England have recalled Ollie Robinson for their upcoming Test series against South Africa.

Robinson has dealt with a series of ailments since last playing for the Test team in the Ashes in January.

The seamer was beset by back spasms at the start of the English summer and later contracted coronavirus, also dealing with dental issues.

Now, though, Robinson will return to a group transformed by the leadership of new coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

Robinson was reportedly set to play only for the Lions team, before an injury to Jamie Overton created a space in the main team.

He is part of a 14-man group, which also includes Matthew Potts, a beneficiary of Robinson's absence earlier in the year.

Although Potts keeps his place, Sam Billings has made way with Ben Foakes' return from COVID-19.

England will play three Tests against South Africa, although this initial squad was confirmed only for the two August matches.

England Test squad to play South Africa:

Ben Stokes (Durham, captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Jack Leach (Somerset), Alex Lees (Durham), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Potts (Durham), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire).

Pakistan will host England for the first time in 17 years, it has been confirmed.

England have not toured Pakistan since 2005 due to security concerns, but will return for a seven-match T20 series in September.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja confirmed last month that an England tour of the country was in the works, with ESPNcricinfo having reported that an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) security team were to assess security arrangements.

The tour, which was originally set to be played in October 2021 but was cancelled after New Zealand withdrew from a series citing security issues, has now been confirmed. It will take place between September 20 and October 2, prior to the T20 World Cup, which is to be held in Australia.

England will then return to Pakistan for a three-match Test series in December.

Karachi will host the opening four T20s, taking place on September 20, 22, 23 and 25, with Lahore staging the final three, on September 28, 30 and October 2.

Zakir Khan, the PCB's director of international cricket, said: "We are absolutely delighted to confirm hosting England for seven T20Is in Karachi and Lahore as a curtain-raiser to a busy, entertaining and exciting season of home internationals.

"England [are] one of the top-ranked T20I teams and them playing the shortest format in the lead up to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Pakistan will not only help the team management to finalise their preparations, but will also set the tone for December's three-Test series.

"We demonstrated our event planning and operational skills in the highly successful series against Australia in March/April and I am confident we will be able to replicate these when England visit us for the first time since 2005."

ECB managing director of England men's cricket, Rob Key, added: "We have been liaising closely with the PCB over arrangements for this visit and the Tests later in the year, and will continue to work closely with the PCB, British High Commission and other relevant authorities as we continue to prepare for these tours."

Pakistan will also host New Zealand in December and January, as well as in April, with West Indies also set to tour the nation next year.

An independent review into Scottish cricket has found widespread evidence of institutional racism within the governance and organisation of the sport.

The report, undertaken following complaints of institutional racism by Scotland internationals Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh, revealed a staggering 448 indicators of discriminatory behaviour upon its publication.

Both Haq – Scotland's second-highest ODI wicket-taker of all time – and Sheikh alleged institutional racism had impacted their careers in November 2021, with the review being set up the following month.

Equality and diversity group Plan4Sport carried out the review on behalf of funding body SportScotland, and found "a lack of any equality, diversity and inclusion or anti-racist training for board, staff, volunteers, players, coaches or umpires, no consistent mechanism for handling racist incidents, [and] a general lack of diversity and a lack of transparency in the selection processes".

Of 31 'tests' used to measure the extent of the problem, the game's governing body Cricket Scotland failed 29. 

On Sunday, Cricket Scotland's entire board resigned ahead of the publication of the report.

With the review's findings revealed in full on Monday, Cricket Scotland's interim chief executive Gordon Arthur pledged to implement its recommendations, which included diversity quotas for the organisation's new board, in full.

"The racism and discrimination that has taken place in the sport that we all love should never have been allowed to happen, or to go unchallenged for so long," Arthur said in a statement.

"I would like to again issue a heartfelt apology to all those who have been the victims of racism and discrimination in Scottish cricket. We recognise the impact this will have had on individuals and their families. 

"We hope the report provides them with some reassurance that their voices have been heard, and we are sorry this did not happen sooner.

"It's also imperative that we recognise the individuals who spoke out against racism and brought these serious problems to light and, despite their own suffering, continue to campaign for a fairer future for the sport.

"This report is a watershed moment for cricket in Scotland and taking its recommendations forward is the top priority. It’s clear that significant cultural change must happen and it must happen quickly.

"We are resolute on building and fostering a culture of inclusivity within the sport of cricket where racism and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, where everyone is welcome and has access to equal opportunities. 

"We must address the past, repair the sport and ensure history does not repeat itself and we will need everyone’s commitment to make this change happen."

Former England batter Jonathan Trott has replaced Graham Thorpe as Afghanistan head coach. 

Thorpe took the role with Afghanistan in March, just two months after being dismissed from his job as an assistant coach with England following another Ashes thrashing against Australia. 

The 52-year-old fell seriously ill only two months after his appointment, with Raees Khan operating on an interim basis. 

But the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have made a permanent appointment by offering Trott his first senior head coach role on Friday. 

"I'm honoured and excited to have the opportunity to take one of international cricket's most exciting teams through what is a huge year for their development as a team," he said in an ACB statement. 

"I can't wait to get to work with a group of players who are clearly capable of generating results in a style that will make the people of Afghanistan proud." 

Trott will begin his tenure with the five-match T20I series in Ireland in August before the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the second T20 World Cup in as many years in Australia between October and November. 

The 41-year-old has previous experience working alongside Mark Robinson as Warwickshire's assistant coach, before being a batting coach with England, England Lions and Scotland. 

Former middle-order batter Trott has also worked with Trent Rockets in England's domestic competition The Hundred and operated as part of Kent's backroom staff. 

During his playing career, Trott appeared in 52 Tests for England and scored 3,835 runs at an average of 44.1, including nine centuries and a high score of 226. 

He also played in 68 ODIs, amassing 2,819 runs at an average of 51.3 with four hundreds and 22 half-centuries, and made seven appearances in T20Is. 

Jonny Bairstow has vowed to carry on playing for England in all three formats in international cricket – even if the workload has become too much for Test captain Ben Stokes.

Yorkshireman Bairstow won his 94th ODI cap for England in Friday's clash with South Africa at Old Trafford, and he has also played 87 Tests and 63 T20I matches.

Coming up for his 33rd birthday in September, Bairstow is eager to stay involved at the highest level "for as long as possible". Stokes quit the ODI team this week to focus on Tests and T20I commitments.

Bairstow feels the 50-over game remains an essential step for anyone keen to earn "a quick buck" in T20 leagues, and said the same applied for first-class cricket.

He told Sky Sports: "Naturally there are challenges, we've seen that over a period of time now.

"We only have to look at the Tests this summer where there was a one-day squad over in Holland at the same time. Even at the back end of this summer, there are the seven T20s in Pakistan that pretty much overlap with the last Test match [against South Africa].

"But you know me well enough to know that I will be trying to play all forms for as long as possible.

"I will be going all out for as long as I can. There might come a time that, for different reasons, you do have to make a decision but that's part of life and part and parcel of cricket.

"In the near future, I don't see myself making a choice. I love being part of all three squads."

Bairstow described ODIs as "a stepping stone into Test cricket", given the game is not typically as frenetic as the T20I format, with solid technique and patience required.

He is enjoying a stellar year at international level, albeit he had a disappointing spell with Punjab Kings in the lucrative IPL, scoring just 253 runs in 21 innings.

Players can earn big money from competing in such competitions, but Bairstow believes developing a solid game by playing longer-format cricket is imperative.

"There is the lure of playing in T20 leagues and making a quick buck, let's be honest about that," Bairstow said. "But, everything comes from your basic technique, which you learn in four-day cricket – and then you expand from that."

Sunil Gavaskar says he would only need "about 20 minutes" to tell former India captain Virat Kohli how he can come out of his slump.

Kohli has not made an international century since he reached three figures in a Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.

The 33-year-old endured a miserable tour of England, scoring only 31 runs combined in his two innings of the rearranged final Test at Edgbaston before failing to make it to 20 in his four white-ball knocks against Jos Buttler's side.

Kohli has been rested for the white-ball tour of the Caribbean and there have been calls for one of India's greatest batters to be dropped.

India legend Gavaskar would welcome the chance to help the country's former skipper to turn his fortunes around.

"Having been an opening batter, having been troubled by that line, there are certain things that you try and do." Gavaskar told India Today.

"It goes back to the fact that his first mistake turns out to be his last.

"Again, just because he is not amongst the runs, there is this anxiety to play at every delivery because that is what batters feel, they have got to score.

"You look to play at deliveries that you otherwise won't. But he has gotten out to good deliveries as well on this particular tour."

Gavaskar added: "If I had about 20 minutes with him, I would be able to tell him the things he might have to do.

"It might help him, I am not saying it will help him, but it could, particularly with regards to that off-stump line."

Pakistan made history as they completed an impressive victory over Sri Lanka in Galle, hunting down a venue record total of 342 to notch a four-wicket win.

The tourists went into the final day needing a further 120 runs with seven wickets remaining to claim one of their highest-ever pursuits in Test cricket.

Steered by Abdullah Shafique's unbeaten 160, the tourists managed to knock off the remaining tally with relative ease, posting an eventual score of 344-6.

The chase did not quite match Pakistan's best of 377 - also against Sri Lanka in Pallakele in 2015 - but exceeded the record pursuit in Galle, set by the hosts against New Zealand in 2019 when they notched 268.

The result also marks a major shift for both in the World Test Championship rankings, moving Pakistan up to third and giving them a shot of making next year's final.

They now only trail South Africa and Australia, while defeat drops Sri Lanka from third to sixth, moving India up to fourth and the West Indies into fifth.

The hosts will have a chance to strike back on Sunday when the second Test starts in Galle once more.

"England have won the World Cup – by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins. Absolute ecstasy for England. Agony, agony for New Zealand!"

Those were the words from commentator Ian Smith that stick long in the memory from the dramatic 2019 World Cup final, England winning the 50-over competition after a culmination of four years of planning.

But Smith's dramatic exclamation, the spectacle, and the complete chaos at Lord's would not have been possible without Christchurch-born Ben Stokes.

England were reeling at 86-4 chasing 242 in tricky conditions against an unrelenting New Zealand attack, before Stokes – aided by a fortuitous dive – struck an unbeaten 84 to take the final to a Super Over.

Not satisfied with his fifth half-century of the tournament, and arguably the greatest white-ball innings of all time, Stokes added eight runs in the subsequent Super Over as England were crowned world champions on the bizarre boundary countback ruling.

The all-rounder's crowning moment in white-ball cricket came just three years after conceding four consecutive sixes in the last over of the T20 World Cup final as Carlos Braithwaite powered West Indies to victory.

That response typified the gritty character of Stokes, whose decision on Monday came to prolong his Test captaincy and career with England.

Here, Stats Perform looks back at the data underpinning a remarkable ODI career, which came to an end after Stokes' last outing against South Africa at home ground Durham on Tuesday.

Australian dominance

Stokes will further haunt Australian cricket after his Headingley heroics, though he laid the platform for years of torment in ODI cricket.

The 31-year-old posted his maiden ODI fifty against Australia in Perth in 2014 and recorded his best career figures in the format against England's fierce rivals, taking 5-61 in 2013 at Southampton.

He also managed his highest score in 50-over internationals against Australia, finishing unbeaten on 102 in the Champions Trophy in 2017 at Edgbaston in a one-sided victory for England.

Despite playing his most ODIs against India (20), Stokes accumulated his most runs against a single country when playing Australia (652 in 17 matches).

While enjoying various clashes with Australia, Stokes' ODI career ended with somewhat of a whimper, managing just 48 runs in three innings against India before scoring only five in his final match at Durham.

Though failing to deliver in the closing stages of a glittering 50-over international career that spanned 11 years, Stokes retired having scored 2,924 runs at an average of 38.98.

That included three centuries, 21 fifties and just six ducks, having bludgeoned 238 fours and 88 maximums. His strike rate of 95.26 is the sixth-highest among England batters to have played over 50 innings.

With the ball, Stokes bowled 518.2 overs – 3,110 deliveries – and claimed 74 dismissals at an average of 42.39, going at just over a run-a-ball six runs per over throughout his career.

The complete cricketer

"No way! No, no way! You cannot do that, Ben Stokes," Nasser Hussain exclaimed on Sky Sports as Stokes produced a remarkable leap and one-handed catch over his head to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo in England's World Cup opening 104-run win over South Africa in 2019.

Stokes will take rightful plaudits for his batting and bowling achievements, but credit must also be granted for his fielding ability – a star in all three facets of the game.

Only seven players have taken more catches for England in ODI cricket than the 49 of Stokes.

He is also part of an exclusive club of players to take three catches in a single ODI innings for England, with Chris Woakes (four against Pakistan in 2019) the only player to take more in one match.

Employed in the hot zones where the ball is expected to go, whether that be deep-midwicket, long-on or extra cover, Jos Buttler's side will sorely miss Stokes' athleticism and gun fielding.

Leaving a Lord's legacy

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The inevitability of Stokes' Lord's heroics was undeniable, though none could expect victory to come about in the fashion it did.

He scored five fifties and averaged 66.4 across 10 innings in the World Cup that ended with the defining innings of a game viewed by many as the greatest of all time.

Yet without a contentious umpiring decision in a moment of carnage and a Trent Boult overstep on the boundary, Stokes would never had the opportunity to be the hero for England.

Stokes, requiring nine off three to win the final, produced a despairing dive and saw his outstretched bat deflect the ball to the boundary for four overthrows and six runs in total – a clear umpiring mistake.

But with two needed off the final ball, Stokes opted to nudge a full toss into the leg side, appreciating a one would keep England in the game as opposed to taking the risk of being caught, such was his calculated thinking amid the chaos in Lord's sun.

More heroics were to follow in the Super Over, smashing eight off just three balls to take England to 15 before Buttler and Jason Roy's run-out of Martin Guptill sealed a memorable triumph.

Fittingly, Stokes finished with five fours and two sixes in his match-defining 84 off 98 deliveries, the most times a player found the rope in the final that was decided by boundary countback.

If his ODI legacy is defined by one game, it should be the one in which he held his nerve while chaos ensued all around him.

Ben Stokes hopes his ODI retirement will prolong his Test career, as he reiterated his belief the current schedule makes it "unsustainable" for him to continue in all three formats.

Stokes, who has won his first four Tests since taking over as England's red-ball captain, will make his final ODI appearance against South Africa at Durham on Tuesday.

The all-rounder was instrumental in England's crowning achievement in the format, producing a remarkable 84 not out and registering eight in an enthralling Super Over to steer the side to victory in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand.

The 31-year-old will play his 105th ODI against the Proteas, having averaged 39.44 runs and taken a total of 74 wickets across his previous 104 outings in the format.

Speaking to Nasser Hussain for Sky Sports ahead of his one-day swansong, Stokes shed further light on his decision to focus on Test and Twenty20 cricket.

"It was a number of things, I think the schedule, everything that's expected of us these days is just, for me... it feels unsustainable," he said.

"It was actually after the first one-day game [against India last week], one person I spoke to [said] probably the best thing that was said to me, which was, 'if there's any doubt, there's no doubt'.

"As I said in my statement, this England shirt deserves 100 per cent of whoever wears it, and unfortunately, I didn't like the feeling of not being able to contribute in the way that I want to be able to. As an all-rounder I want to contribute with the bat, I want to contribute with the ball.

"Also [I didn't like the feeling of] stopping someone else being able to progress in this format for England, who I know is desperate to go out there and able to give the captain and the coach 100 per cent of themselves.

"When I thought about it long and hard and realised I don't think I can do that in all three formats after how the body felt after the Test series, it was easy, knowing that I can't go out there and give my all."

Stokes, who has made 83 Test appearances for his country, revealed giving up one of the white-ball formats to prolong his career was something he had considered for some time.

But he admitted he struggled to choose between ODI and T20 cricket, adding: "Yeah, it was never going to be an easy one.

"I always knew that at some point, I'd have to choose one of the white-ball formats to continue with, I just didn't know which one.

"After that one-day game, it just hit me in the face. I had a quick chat with Jos [Buttler] after the game and said if the game was in a different situation, I would've carried on bowling.

"Now, being the captain of the Test team, and with how much cricket we've got coming up, I've also got to bear in mind that I've got to look after my body because I want to play as long as I possibly can. 

"I look at the way Jimmy and Broady's careers have gone when they stopped playing white-ball cricket, and that's what I want to do. I want to play 140 or 150 Test matches for England.

"It's come a lot earlier than I would have liked it to, at 31 years of age, to give one of the formats up, but there's longevity that I've thought about.

"Hopefully when I'm 35 or 36 and still playing Test cricket and T20 cricket, I can look back on this decision and say I'm very happy with the decision I made."

England men's managing director Rob Key could not foresee Ben Stokes' Test captaincy starting in such a promising fashion.

Stokes and Brendon McCullum were appointed as the new captain-coach combination following April's resignation of Joe Root, who had won just one of his past 17 Tests as skipper.

The new leadership duo have restored interest in the five-day game, with their enthralling and attacking approach to red-ball cricket enticing crowds up and down the country.

England started their new era with a 3-0 series whitewash over world Test champions New Zealand, chasing scores of over 250 on each occasion, but saved their best for the rescheduled clash with India.

McCullum's side were set 378 to win by India at Edgbaston and England duly obliged, completing their highest Test chase with relative ease to record a memorable seven-wicket victory.

South Africa are the next to visit in a three-Test series before England tour Pakistan in the longest format of the game, and Key cannot believe the start Stokes has made to life as captain.

"I never thought it would work like this," Key told BBC Test Match Special. "There will be times when it won't work, but for now it's been fantastic to see."

McCullum has previously lamented the use of the term 'Bazball', referencing the New Zealand great's willingness to embrace an attacking approach, and Key suggested he is also uneasy with the phrase.

"I'm not mad on Bazball the phrase," Key added. "It's not something I particularly enjoy because it devalues what Ben and Brendon have done.

"They've been so premeditated almost and methodical in the way they've spoken to people and that's what's made the difference and let them get to this point which is so much more than, 'Oh, we're just going to go out there and look to be positive and play a few shots'.

"Brendon will at times on purpose say to one of the players like Ollie Pope 'I can't get to the ground, give us a lift' and that's when he's doing his work with them.

"There have been all these moments when they have made sure that they've used the right terminology and that's what's bred the confidence."

Key was tasked with transforming English cricket after his appointment as managing director, and his first steps to appoint McCullum appeared somewhat a risk.

McCullum boasted coaching experience in franchise cricket with the Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders, yet he had never been in charge of a first-class side despite captaining New Zealand.

"I saw it as though I had two choices," Key added. "Did the England team, the Test team in particular, need someone who was going to be like a drill sergeant, a real hard taskmaster who's going to be really tough on them and try and drive them in that way?

"I felt they needed someone to just take the pressure off them a little bit. I wanted someone who, with the talented players that we had, just freed them up a bit and got them out there to be the best players they possibly can be."

Ben Stokes has taken Test cricket by storm with his attacking approach to captaining England, but the all-rounder must value his wicket more.

That is the message from former England batter Kevin Pietersen, who hailed the start Stokes has made as skipper, winning each of his first four Tests.

Stokes and Brendon McCullum have restored interest in the five-day game, with their aggressive intent in the longest format resulting in a series whitewash of New Zealand and victory over India.

In each of those victories, England have chased down scores of more than 275 runs and they saved their best until last with a seven-wicket win over India, completing their highest Test chase of 378 with ease.

Yorkshire duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root have been the standout performers for McCullum's side, and Pietersen believes the attitude of Stokes is refreshing for the England set-up and cricket in general.

"They're doing something incredible. The last few run chases, pretty much record-breaking. I have been watching it in astonishment," Pietersen said after playing the Old Course, St Andrews ahead of the 150th Open Championship.

"We were all astonished by Ben Stokes winning the toss and saying, 'we'll chase'. I mean, I'd never heard of that in my life. I was standing with Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, and we were like, 'did he just say that?'

"No one's ever said that before and, fair play, if you're going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. The wickets have been very good, so they've been able to do that.

"Can you do that in India on day three, day four of a Test match? I'm not so sure but I think these guys are good enough.

"And if they play with that freedom, of spirit and mind, they can achieve some cool things. I'm all in to watch how it goes."

Stokes has courted criticism for embodying England's approach too excessively after somewhat cheap dismissals against New Zealand and India, though, and Pietersen urged for caution from the captain.

"The only thing I do see and want to see is that he does value his wicket a little more than then what I saw in Birmingham, he's too good a player to slog it straight in the air," he added.

"He's too good a player to do that. Just have a look at how Bairstow played has played with freedom of spirit, freedom of mind.

"He accessed all areas of the ground and he puts so much pressure on the opposition. I just think Ben is better than that, and I'm sure he'll accept that, and he'll know that I just want to see him flourishing."

Bairstow has set the benchmark for 'Bazball', an endearing term for McCullum's attacking approach that the New Zealand legend is not too great a fan of.

The 32-year-old scored the second-fastest Test hundred for England at Trent Bridge before reaching three figures in three of his next four innings, the only exception being a rapid 71 not out at Headingley.

His unbeaten 114 against India marked his sixth century of 2022, which is the most by a player while batting at number five or lower in a calendar year and joint-most by an England batter in the same time period (level with Root), and Pietersen backed Bairstow to continue playing freely.

"There's no real pressure because he's not being frowned upon by the powers that be, he is being asked by the senior management to play that way," he continued.

"I think it's a privilege to be able to go out there and just express yourself. The balls up, just give it a smack and everybody says instead of smacking it that hard, I want you to smack it harder – awesome, no pressure."

An unbeaten double century from Dinesh Chandimal and a six-wicket haul for Prabath Jayasuriya guided Sri Lanka to an emphatic win over Australia to level the two-Test series.

Sri Lanka completed their win by an innings and 39 runs on day four.

Chandimal had earlier watched on as Kamindu Mendis (61) was bowled by Mitchell Swepson without adding to his overnight score, with Niroshan Dickwella (5) following to Nathan Lyon (2-194).

But Ramesh Mendis (29) provided ample support to Chandimal by surviving for 98 balls, as the latter brought up his double hundred with consecutive sixes against Mitchell Starc.

Chandimal was the last man standing on 206 – the highest score by a Sri Lankan against Australia in men's Tests – as Starc (4-89) and Swepson (3-103) cleaned up the tail with the hosts 190 runs ahead.

Sri Lanka continued in the ascendancy as Ramesh Mendis removed David Warner for 24, with the score on 49-1, after Dickwella earlier missed a stumping chance to remove Usman Khawaja when on just two.

Khawaja did not capitalise on that chance, falling for 29 to Jayasuriya (6-59), who removed Steve Smith without scoring four balls later, before Travis Head (5) failed in his defence against Ramesh Mendis (2-47).

Marnus Labuschagne (32) and Cameron Green (23) offered brief resistance but both were dismissed by Jayasuriya, who completed his second five-for of the Test when Starc departed for a two-ball duck.

Maheesh Theekshana (2-48) then trapped Pat Cummins (16) and Lyon (5) in front, before Jayasuriya dismissed Swepson (0) for his 12th wicket of the match to bowl the tourists out for 151 and seal Sri Lanka's first Test victory over Australia since 2016.

Dreamy Dinesh joined by Jayasuriya

Chandimal posted his maiden Test double century as he surpassed his previous high score of 164 against India in 2017 to press home Sri Lanka's advantage and help his side to a memorable win.

Kumar Sangakkara previously held the highest Sri Lanka Test score against Australia (192 in November 2007), but Chandimal eased past that benchmark with a remarkable 16 fours and five sixes in 326 balls.

Where's your Head at?

Head has struggled in the series against Sri Lanka, posting double figures in just one of three innings – though a high score of 12 leaves a lot to be desired.

More concerningly, Head has been bowled on two of his three dismissals, leading to questions over his defensive technique on spin-friendly, challenging pitches in the subcontinent.

Jonny Bairstow has been named as the ICC Player of the Month after run-laden Test outings against New Zealand and India.

The England batter appeared to be feeling the pressure after opening the Test against New Zealand with scores of one and 16 at Lord's, before managing just eight at Trent Bridge.

However, Bairstow delivered a knock for the ages in the second innings in Nottingham, scoring England's second-fastest Test century – from 77 balls – as the hosts chased 299 with ease.

The 32-year-old finished unbeaten on 136 before he plundered 162 in the following Test at Headingley, having come in at 21-4, and combined in a vital 209-run partnership with debutant Jamie Overton.

Bairstow continued to frustrate New Zealand in the second innings at Leeds, breezing to 71 not out, as England comfortably reached their target of 296 to complete a series whitewash of the Black Caps.

But more fireworks from Bairstow were to follow against India in the rescheduled final Test, with the Yorkshireman crafting 106 – his third century in four innings – to keep England in the first-innings contest.

India subsequently set England 378 to win and Brendon McCullum's side obliged to complete their highest successful chase in five-day cricket, Bairstow finishing unbeaten on 114 alongside Joe Root (142 not out).

That marked a sixth century of 2022 for Bairstow, which is the most by a player while batting at number five or lower in a calendar year and joint-most by an England batter in the same time period (level with Root).

Bairstow's efforts have been recognised by cricket's governing body and he will now eye further success in the upcoming three-Test series at home to South Africa before heading to Pakistan.

"I would like to thank the fans for voting for me as the ICC Men's Player of the Month," he said.

"It has been an incredible five weeks for England. It has been a positive start to our summer with four excellent wins against high-class opposition in New Zealand and India.

"We are enjoying our cricket as a team and playing with clarity and positivity. Even though I have scored four centuries in this period, I would like to acknowledge my team-mates who have been excellent in every department and are playing with immense confidence."

Dinesh Chandimal put Sri Lanka in control of the second Test against Australia with an unbeaten century on day three.

The hosts, playing in Galle amid the backdrop of political unrest in the country, picked up where they left off at the end of day two as they continued to excel with the bat to reach 431-6 at stumps in response to Australia's 364 all out.

Sri Lanka resumed on 184-2, but Kusal Mendis – one of the stars of the second day – added just one to his overnight total as he went for 85.

However, Sri Lanka found stability in the form of ex-captain Angelo Mathews (52) and Chandimal (118 not out), who combined for an 83-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Australia paid the price for wasting their reviews on unsuccessful leg before appeals against both Mathews and Chandimal, leaving them with none to use when Nathan Lyon trapped Mathews with a delivery that DRS showed would have hit the stumps and when ultra edge showed Chandimal had edged Mitchell Starc behind on 30.

Marnus Labuschagne's catch at short leg did eventually end Mathews' innings, but Australia found no way through the defences of Chandimal, who brought up his hundred with a quick single off Lyon.

Chandimal found yet more support from Kamindu Mendis, who struck 61 on debut, and will look to work with the tail to make Australia toil further after guiding Sri Lanka to a lead of 67 runs at the close.

Lucky 13 for Chandimal

Chandimal's century was his 13th in Test cricket and his second of the year following his 124 in Bangladesh in May. He will now look to go beyond his high score of 164 against India in 2017 and press home Sri Lanka's advantage.

Sri Lanka's show of strength

Encapsulating Australia's struggles to make inroads, this innings marked the first time five Sri Lanka batters have scored 50 or more against them. Additionally, this is only the fifth time five of Sri Lanka's top six have scored half-centuries.

Sri Lanka provided a fine response to keep themselves in the conversation on day two of their second Test against Australia, whom they trail by 180 runs after reaching 184-2 at stumps.

The tourists added 66 runs to their day-one total at the start of the action on Saturday before Sri Lanka began what looked to be a fairly daunting reply to 364.

Set against the backdrop of mass anti-government protests amid an economic crisis in the country, with demonstrations reaching the stadium in Galle, anyone would have forgiven Sri Lanka for being distracted.

But they were locked-in throughout on what was an impressive day for them all round on the pitch.

Steve Smith picked up where he left off on day one to ultimately finish on 145 not out, but after Alex Carey (28) was dismissed, Australian batsmen dropped like flies as they put on just 35 runs for their last four wickets partly thanks to Prabath Jayasuriya's (6-118) tremendous six-for on debut.

Sri Lanka's innings started poorly, with Pathum Nissanka sent packing for six by Mitchell Starc (1-28) in the ninth over to leave them 12-1.

Dimuth Karunaratne (86) was then almost run out on 18 and also had a lucky escape just before tea when nearly finding the clutches of Mitchell Swepson (1-31).

But there were otherwise few scares for Sri Lanka as Australia's attack faded in the face of Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (84 not out).

That was until Swepson's return, as he slammed a delivery into Karunaratne's pads to snare him leg before.

Mendis continued to elude Australia, however, providing a steadying a presence as Sri Lanka reached the close in good shape.

Jayasuriya has a day to remember

On his Test debut, Jayasuriya produced a memorable showing with the ball. His performance undoubtedly proved key in preventing Australia reaching 400.

His figures are the second best by a Sri Lankan bowler on a Test debut, with only Praveen Jayawickrama (6-92) against Bangladesh in 2021 doing better.

Mendis, Karunaratne frustrate Australia

Mendis and Karunaratne may not have put on runs at a devastating rate, but that is not always what is required in Test cricket. They were playing the long game and it worked.

Australia's attack did not provide Sri Lanka with the opportunities to quickly build a big total, but their second-wicket stand kept the hosts on track and they head into day three in a good position thanks to the pair.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.