Bell, Vaughan & other England greats rate Dan Lawrence debut as Sri Lanka toil

Dan Lawrence scored 73 in his first Test innings and shared a 173-run partnership with centurion Joe Root as England continued to dominate Sri Lanka on day two of the first Test in Galle.

Dom Bess claimed a fortunate five-wicket haul and Stuart Broad chipped in with three wickets as England bowled Sri Lanka out for 135 on day one.

The tourists asserted their dominance today, with captain Root scoring an unbeaten 168 and Lawrence making his maiden Test fifty to give England a 185-run lead going into day three.

Essex star Lawrence was awarded his England cap with Rory Burns on paternity leave, Ollie Pope injured and Ben Stokes rested for the Sri Lanka series.

The 23-year-old made full use of his opportunity, making an assured 73 and providing apt support for Root, who scored his first Test century since 2019.

A number of former England stars have praised debutant Lawrence, with ex-captain Michael Vaughan insisting it looks as though he ‘belongs’ at Test level.

‘He looks a player,’ Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special. ‘He’s not faced a great attack but you’ve still got to do it.

‘He controlled his game. He played a drive through extra-cover – it was Pietersen-esque. He looks like a player who hasn’t been coached; he looks natural.

‘Lawrence seemed to be able to play the game like he has for Essex for the past few years. The top five for England is almost an embarrassment of riches.

‘Whichever players are still in the England side come January, they will have played extremely well because they have faced some quality this year.’

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