SAINT LUCIA: Joe Root’s 16th Test century highlighted England’s first day of complete dominance in an otherwise disappointing Caribbean campaign as the captain anchored his team to an unassailable position by the end of the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.
His workmanlike unbeaten 111 off 209 deliveries included just nine boundaries and typified the tourists’ effort to make amends for previous failures in reaching stumps at 325 for four in their second innings, an overall lead of 448 runs with two days still available to push for a consolation victory having already surrendered the series and the Wisden Trophy with heavy defeats in the first two matches in Barbados and Antigua.
With the home side short-handed in the bowling department on the day due to an early injury to Keemo Paul, England took full advantage of the situation.
Root had never gone through an entire Test series without at least registering a half-century, and with just 55 runs from the five previous innings against a reinvigorated West Indies team he was due to come good.
It happened on a day when a few others in a suspect England batting order managed to get important runs under their belts.
Successive partnerships of 74 for the third wicket with Joe Denly (69), 107 for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler (56) and 71 so far for the fifth wicket with Ben Stokes (29 not out) ensured that the captain’s steadying influence was ever-present from the moment he arrived at the crease midway through the morning session.
Eschewing extravagance he compiled his innings carefully while those around him showed a bit more aggression against a depleted West Indies attack which left much of the burden on the shoulders of fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.
“It’s really pleasing to make a start count,” said Root at the end of the day. “I was frustrated in the first innings and I’m glad to make it count after getting in. I managed to find ways of scoring runs at times when I didn’t feel great but it felt like it clicked today.”
Cricket: South Africa World Cup squad
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa on Thursday named the following squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales:
Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wkt), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.
Sri Lanka dump Chandimal, bring back Thirimanne for World Cup
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Thursday dumped established stars including former captain Dinesh Chandimal to hand batsman Lahiru Thirimanne and leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay a place in their World Cup squad.
Chandimal, who was one-day captain until last October, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga were all left out of the 15-man squad.
Thirimanne and Vandersay along with all-rounders Milinda Siriwardana and Jeevan Mendis got places despite not playing in the one-day team for more than a year.
Left-handed batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, who was appointed captain on Wednesday, last played an ODI in March 2015.
Opening batsman Avishka Fernando and paceman Nuwan Pradeep were also named for the 50-over event which starts in England and Wales on May 30.
The 1996 champions kick off their campaign against New Zealand in Cardiff on June 1.
Sri Lanka squad:
Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal
Sri Lanka announce World Cup 2019 squad
COLOMBO: Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Jeevan Mendis made remarkable comebacks as Sri Lanka announced their 15-strong squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 on Thursday, 18 April.
Siriwardana and Vandersay last played one-day internationals in October 2017, while Jeevan Mendis’ previous appearance in the format came in the 2015 World Cup match against Afghanistan.
However, many of the regulars, including Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga and Akila Dananjaya, were excluded from the squad altogether, with Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Kasun Rajitha, and Wanindu Hasaranga placed on standby.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeffery Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana