Cricket - Batsmen put England in ascendancy

Joe Root proved himself unfazed by David Warner's weekend attack, scoring a fluent half-century as England posted an impressive 293 for seven against Champions Trophy opponents Sri Lanka.

PA Sport
Cricket - Batsmen put England in ascendancy
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Joe Root was not deterred by recent off-field headlines at the Oval today

Cricket Australia today banned Warner until the first Ashes Test for his attack on Root in a Birmingham bar, but the Englishman was calmness personified as he made 68 in 55 balls.

Alastair Cook (59) and Jonathan Trott (76) also helped set a strong foundation, with Ravi Bopara smashing 28 runs off Shaminda Eranga in the final over to give England's tally a huge boost.

England's method has been much debated, with the focus on preserving wickets in the first half of the innings and opening up in the later stages. But they are committed to it and followed a familiar pattern after being asked to bat first this afternoon.

Openers Cook and Ian Bell scored 38 from the 10-over powerplay, with the the latter scoring three out of four boundaries. Crucially, they had survived Lasith Malinga's opening spell but Bell was first down for 20 when he carelessly flicked Shaminda Eranga straight to midwicket.

Cook was dropped by Tillakaratne Dilshan at backward point on 23 but he and Trott were quickly into a pattern of steady accumulation. Cook's half-century came from 72 balls but he could not kick on, despite being dropped by Dilshan for a second time on 56.

He faced just five more balls before being given lbw sweeping Rangana Herath, the second-wicket stand halted at 89 from 17 overs. The metronomic Trott reached fifty in 63 balls, including 36 singles, to take England to the batting powerplay at 164 for two.

Yorkshireman Root was reprieved on 35, Malinga denied by Dilshan's third, and hardest, drop of the day and quickly cashed in to reach his fourth one-day international half-century in 43 balls. Trott made way with eight overs remaining, Herath collecting his second lbw, having performed his anchor role to perfection.

Root delighted the crowd with a reverse lap off Nuwan Kulasekara and then was dropped on 56 when Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews distracted each other. Sri Lanka then struck three times in six balls, Malinga having Root caught in the deep and winning a dubious lbw verdict against Eoin Morgan, while Jos Buttler nicked Kulasekara behind for a duck.

Tim Bresnan also fell for seven, before Bopara's late fireworks. The Essex man hit Eranga for three superb sixes - the pick a thundering blow over extra-cover - to finish 33 not out from just 13 deliveries.

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