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Alastair Cook praises Joe Root's Sri Lanka masterclass


On fire: Joe Root hit 104 not out to help down Sri Lanka

On fire: Joe Root hit 104 not out to help down Sri Lanka


On fire: Joe Root hit 104 not out to help down Sri Lanka

Alastair Cook put Joe Root's "phenomenal" batting in an esteemed bracket after the Yorkshireman's third one-day international hundred of the year helped England to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

Root (104 not out) and James Taylor (68) made a mockery of the consensus that England would struggle to chase 240 on an awkward, spinning surface at the Pallekele International Stadium.

Instead, after the loss of both openers, the third-wicket pair put on 104 together and then Root stayed till the end, first in another important stand with Ravi Bopara and then to ensure a minor late wobble did not cost the tourists.

The win helped England reduce the series deficit to 3-2 with two more matches to play, and captain Cook compared Root's batsmanship to the "masterclass" he had witnessed from Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara 24 hours earlier.

Sangakkara made 91 out of 239 all out, eventually falling as one of Chris Woakes' six victims, before rain intervened between innings and left England with what seemed likely to be a tough task on the reserve day.

But Cook had plenty to smile about. "The way we bowled, first of all, was fantastic," he said. "It's great credit to Chris Woakes that he's got two of the best three sets of figures (for England in ODIs).

"Then the way James Taylor, and particularly Rooty, played was just phenomenal batting.

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"I thought the way Sanga played yesterday was a masterclass in batting, and I thought Rooty hit the same level as that.

"When Rooty went on and was there at the end that was in the same league."

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