Joe Root produced a timely return to form with 63 for Yorkshire in the second innings of their County Championship Division 1 match against Middlesex.
The England star failed first time around with the bat after falling LBW to England colleague Steve Finn for a duck but the 23-year-old, playing his first match since breaking his thumb in the West Indies in March, found his touch at Lord’s.
Root, who was dropped for the final Test of England’s disastrous tour of Australia, played some fine innings for his country – including 107 in the third ODI – in their limited overs tour of the Caribbean but runs in the longer format of the game would have been the order of the day for England’s selectors.
The Yorkshireman was at his fluent best at the ground he scored a brilliant 180 against the Australians last summer and he got his revenge on Finn after the first innings dismissal.
The right-handed batsman climbed into the 6ft 7” fast bowler to hook him for six and then hit him for three boundaries in the same over on his way to a 70-ball half-century.
But Finn, who showed his own return to form by following up first innings figures of 4-50 with another four, had the last laugh as he once again dismissed the acting Yorkshire captain LBW.
The Middlesex seamer was another who had a tour to forget Down Under but he has returned well and is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship so far this season.
The 25-year-old’s early season form could be enough to cement his place alongside James Anderson and Stuart Broad in England’s attack for the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka in June.
England are 8/13 for victory in Peter Moores’ first Test back in charge of the national team, while it is 9/4 the draw and 5/1 for a Sri Lanka win.
With plenty of England stars, including Root and Finn, finding their form in County cricket a new-look England look a good bet to win the series against the Sri Lankans at 4/9 with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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