England Lions v Sri Lankans, Derby, 2nd day May 20, 2011

Dernbach happy to give Sri Lanka a tough time

Jade Dernbach knows he's unlikely to be featuring in England's Test squad early this season, but was delighted to be able to play a part in giving the Sri Lankans a tough warm-up ahead of the series which starts next week in Cardiff. His 5 for 44 helped remove the vistiors for 266 and leave the Lions with the option of enforcing the follow-on in the morning.

Having watched the Lions pile up 493 for 8, the Sri Lankan top order then subsided to 97 for 6 before lower-order resistance gave some respectability to their total. However, it will be a concern that the likes of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara only have one more innings before the Test match and Sri Lanka's problems against a strong pace attack will have been noted.

"Anything we can do to hamper their preparations is amazing," Dernbach said. "So if we can put them on the back foot leading into that first Test that will be job done for us. The boys came out with a real intensity and it was a great effort to bowl them out in under a day."

Dernbach's figures were boosted by clean-bowling the final two batsmen with consecutive deliveries, leaving him on a hat-trick in the second innings. The earlier job of dismantling the top order was shared with Graham Onions and Ajmal Shahzad who claimed two apiece. Shahzad is the leading contender to be named in the 12-man Test squad on Sunday in place of the injured Tim Bresnan.

Much like Eoin Morgan's 193 which set up the Lions' strong position, Dernbach's success is unlikely to mean very much in the short-term planning of the selectors. He is more likely to come into consideration for the one-day internationals following his late World Cup call-up, but is just keen to keep his name firmly in Geoff Miller's thinking.

"I'm just new on the scene so all I can do is put performances together and keep my name there or thereabouts," he said. "Things are out of my hands but if I can keep performing other things will take care of themselves.

"We've got four top-quality seams vying for one position so it's just nice to put yourself on show and to come out with five wickets was great."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samuel on May 22, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Blake - I see your point, but I'd like to see how much Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Samaraweera average away from home. I know Samaraweera, for example, has an excellent record in home conditions around the subcontinent but not so much away. You'd think Kumar and Mahela are class enough to be able to bat anywhere and score heavily though. For this reason I'd have loved to have seen some tests this summer at grounds like Old Trafford and the Riverside; grounds England traditionally do well at, and pitches that most definitely offer something to bowlers as well as batsmen, to really test out the opposition. You'd back players like Jayawardene and Tendulkar to rise to the challenge, but you just never know.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    People talk up england too much, england only has 1 batsman averaging over 50 which is Trott. SL has 3, india has 4, Aus has 2. That being said englands batters are all above 40-45 so they are still good batsman.

  • Dummy4 on May 21, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Good fightback by the Sri Lankans today, much needed !

  • Samuel on May 21, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    I like the attitude - I remember on older tours to Australia that the state sides and Australia B sides would always give England a torrid time, setting the tone of the tour almost from the get-go. If the Lions can start doing this to touring sides (and with sides as strong as this one, they'll make life difficult for a lot of them), then it can contribute to England becoming an incredibly tough place to come and tour.

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