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Plays of the day from the 1st day of the 1st Test between England and Sri Lanka at Cardiff
May 26, 2011
DRS moment of the day
After all the gripes and controversies surrounding DRS in the World Cup, its first outing of the English season provoked another uneasy moment, in spite (or rather, because of) the fact that the third umpire, Rod Tucker, had all the tools at his disposal. Kumar Sangakkara's first innings back in the ranks had been launched with typical composure, but on 11 James Anderson darted a jaffa past his outside edge. Initial replays suggested there had been no contact with bat, but Hotspot - conspicuously absent at the World Cup - wasn't so convinced. The slightest hint of warmth on Sangakkara's willow was enough to condemn him to the pavilion, and Snicko later confirmed that the right decision had been made. But it wasn't exactly a howler that had been rectified, as per the recent ICC guidelines.
Partnership of the day
Leading into this match, there had been a widespread assumption that Sri Lanka lacked the tools for survival in English conditions - and the selection of five bowlers and a specialist wicketkeeper at No.6 did give their batting a decidedly flimsy feel. And yet, as England discovered to their cost in their ten-wicket drubbing at the recent World Cup, it's one thing to size up a brittle lower order, it's another thing entirely to dismiss enough batsmen to reach it. As Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana pushed through the challenge of the new ball, they quickly past the previous highest stand by a Sri Lankan opening partnership in England (53 by Marvin Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya in 1998) and their eventual stand of 93 was the highest conceded by England in ten Tests. Australia's best first-wicket effort in the recent Ashes was 84.
Irony of the day
Tillakaratne Dilshan is usually comfortable on the hook and the pull but was ill at ease when Chris Tremlett tested him with a string of short balls on a slow track. With only five specialist batsmen in the side, Dilshan was consciously trying to avoid the flash strokes that mark his batting, especially on a cloudy first day. In the 24th over, he took one on the splice of the bat as he looked defend, and the next ball was even higher, jammed into his right glove leaving him grimacing and calling for the physio. There were several close calls four overs later and the worst of the lot was in the 32nd over, when a length ball reared up unexpectedly to leave Dilshan gasping. After all that he was dismissed, playing a full ball from Graeme Swann off the back foot.
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