Debutant Ben Foakes’ impressive 87 not out led England’s recovery after another batting collapse on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka, reports BBC.
England lost five wickets before lunch as poor shot selection saw them slip to the perilous position of 103-5 after winning the toss in Galle.
But wicketkeeper Foakes’ 184-ball knock took England to 321-8 at the close.
Sam Curran also scored 48 in a partnership of 88 with Foakes, who also put on 61 with Jos Buttler.
Foakes was one of two England debutants in the team – along with opener Rory Burns, who took Alastair Cook’s place at the top of the order – while bowler Stuart Broad was left out.
Burns was out for nine in the third over and when four more wickets fell in the morning session it looked as though England could be bowled out for a small total.
But Foakes, Buttler and Curran showed greater patience than the top order and guided their team to a much-improved position, which gives England a platform in the match on a spinning wicket.
They lost two wickets in two balls in the third over, with Burns caught down the leg side and number three Moeen Ali bowled first ball, both dismissed by seamer Suranga Lakmal.
That brought captain Root to the crease and he looked keen to advance down the pitch and attack, hitting four fours in nine balls early on in his innings.
Root put on 62 from 81 balls with opener Keaton Jennings, with the run rate at one stage above five an over.
The England captain’s method of coming down the pitch to Sri Lanka’s spinners proved to be his downfall though, as he advanced to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath but yorked himself and was bowled.
Jennings was also busy at the crease and played a number of conventional and reverse sweeps in reaching 46 from 53 balls – his highest score since being recalled to the team in the summer – but was then out playing a poor cut shot to a ball that went on to hit leg stump from Dilruwan Perera.
The off-spinner then claimed the wicket of Ben Stokes as the all-rounder also tried to sweep but left his stumps exposed and was bowled around his legs.