Twitter Reactions: Jonny Bairstow's century helps England seize advantage on the opening day

Twitter Reactions: Jonny Bairstow’s century helps England seize advantage on the opening day

With the pitch already turning significantly, it will be once again a tall ask for Sri Lanka batting second.

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England skipper Joe Root’s luck at the toss continued for the eighth consecutive Test and he had no hesitation in batting first in Colombo. Sri Lanka were once again left with bowling on a Day 1 pitch with less assistance for the spinners and they leaked runs at a fair clip much like they did in the first couple of games. The tourists crossed the 300-run mark by the end of the day’s play and now have the advantage over the island nation once again.

The Colombo turned out to be a square turner as the spinners came into play from the word go. England’s openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings both were dismissed early by Dilruwan Perera and Malinda Pushpakumara. However, the comeback man Jonny Bairstow walked out to bat at number three, England’s fifth batsman in as many Tests at the position, and changed the complexion of the game completely. He, along with the skipper Root, upped the scoring rate by employing the sweep shot frequently.

Sri Lanka had no answers to the assault and they quickly reverted to defensive fields to allow easy singles to be taken. Meanwhile, in the first session itself they lost both their reviews once again, thanks to the overexcited Niroshan Dickwella.

Stokes joins the party

Root and Bairstow’s 100-run association was broken in the second session by Lakshan Sandakan as the former was dismissed on 46. However, Ben Stokes joined the party to make things look ridiculously easy while runs continued to flow from Bairstow. He might just be the answer to England’s issues at the top of the order as the wicketkeeper-batsman went on to slam a sensational century.

In the process, he also stitched a 99-run partnership with Stokes who made an enterprising 58 before being sent back by the chinaman again. Soon after the milestone, even Bairstow was castled by Sandakan to reduce the visitors to 254/5.

Foakes and Buttler

Ben Foakes and Jos Buttler also didn’t have auspicious outing as they could muster only 13 and 16 runs respectively. But Moeen Ali came out in the middle with a slice of luck. He rode it with him to remain unbeaten on 23 along with Adil Rashid who also scored 13 runs off 21 balls.

In the end, in 88.1 overs, England ended the day on 312/7 and with the pitch already turning, it will be a tall ask for Sri Lanka once again. It will also be interesting to see how much more England will add to their total in the first innings.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the day: