is behaving itself so far - it's been injudicious strokes from Sam Robson, Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance that have cost England. With another debutant in next, much rests - as it did last summer - on new England player of the year Ian Bell."

    England's Ian Bell
  177. 12:54: 
    Eng 95-3 (Bell 41, Root 4)

    Rangana Herath gets loose, perhaps to send down the obligatory one over of spin before lunch. As the thoughts of the crowd turn to picnics on the Nursery Ground, Pradeep, his mullet flapping in the breeze, loses his line to Bell. First a flick to fine leg, beating the slow-motion chase from Herath, then a pull off the front foot through mid-wicket. Two boundaries. Hard to understate how much of a class apart Bell has looked this morning.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Nick: Cook averages 52 at three in Test cricket, just putting it out there.

    Thomas Cox: It was wrong to drop Compton, imagine what form he would be in 1 year on.

    Alistair Stanistreet: I'd like to see Taylor in this side, and I too can't see the logic behind Moeen at 6. Didn't Joe Root score all his runs there?

  179. 12:49: 
    Eng 87-3 (22 overs)

    With luncheon beginning to loom into view, Ian Bell, the class act of the morning, gives Shaminda Eranga the full face to earn four wide of mid off. As Lord's murmurs, Bell mutters to himself as the pacy Eranga screams in. "Watch the ball" is what I think he's saying. Paul Reiffel, the square-leg umpire, gives a one-fingered signal to show there is only one ball in the over remaining (even club umpires do that, I'm glad it goes right to the top), before Bell clips to fine leg for three more.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I am not a massive believer in getting a huge stride in down the pitch but I think your head has to be over the front pad and you have to be in a balanced position in one movement. All England's players this morning have had a second movement and that's when you end up edging the delivery."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  181. 12:44: 
    Eng 80-3 (Bell 26, Root 4)

    Two things to note here. The first is that Sri Lanka have bowled well, but arguably not three-wickets well. They have bowled a full length and found the movement on offer. The second is to wonder why an English top order has struggled in such English conditions. Batting in England is a front-foot game, so why the desire to hang back. Maybe I'm being a touch harsh on the youngsters, as Joe Root transfers his weight to drive Pradeep through the covers.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Salman Ansari: Any opposing captain seeing Ballance bat, he would never be worried. No matter how many runs he score, class is not there.

    Jon Evans: Looks like it's all down to Bell again. New era, same old.

    Paul Baldwin: So the not a number 3 batting at number 3 experiment went well then!

  183. 12:40: 
    Eng 75-3 (Bell 25, Root 0)

    A Bell single brings Root on strike to the away-swingers of Shaminda Eranga. Three slips and a gully wait, with Root's half-hearted push forward almost resulting in an edge to the catchers. If you can suggest a good reason as to why Ballance was three and Root five, pretty much the exact opposite of their roles for Yorkshire, I'd be delighted to hear it.

    Alec Stewart, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "A very loose shot from Ballance. The ball wasn't quite there to drive. It's a big wicket for Sri Lanka, who have used the angle of the slope at Lord's well. But it's more careless batting from England than good bowling from Sri Lanka."

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "All England players have looked vulnerable on that front foot; they haven't had much balance, pardon the pun. Full credit to Pradeep for getting the ball full of length. Sri Lanka have been excellent."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  186. 12:36: 
    Eng 75-3 (Pradeep 2-20 off 6)

    Replays of that Gary Ballance wicket show just how far back he was in trying to play a delivery of half-volley length. Playing forwards, his front foot was on the popping crease. Very odd. Ballance is replaced by Yorkshire team-mate Joe Root, another man who likes to hang back. Root would do well to learn from Ian Bell, who has looked comfortable because of his desire to get on the front foot.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ballance hasn't been assured, he played and missed a lot. There was the odd nice shot but there he was just looking for the ball, it did leave him, enticed the drive down the slope and it was a good catch. That's another newcomer who has barely flickered. There are some runs out there if you get in."

  188. 12:32: 
    WICKET- Ballance c P Jayawardene b Pradeep 23 (Eng 74-3)

    You sensed it was coming. Gary Ballance has battled for more than an hour without ever looking comfortable. For every good shot, there was a play and miss, an inside edge. This time, the returning Nuwan Pradeep is very full of length, with the leaden-footed Ballance edging a poked drive through to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. A good ball, not well played. England all at sea.


    Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "This pitch is changing colour by the hour. Almost gone are the green shoots that were clearly visible when it was uncovered this morning as the surface dries out in the warm sunshine. With the ball getting softer too, there's a great opportunity here for England's new-look middle order."

    Lord's pitch
  190. 12:28: 
    Eng 70-2 (partnership 48)

    Shaminda Eranga dangles the bait outside Ian Bell's off stump, hoping for a catch in a three-slip trap. Bell, though, is more predator than prey and isn't interested in this wide game of cat and mouse. Six balls not even close to hitting the stumps, six balls left alone.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The Lord's outfield is, I was going to say like a billiard table, only it is on a slope, but it is so smooth. That drive was caressed away by Bell and it kept on rolling."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  192. 12:23: 
    Eng 70-2 (Bell 24 from 35 balls)

    That sunshine may just be taking the zip out of the wicket, making batting a little easier. When Angelo Mathews goes full, Ian Bell leans on a dreamy straight drive than runs uphill towards the pavilion for four. Bell looks like he's feeling his way in, while Ballance is still tossing and turning in a bid to get comfortable. Shuffle back, play and miss. Shuffle back, edge short of gully. Shuffle back, defend. Awkward.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    AC Andrews: Pretty sure Cook's record was comparable to Sachin at one stage. Form is temporary... Still a rubbish captain though.

    Tom Huelin: Plenty saying Cook needs runs at county level? He did score 181 and 127 in first two Championship matches of the season.

    Ste Davies: Cook MUST be relieved of captaincy so he can focus on single-minded, greedy run accumulation and forget all other responsibilities.

  194. 12:19: 
    Eng 65-2 (Ballance 19, Bell 19)

    Not sure what's going on here. Umpire Billy Bowden fiddles with Ian Bell's collar like a mother fussing over a child. Lord's now so warm that members of the crowd are seeking any means of shade - hats, towels, newspapers. That Gary Balance back-and-across trigger is very noticeable, he ends up miles back in his crease. Nudge for one, with Bell then turning Eranga off his hips for a couple. This repair-job of a third-wicket stand is now worth 43.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Callum Wallace: Get off Cook's back, he's a captain under pressure who needs support from the rest of his team. Too good not to come back.

    Matthew Pearson: England making hard work of the first day of the Test... for once I agree with Boycott. Why play shots in the first hour?

    James Hudson: Can't help but feel we'd be more comfortable now if KP was in. He may be difficult, but he's exceptional and we need him.

  196. 12:14: 
    Eng 59-2 (15 overs)

    Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews is the sort of medium-pacer who looks is permanent need of some WD40. He introduces himself to the attack and just about drags himself to the crease to deliver the ball with a stiff, lumbering action. No pace, keeper and slips creeping forwards. Wide half-volley, Bell gliding through point for four.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    George Price: (Re 11:58) You can actually win a Chess game in two moves. You have to be Black to do it though. White's first move is, King's Bishop's Pawn up 1 to f3. Black moves King's pawn up 1 or 2. White moves King's Knight's pawn up 2 to g4. Black moves Queen to h4, Checkmate.

  198. 12:10: 
    Eng 55-2 (Ballance 18, Bell 10)

    There's been the odd hint of cloud this morning, but the second hour begins with Lord's bathed in warm sunshine. Shaminda Eranga, tall and slender, stoops in to the greeny-brown cut strip, appealing when a flick off Ian Bell's thigh pad goes through to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jaywardene. Nothing doing. Lord's is relatively subdued, the soundtrack to the cricket provided by patrons involved in polite conversation.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think the Sri Lankans will be relatively satisfied with this first hour. There has been some movement in the air, they have picked up two wickets and could have had a third."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jon Amor: I have confidence in the middle order to be able to steady the ship, a poor start doesn't mean the end of a Test!

    Dipo A: Oh Cook, you fool...incompetent, feeding off Pietersen's form and now we see you for the player you are.

    John Davis: Cook was our best player when we won the Ashes in Australia which is why he shouldn't be the captain. Let him focus on the bat.

  201. 12:03: 
    Close!- Eng 52-2 (Ballance 17, Bell 8)

    Kulasekara continues to hurry in around the wicket with five men waiting in the grabbers. Ooohhh, lucky for Gary Ballance, when a thick edge falls short of captain Angelo Mathews at third slip. As we suggested before, Ballance is now taking guard outside of his crease, but his trigger movement takes him deep into his ground. Close again! A bullet of a cut shot just escapes the horizontal dive of Kaushal Silva at point on the way to the rope. An hour done, time for a drink.

    England's Gary Ballance
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ronan Reeves: Cook needs to drop himself down to county level and sort things out and earn a place. So lucky he can do that unlike KP.

    Jack Mendel: Root is rapidly becoming a new Mark Ramprakash.. a golden boy that is messed around and never fulfils potential. Needs to settle.

    Samuel Dickeson: Poor selections, poor captaincy and another poor Cook performance. Not looking good for the summer!

  203. 11:58: 
    Eng 48-2 (Ballance 13, Bell 8)

    One skiddy right-arm away-swing bowler with 80s-style hair replaces another, as Shaminda Eranga comes on for Nuwan Pradeep. Before we had a mullet, now we have a sort of curly version of Will Smith in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Eranga is too full and floaty, allowing Bell to lean into a pair of cover drives, the first of which reaches the fence. When he gets it right, though, Eranga gets good shape in the air down the slope.

    England's Ian Bell England's Ian Bell
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a five-day Test match. It's like chess, you can't win a chess match in two or three moves but you can sure as hell get yourself into trouble."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  205. 11:53: 
    Eng 41-2 (11 overs)

    Nuwan Kulasekara, the sergeant major, pumps his arms and legs as he wobbles away swingers towards the chubby-cheeked Ballance. The leftie leaves, prompting Kulasekara to come around the wicket. Defence on off stump, just a Bell single from the over.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jimmy: Cook needs a complete break from the team. Completely devoid of touch, form and confidence.

    Tom White: Well that bubble seems to have burst very quickly. And by the looks of things, it hasn't taken the sharpest of pins to burst it.

    Nick Brett: So typical to see the England fans getting onto the team so quickly... Give them a chance the game is 10 overs in!

  207. 11:48: 
    Eng 40-2 (Pradeep 1-16 off 5)

    Just thinking about the 'who bats at three' debate, Moeen Ali does that job for Worcestershire. It makes Ballance's presence there even more of a puzzle. The leftie jams down on a Pradeep in-ducker for a single, past the dive of Rangana Herath, who, frankly, is fielding like a man who has never played cricket before. In the members' section, there is a ghastly selection of coloured blazers. If you're going to wear a bacon and egg jacket, may I suggest a plain shirt? Otherwise, it looks like you've got dressed in the dark.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Good start by Sri Lanka. They would have wanted to make use of that fresh grass left on the wicket and they have bowled pretty well."

  209. 11:43: 
    Eng 37-2 (Ballance 12, Bell 0)

    Nuwan Kulasekara has no great pace, he's practically floating it down at 75mph. His weapons are his control of length - in between, the batsman not sure whether to go forwards or back - and his movement, wobblers in and out. The skiddy right-armer has four slips and a gully to Ballance, who takes every opportunity to leave before getting into trouble with an inside edge on to pad. England seem intent on batting deep, but would it be a batter plan to get out of the the crease, nullify the swing?

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Two batsman have played and got out. They have played like modern batsmen and tried to score all the time. They play so much cricket where they have to score off every ball they can't stop themselves. This morning there is going to be a bit of movement for an hour, maybe more, so you should play with a bit of caution and catch up later, but they don't think like that anymore."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  211. 11:39: 
    Eng 33-2 (Ballance 8, Bell 0)

    Lord's is showing off in the sunshine as Pradeep probes the Rob Key-lookalike Gary Ballance. Three slips, short leg for the leftie, who drives firmly down the ground for three. My word, that is an absolute rozzer to Ian Bell. Angled in, then darting down the slope. Play that. Having said that, Bell's footwork is all over the shop. Ball dominating bat right now.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joshua Edwards: Sign of a batsmen horribly out of nick, searching for his favourite shot that isn't there. Not good from Cook.

    Neil Peter: England's inevitable slide from best team in the world to third worst continuing, Cook had been worked out by all opposition.

    Eric Foggitt: Doubt if I'm the only one feeling duped re "new era" English cricket.

  213. 11:35: 
    Eng 26-2 (Kulasekara 1-12 off 4)

    Ian Bell, once the Sherminator, now the statesman, is in at number four, arriving in the sort of crisis that England hoped they had left in Australia. Looking at the Cook wicket again, he may have been undone by Kulasekara's lack of pace, but it was certainly too close to cut. Well back in his crease, the ball hit high on Cook's bat en route to the stumps. An in-ducker heads to the boundary off Bell's thigh pad.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was close to Cook and this is falling into Sri Lanka's lap. This is exactly the start they wanted as bowling is not the strongest part of their game. Kulasekara is one of those bowlers you get lulled into playing; sometimes the quicker the bowler the easier you get into it."

    England captain Alastair Cook is bowled
  215. 11:29: 
    WICKET- Cook b Kulasekara 17 (Eng 22-1)

    This is poor from England captain. With the ball hooping around, one wicket already gone down and a largely inexperienced batting line-up behind him, Alastair Cook has contributed to his own downfall. The left-hander is looking to cut Nuwan Kulasekara, but it's simply too close to him and a bottom edge cannons in to the stumps. Kulasekara leaps miles in to the air in delight, while Cook drags himself off to the sound of Lord's silence.


    Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    billybunter3rd: Robson follows trait of England batsman by wafting bat outside off to give wicket away. Of anyone, he should know Lords slope!

    Tom Lambert: One of those shots where you don't know where he wanted it to go if he'd hit it properly. Pointless shot.

    O'Boogie: No matter how any of the new(ish) guys go, they should ALL get the next 7 home Tests and 1 away series.

    Sam Robson
  217. 11:27: 
    Eng 22-1 (Cook 17, Ballance 1)

    I've not seen many replays of the Robson wicket, but the impression was that, understandably, he was a bundle of nervous energy in the middle. Batting deep in the crease and taking guard so far across his stumps that leg peg poked from behind his pads, he rather lunged at that delivery from Pradeep, following it as it slid down the slope. As the sun pokes through, Pradeep continues his mulleted examination. Ballance away with a jab on the leg side, Cook beaten by the straight-oner before three taken to mid-wicket.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "A classic case of the mockers from Alec Stewart, who was live on BBC Radio 5 live talking up Sam Robson just as the ball located the debutant's outside edge and was snaffled by the keeper. Mind you, moments earlier Stewie had alerted us to Robson's dangerous tendency to open the face outside off stump. He's not England's most-capped Test player for nothing, you know."

  219. 11:23: 
    Eng 18-1 (Cook 14, Ballance 0)

    Gary Ballance, in only his second Test, is England's number three. Is it an odd decision for the Yorkshireman to be in a first wicket down? I think I'm right in saying he's only ever had four first-class innings there. Surely Joe Root or Ian Bell were the more natural candidates for three? He watches from the other end as Cook gets a thick outside edge for four and is then beaten by Kulasekara. Plenty happening out there, vindicating the tourists' decision to field first.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Disappointing for Robson, a full length ball, swinging away. It could have been left easily but he poked at it, perhaps looking for a four a bit too early and a fantastic catch behind the wicket. He'll be up in that dressing room thinking he didn't need to go after it."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  221. 11:17: 
    WICKET- Robson c P Jayawardene b Pradeep 1 (Eng 13-1)

    Gone! Sam Robson's first Test innings yields only one run, as the debutant is caught behind off the dangerous-looking Nuwan Pradeep. Full of length, wide and moving away, Robson doesn't need to play, but perhaps the nervous need for bat on ball draws him into the shot. Thick edge, with wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene diving to his right to take a good catch in both hands.


    Sam Robson
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's interesting to analyse a new batsman's technique, Robson has a very low, crab-like forward defensive perhaps trying to nullify that slope at Lord's."

  223. 11:12: 
    Eng 11-0 (Cook 7, Robson 1)

    Sam Robson is away, pushing into the off side a sprinting down the other end like a man running for his life. Kulasekara is struggling with the right-left combo, straying on to Cook's pads. Lord's, far from full, politely applauds the nudged singles, then reverts to a murmur as the shuffly Robson is forward, then back in defence.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pradeep looks like a rhythmical bowler, a nice smooth approach to the stumps. Decent over, that last ball was 88mph and just getting a bit of swing back into Cook."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  225. 11:09: 
    Eng 7-0

    The whippy, pacier Nuwan Pradeep shares the new ball, sporting what can only be described as a mullet hairdo. He's looking for a full length, swinging the ball back in to Cook. Ooohhh, careful skipper, nearly undone by a full ball hooping back in. Just jams down in time. Good start by Pradeep, a maiden. Time for Sam Robson's first ball in Test cricket...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Peter Vaz: Starting to think Woakes will never get a chance at test level! Far superior to both Jordan and Plunkett in FC cricket.

    Melvin Lucas: TMS. Sorry football but you just can't beat listening to the first day of the first Test of the summer.

    Philip Ling: Summer has officially begun! Glorious day and start of a new Test series.

  227. 11:06: 
    Eng 7-0

    Eventful start. Kulasekara shuffles in, looking to move the ball down the slope and away from leftie Cook. A jaffa has the skipper poking, getting the slips excited. There's no pace, though, and a short ball is cut for four to get England going. Last ball, is that an edge? Keeper Prasanna Jayawardene has dropped a dolly anyway, but has Cook been let off? Byes signalled, false alarm.

    England captain Alastair Cook
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think the wicket will do too much but it's going to be an interesting first hour for England."

  229. 11:00: 

    Alastair Cook raises a finger to ask for his guard, Sam Robson looks pensive at the non-striker's end. Nuwan Kulasekara, the metronome, has the ball. Three slips, a gully and a short leg. Let's play.

  230. 10:59: 

    What a sight. Former England skipper Andrew Strauss rings the pavilion bell, summoning the umpires down the stairs on to the baize-like outfield.

    Sri Lanka, in blinding whites, follow and immediately go in to a mass cuddle. Warm applause, cranked up when Alastair Cook and Sam Robson follow. 15 men are on the field, we're nearly ready to go.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Matt Prior should be feeling quite lucky. If there hadn't been the turmoil around the England camp, he wouldn't be playing. I understand why they've picked him because they want a spine of five senior players, but they are taking a bit of a punt on his fitness."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    William Oates: Surely its time Bell stepped up at 3 with Ballance at 4? Looking forward to seeing how this new look Test team goes though.

    Paul Lancashire: Love the look of this England line-up. Some exciting young players with big futures as well as experienced talents.

    Fenners: For once i am genuinely excited by our bowling attack. First time we've played 4 quicks since Flintoff days. Who needs spin!

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "My Middlesex career overlapped one year with Sam Robson. He's very solid. He's known as someone who's good under pressure. The feeling is he's ready."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  234. 10:54: 

    It seems that the 22-yard cut strip is raising a few eyebrows, not least because it shows how much this England team has changed in the past year.

    Remember the home Ashes? England prepared dusty bunsen burners suited to Graeme Swann's off-spin. Now, with no Swann and no one to replace him, England turn to pace and have a green deck to help them.

    The grass on the wicket caused Angelo Mathews to win the toss and bowl, even though the sun is shining at HQ.

    A result wicket? Will we go five days?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Matthew Wright: Thrilled that Liam Plunkett is back for England. One of the best talents the country has had in the past ten years and it would have been a real shame for that to go to waste.

    Sue Wilks: Just listened to Moeen Ali on Radio 4. I taught him to read! A lovely boy then and obviously a lovely young man, now. Always a role model, Moeen.

  236. 10:47: 
    Ready for Robson

    Plenty of attention will fall upon Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan and the returning Liam Plunkett as this Test meanders on, but the spotlight on this glorious Lord's day will first fall upon opening batsman Sam Robson, who at this moment is probably padding up.

    The 24-year-old Middlesex man was born in Sydney to an English mother and was spotted by seamer Tim Murtagh, who recommended him to the county. Robson qualified and opted to play for England late last year and toured with the Lions over the winter, scoring five hundreds in the process.

    An orthodox right-hander, Robson is an accumulator, rather than a dasher. He has only ever played eight one-day games and four T20s. In first-class cricket, he averages 42.33.

    England and Middlesex opener Sam Robso
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Lord's

    "It's hardly Manaus but the mercury is rising at Lord's ahead of the first Test of the English summer and the lush green outfield looks in far better shape than the pitch for England's World Cup opener. An early-morning sortie revealed members already encircling the famous venue eager to lay down their wicker hampers in prime spots for lunchtime picnics and, with play approaching, there's the familiar buzz of contentment and anticipation in the stands. First encounter on entering the media centre? One Shane Warne, looking slicker than Fonzie in his 1980s pomp. Happy Days."

  238. 10:41: 

    England: 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Sam Robson, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Joe Root, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Matt Prior (wkt), 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 James Anderson.

    Sri Lanka: 1 Kaushal Silva, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Shaminda Eranga.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at Lord's

    "So, five months on from England's last day of Test cricket, that dismal denouement at the SCG, only five players have kept their places. This is both a new dawn - first caps for Sam Robson, Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali - and a rebirth, with Peter Moores hoping his second stint as head coach brings more success than his first."

    Alastair Cook and England at Sydney
  240. 10:40: 

    Cook, by the way, also confirmed what we already know about the England team, that Sam Robson, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan will make their Test debuts. Chris Woakes is the man to miss out from the squad of 12 selected.

    Sri Lanka have reshuffled a little from the side that played in the one-dayers. Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne open the batting, Rangana Herath will tweak out his left-armers.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mike Bell: Alastair Cook looks exhausted, and the first Test hasn't even started. Hope he finds some whoomph from somewhere.

    Sean Pocock: People saying 25yo Woakes isn't a Test player are talking rubbish. Averages 40+ with the bat and 25 with the ball in FC cricket.

  242. 10:35: 

    England captain Alastair Cook: "I think we would have batted. Liam Plunkett, who has come back after a long time, it's like a fresh start for him. The three debutants, it's the chance for them to make a name for themselves.

    "I'm looking forward to having a bat, that' that's my day job. I'm looking forward to scoring some runs."

  243. 10:31: 
    Sri Lanka win the toss and field

    Angelo Mathews calls heads, and is actually quite surprised when the coin comes down in his favour. That green tinge on the wicket might have actually made it a good toss lose - Alastair Cook says he isn't sure what he would have done.

    England captain Alastair Cook and Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The pitch is green but it's dry. It's clearly a different pitch to what we had last year against Australia. They don't want to get too dry because they don't want it to turn. They've left grass on to get extra pace. It's going to be a damn good cricket wicket."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    O'Boogie: So excited!!! A few months away, blue skies and warm sunshine & I've almost forgotten the Ashes debacle.

    Thomas Measures: So glad Test cricket it back, the is only so much of the shorter form of the sport I can take.

    Tom Lloyd: Very excited by this England team, however need to find a spinner and Prior lucky to keep his place.

  246. 10:28:  
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    Is that a cow bell that begins the TMS theme tune? Not sure. Either way, the sound is comforting, familiar.

    If you want an audio accompaniment to this informative an entertaining live text, you can listen on 5 live sports extra, online, digital TVs, and via the BBC Sport and BBC Radio apps.

  247. 10:25: 
    Get involved

    Got all that? At this point, when we ask you to get involved, we might suggest topics to talk about. Today, frankly, there is too many. Maybe we'll start with the basics. What do you make of this new-look England team? Do you expect improvement after a winter of discontent, or is more misery to come? Also, let me know know your thoughts on the first Test of the summer. Excitement, no? Time to go through the Test-match ritual once more? Text 81111, tweet using the hashtag #bbccricket or email tms@bbc.co.uk.

  248. 10:22: 

    And, even with three debutants, there is still so, so much more to going on.

    This, remember, is the first Test of the new Peter Moores era, the first of the post-KP era. The first under a new ECB hierarchy, the first post-Flower and post-Gooch. The first since an Ashes hammering that saw England lose the services of Graeme Swann and (perhaps only temporarily) Jonathan Trott. The first with Liam Plunkett for seven years.

    No Ben Stokes, deemed not fit enough after a self-inflicted injury. No Jos Buttler, deemed still behind Matt Prior (whose recall is a talking in itself) despite his ODI pyrotechnics.

    Oh, and there's a bit of Mankading needle too.

  249. 10:20: 

    And before I get carried away with the idyllic romance of it all, let's remember the serious business that will be addressed over the next five days, these two Tests against Sri Lanka, the five that follow against India and beyond.

    Wounded from an Australian shellacking, England are re-building. Today, they hand out three debuts for the first time since, well, the last time they played.

    Moeen Ali, Sam Robson and Chris Jordan are the first to stake their claim for a fixed position in new England.

    Sam Robson and Moeen Ali
  250. 10:18: 

    OK, we'll not stretch the comparison between cricket and that kickabout in Brazil too far.

    While others might be getting excited about the festival of football, us in the know realise that the significance attached to Thursday, 12 June comes from the start of England's two-Test series against Sri Lanka.

    Sunshine, Lord's, bacon and egg ties. Men in shorts showing pale white legs, girls in strappy tops. Hay fever, warm beer and barbecues. Test Match Special. Geoffrey Boycott.

    Summer's here.

  251. 10:16: 

    After what seems like an age of waiting since England's last crushing disappointment, the chance to perform on the grandest stage arrives once more.

    Excitement comes in the shape of a youthful squad, full of talented fledglings eager to make their mark on the world stage. Expectations are only moderate, though - we've had hopes dashed too often before.

  252. 10:15: 

    It's finally here.

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Live Scores - England v Sri Lanka


  • England drew with Sri Lanka
  • England: 575-9 & 267-8 (69.0 overs)
  • Sri Lanka: 453 & 201-9 (90.0 overs)
  • Venue: Lord's

Sri Lanka 2nd Innings

View full scorecard
Karunaratne c Robson b Broad 16
K Silva c Prior b Jordan 57
Sangakkara b Anderson 61
M Jayawardene c Prior b Anderson 18
Thirimanne c Jordan b Anderson 2
Mathews c Cook b Anderson 18
P Jayawardene lbw b Jordan 8
Kulasekara lbw b Broad 1
Herath c Prior b Broad 1
Eranga not out 0
Pradeep not out 0
Extras 1nb 11b 7lb 19
Total for 9 201

Sri Lanka in England

Sri Lanka celebrate with the Test series trophy

Reports and scorecards from Sri Lanka's tour of England, which includes a Twenty20 international, five ODIs and two Tests.

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