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Thursday 23
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Cricket

Bairstow leads the way before England stutter

23rd November 2018, 12:28 by Nick Harris

Jonny Barstow looks to have secured his position at number three for England with a century in the third Test against Sri Lanka.

Bairstow was determined to fight back after being left out of the side following an ankle injury and losing the gloves to Ben Foakes, but has now stamped his mark on proceedings.

England finished the day on 312-7, with Moeen Ali (23) and Adil Rashid (13) still at the crease but will feel they should have done better after being 235-3 at one point.

The Three Lions' openers failed to make an impact as Rory Burns fell for 14 and Keaton Jennings 13 but skipper Joe Root got his head down to make 46 before being caught sweeping.

Ben Stokes was positive in his 57, hitting five fours and two sixes while Jos Buttler fell for just 16.

It was Bairstow who held it all together and, after stumps, he explained to Sky Sports the reasons behind his exuberant celebrations on reaching three figures.

"It means a lot different things, you get castigated for getting injured and people don’t see what's gone on, the bits behind the scenes when you’re doing your rehab. The things that people don’t see but they have an opinion on it.

"You've got to deliver when your asked to, you get left out of the side when you’ve not done too much wrong for a couple of years and all of a sudden your asked to bat in a role where you have not batted before so it’s an opportunity to learn on the job."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

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