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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