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Root retains victory hope

England Lions

Joe Root

Joe Root believes there is still plenty to play for at Scarborough. "There's no reason why we can't win this game," said the opener

Joe Root feels England Lions can still record a win over Sri Lanka A in their tour game at Scarborough, after he helped to erase a first-innings deficit of 90 on day three.

The 20-year-old Yorkshire batsman, making his debut for the Lions, struck 66 at the top of the order and shared in an opening partnership of 98 with Alex Hales after the tourists had added 60 to their overnight score of 329 for eight.

Root's efforts helped his side to 182 for three at stumps, a lead of 92, and he believes there is still every chance of a positive result at North Marine Road.

When asked if the Lions still believe they can come out on top, Root responded: "Definitely. I think if we get a good score and bowl like we did in the first innings with a bit more luck, there's no reason why we can't win this game.

"It's a great cricket wicket, there's a bit in it for everyone. If you get in on it, it's nice to bat on and hopefully we can get a good partnership again tomorrow morning, which will put us in a good position for the rest of the game."

After bringing up an impressive half-century, Root was dismissed when he chipped Sachithra Serasinghe to mid-on.

The other two Lions batsmen to lose their wicket today, Hales and Ravi Bopara, each fell victim to Sachithra Senanayake, the off-spinner who returned figures of 5-47 on day one.

Senanayake had Hales and Bopara caught at first slip with deliveries from around the wicket that appeared to go on with the arm and Root explained: "It is that sort of pitch where the odd one does spin, so he can beat you on both sides.

"I think that will be good for Samit (Patel) and Scotty (Borthwick) in their second innings. Hopefully they'll be able to do some damage for us."

Root has been a regular in Yorkshire's first team this year, but admits he wasn't expecting to be called into the Lions squad for this fixture.

"I was quite surprised at my selection in a nice way, and to be a part of it all has been fantastic," he continued.

"Just to get the opportunity, I'm really pleased. Hopefully if I get another opportunity I can do well again.

"I try not to set too many targets, I just want to enjoy my cricket as much as I can and try and play to the best of my ability. If that gets me further in the game, that's fantastic."

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