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Root hits career-best 200 n.o. as England declares at 575-9; Sri Lanka on 140-1

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LONDON - Joe Root scored a career-best 200 not out as England immediately declared its first innings at 575-9 against Sri Lanka on Friday, the second day of the first test at Lord's.

Root made his double century off 298 deliveries, hitting 16 fours. The second hundred was much faster than the first, which took 183 balls. He was 102 overnight.

Sri Lanka replied strongly, with Kaushal Silva leading the visitors to 140-1 at the close of play with an unbeaten 62 and Kumar Sangakkara on 32 not out. Sri Lanka is 435 runs behind England.

Silva and fellow opener Dimuth Karunaratne earlier survived a seven-over spell to reach tea at 35 without loss, with Karunaratne enduring two scares.

First, he appealed an lbw decision given to James Anderson through a review, which showed the ball would have travelled over the stumps if it hadn't struck his front pad first. He then edged Stuart Broad's ball between Chris Jordan and Gary Ballance in the slips, much to Broad's dismay.

But Jordan made amends for missing the catch after tea by dismissing Karunaratne in the third ball of his first over in test cricket. The Sri Lankan edged the ball through to Matt Prior in the 13th over.

Silva nearly followed in the 29th when he was on 39, after edging the ball through to Prior off Broad again, but a replay showed the ball bounced inches before Prior.

Prior felt he had got to the ball in time, but accepted the decision was a close one.

"There is rubber on the tip of the keeping gloves, and that's what I felt. I thought it carried," he said, before adding that the hot conditions favour the batting side and will make things hard for England's bowlers.

"19 wickets will be tough but we've been here before, we know Lord's," Prior said. "We got a good score on the board and wanted to take it to the Sri Lankans but tomorrow is another day and we'll come and look to build pressure in the first hour."

Root's best score in his previous 15 tests was 180 in the Ashes on the same ground 11 months ago.

As soon as Root swept Rangana Herath behind square and ran two to reach 200, captain Alastair Cook declared in what was England's highest score against Sri Lanka.

Root was helped to the milestone by the tail. No. 10 batsman Liam Plunkett contributed an impressive 39, and last man Anderson came in with Root on 181, but negotiated five overs to help his teammate to the milestone.

Anderson got off the mark with an immaculately timed reverse-sweep to send Herath for four, but otherwise played carefully to aid his batting partner.

England resumed the day on 344-5 and accelerated their scoring, especially when Stuart Broad arrived.

Matt Prior, on 76 overnight, added 10 more before falling to Shaminda Eranga, who finished with 3-163.

Chris Jordan added 19, then Broad blasted nine fours in 47 off 37 balls, as England added 63 runs for the eighth wicket.

Root and Plunkett plundered another 82 for the ninth.

Sri Lankan head coach Marvan Atapattu was pleased with the batting performance from his side on the second day, after spending so long in the field.

"It turned out to be a good day, having fielded almost five sessions," Atapattu said. "At stumps yesterday, there were two in-form batsmen and the way we bowled at them early on wasn't the best but we came back.

"Kaushal Silva is a pretty organized player with a tremendous temperament. We need to put runs on the board and, where we can go, we'll have a better idea at the end of tomorrow."

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