England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff, 4th day May 29, 2011

Sri Lanka on the slide

ESPNcricinfo staff
ESPNcricinfo presents plays of the day from Cardiff where Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell piled on the runs

Shock of the day
It happened on six occasions in the course of this winter's Ashes, so it's not as if the sight is completely alien to Test-match viewers. Nevertheless, the dismissal, in the 97th over, of Alastair Cook for 133 still came as quite a shock - not least to Sri Lanka's bowlers, who had hardly induced so much as a play-and-a-miss in the course of his 251-stand with Jonathan Trott. Farveez Maharoof, playing his first Test since November 2007, extracted a touch of lift outside off, and for once Cook's cut shot let him down, as Prasanna Jayawardene reached to his left to intercept.

Shot of the day
Kevin Pietersen was, in Cook's words, feeling a bit of "pad-rash" by the close of day three, having been sweating in the hot seat throughout Cook and Trott's alliance. But when Ian Bell's turn came to bat, he showed no signs of similar anxiety. He got himself off the mark with a cool-as-you-like dab for two, then strode out of his crease to the left-armer Rangana Herath, and stroked him up and over the sightscreen at the River Taff End.

Sight of the day
Midway through the afternoon session, a man in a skin-tight yellow morph suit decided to go for a jog round the perimeter of the ground. He demonstrated a serviceable bowling action as he skipped along the seating at midwicket, and later bowed to a posse of nuns down at third man. It was, by common consent, a more memorable passage of play than anything produced by the unquestionably admirable Trott.

Comic fielding of the day - 1
It would be harsh to suggest that Sri Lanka's fielding standards went to pieces in the course of England's innings, because their bowlers forced so few chances that no-one was properly tested. Nevertheless, early in Bell's innings, the substitute fielder Suraj Randiv suffered a moment to forget, when his despairing dive towards the rope turned into an anti-athletic belly-flop on the quick-drying and, consequently, un-slide-friendly outfield.

Comic fielding of the day - 2
Sri Lanka showed there were several ways of diving too early. If Randiv showed the head-first method to get a close look at the ball dribbling past, Maharoof demonstrated the slide like a footballer desperately trying to keep the ball in play. He slid to a stop well before the trickled past him to the boundary.

Non-milestone of the day
With the play meandering, the main interest after Trott reached his double-century surrounded whether Bell could post his 13th Test century before stumps. He needed two off the final over, and Eoin Morgan turned over the strike after three deliveries. Bell blocked the first ball, before the crowd cheered as Dilshan tossed one down the leg side past the keeper. Bell started to sprint, and as he completed the runs he looked hopefully at the umpire, who raised his hand to signal byes, much to the crowd's disappointment.

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  • indika on May 30, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    wow what a win unbelievable but can u get some without believe ? NO All teams don't know how to win a test match regularly I knew one country,knows how to beat all members practice hard,keep normal .guide one superby cricketer. everyone becomes legend,new guy also legend( thx to media when opportunity given they're up to the task. eventually they lost way, always univer all way fill up that hole, so there's one. can ENGLAND be .. ( believe ) but I'm SRI LANKA. i think our boys will do it. they have to believe that can do it.think simple,do simple forget the result. people say england team've good batman, good bowler, YES they showed it many time in recently. BUT do BELIEVE that,people make mistake this's my thoughts on this match. GO GO GO LANKA

  • John on May 30, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    What did we know before this test match? That SL are a good batting side on flat tracks, that England's bowlers need a bit of help from the pitch to bowl SL out cheaply, that SL have no bowlers of test standard and England can rack uo huge scores against sub-par bowling. Sure enough, on a flat track SL got 400 and England made 491 for the loss of 4 batsmen and the night-watchman. SL had better hope for two more flat tracks so they can draw the series, because there's no way they'll bowl England out cheaply whereas England's bowlers will be a handful on a pitch offering any assistance. @donda: I live in America and if T20 is going to be the future of cricket, I'll just watch baseball. It's a much better game for a 3-hour timeframe. The beauty of cricket is the mental challenge, which is lost in T20.

  • lijihas on May 30, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    randiv has got scared..!!! he dint throw any no balllsssssssssss..... funny. i think this time dilshan didnt give advise...

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    @chandau - dose of your own medicine there: Englishmen aren't used to playing in 45 degree heat, 98% humidity and a rampant case of Delhi belly, but we've had to grin and bear it over the years. Now it's your turn!

  • Rizwan on May 30, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    @donda, I want to tell you why T20 isn't a proper enjoyment for me.....the boundaries are really short. This season bowling performances have been really poor too, also I think scoring rate being over 10 doesn't always mean that good standard of cricket is being played. The commentary(which is a constant joke), cheerleaders, weird colored jerseys give me a headache. If you at least want to see some quality bowling, then you have to watch test cricket.

  • Nami on May 30, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    @Donda, sorry but i prefer test cricket over T20. In T20 there is no interesting stroke play. no great mind games, no need of patience. but surely ICC should have pitches changed a lot.

  • chandana on May 30, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    People talk only of batsmen friendly pitches. How about cricket friendly weather please??? Cricket was supposed to be played with the sun on your back and in shirt and trousers, not in arctic conditions dressed like an eskimo!!! Anyone remember Lille and Thommo or Garner and MArshall et al., with the first 3 buttons of the shirt undone running in with the hair waving in the breeze and Sunny G batting at the other end wearing a hanky around his neck to stem the sweat? How can any SRi Lankan bowl when their fingers are numb from the 10 degrees celcius winter???

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2011, 1:03 GMT

    Sorry, @donda, but T20 bores me to death. I don't care about results, I like to see good strokeplay and bowling. But I do agree about the pitches, too many grounds are unacceptably batsman-friendly.

  • Sialkoti on May 29, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    Thats why i always say play T2020 and stop playing boring test cricket. If ICC has to make batsman friendly pitches then why not play 10 T2020 and entertain people. Test cricket is harsh on fans.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Boring test match with runs galore and SL team bowling is like club bowling without the likes of Malinga and Murali. No wonder the younger ones find it hard to follow test cricket. 4 days of cricket and majority of the test match has been marred by rain. 11 degress, cold and raining in England. How can it be summer :-) ?

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