England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff, 5th day

More overseas woe for Sri Lanka

Nobody expected the final day or have any interest, least of all, it seems, the Sri Lanka batsmen who were caught out in dramatic fashion

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 30, 2011

Comments: 94 | Text size: A | A

Tillakaratne Dilshan lobbed a catch back to Chris Tremlett, England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff, 5th day, May 30, 2011
Sri Lanka's batsmen had no answer to England's charged-up bowlers © AFP

At around 2pm, with dark clouds still blanketing the sky, the press box greeted the announcement that there would be 55 overs of play with hoots of derision. When it was mentioned that there would be a minimum of 15 overs in the final hour, even more laughter followed, prompting the announcer to defend himself. "I'm just conveying the message, don't shoot the messenger."

The press pack weren't the only ones expecting a dull draw. The fans in Cardiff braved the dismal weather over the past four days, and while there was never a full house, each day at least had a few thousand people in. On Monday, when the attention of Wales was focused on the football Championship play-off between Swansea City and Reading, only a few dozen showed up for what was shaping up to be a snoozefest.

Those staying away seemed to have made the wise choice as well, as Reading blasted two goals in eight minutes to launch a stirring fight back from the depths of 3-0. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, had had some early jitters, losing their openers but their two most accomplished batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, were seemingly killing off any further excitement in the match by calmly steering the team to tea.

The mayhem over the next hour and a half then was hard to explain as Sri Lanka were rolled over for their shortest innings in Test history. Sure, the England bowlers were hostile, but keeling over for 82 on a track where the home side had just piled on 496 for 5 defied explanation. The pitch hadn't suddenly become a minefield, there were three Sri Lanka batsmen meeting the Test gold standard of a 50-plus average and the opposition had only three specialist bowlers with Jimmy Anderson sidelined by a side strain.

Even after Mahela nicked one to slip, there wasn't too much alarm as the next man in was Thilan Samaraweera, a dour batsman who could be relied upon to grind out a two-hour defensive lesson. Instead of playing it safe, Samaraweera attempted an expansive shot off the back foot and chopped the ball on to the stumps for a nine-ball duck. That snapped any semblance of Sri Lankan resistance.

As the top-order floundered, there had been a debate over whether England should have declared overnight or used up a couple of overs to allow Ian Bell to complete his century. Should the team cause have come first or a minor individual milestone on a seemingly run-filled track? All that was rendered insignificant as Sri Lanka were blown away in glorious sunshine with 26 overs remaining.

What made the meek surrender even more demoralising was that the batting in the first innings was about the only thing that Sri Lanka could be happy about in the Test. Posting 400 even without their two star batsmen contributing had, on the face of it, vindicated a risky policy of playing five bowlers. The fielding was inept at most times, exemplified by a series of unathletic dives, and the worries over the bowling proved warranted as the attack lacked spark.

Now, they have the added dilemma of whether to shore up the batting and push Prasanna Jayawardene down to No. 7 or stick to a similar combination and demand that a curtailed batting line-up deliver.

Before the series started, Sri Lankan fans hadn't taken kindly to suggestions that their side are rank outsiders, pointing to their No. 4 ranking, one ahead of former champions Australia. Nor were they happy with talk that this series was just a warm-up for Andrew Strauss's side before the marquee one against India later in the summer as England set about achieving their goal of becoming the top side in the world.

For all the strides that Sri Lanka have taken in limited-overs cricket - runners-up in successive World Cups, and reaching at least the semi-finals of the previous two World Twenty20s - their Test record outside the subcontinent remains poor. They are yet to win a Test in Australia, South Africa and India, and a victory in a full series in England appears elusive. This tour seems unlikely to be the first step towards improving that reputation, with the interim coach and a new captain having only three days to revive a shell-shocked side before the Lord's Test.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Leggie on (June 2, 2011, 17:05 GMT)

@Gururprasad, nice way of summing up the current situation. I guess the deep animosity - especially between SL & India is because of Sanga openly criticizing the ranking system when India reached the number one ranking in Test cricket. Obviously this must have rubbed the wrong side of several of hard core Indian cricket fans. YES, Sri Lanka needs to play more cricket away from home to become more competent. But till that happens, let the likes of Sanga stop questioning the credibility of India being the number one side.

Posted by   on (June 2, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

@LankanWonder: You seriously need to look @ ICC codes mate. It is our board who requests and arranges the Tours. ICC just approves it. Even we didn't like to play the same teams every now and then but just blindly blaming ICC and shielding our boards won't help. It was indeed BCCI & SLC's brain...

Posted by Mitsui on (June 2, 2011, 2:33 GMT)

@shobhit2983: Yeah Einstein and Sri Lanka gets to choose which country to tour and which country not to tour. It's ICC that manages FTP no SLC hence we always get a raw deal. Believe me if we could choose, we wouldn't bother to play India 20 times a year, we would've rather played teams like Aussie, England, SA. And cricinfo keep continuing with your trend of publishing every moronic comment by Indians but only 1/10 by Sri Lankans. Erm, maybe cricinfo is not an english website after all.

Posted by   on (June 1, 2011, 23:41 GMT)

i dont know y so many people r blaming IPL for sri lanka's loss.... remember India has been a no. 1 test team for the last two years roughly n IPL is 4 yrs old... so if IPL was responsible for a drop in TEST playing quality of cricketers then India wud never be no1 because all their players play in IPL... so stop whining...

Posted by Valavan on (June 1, 2011, 20:22 GMT)

haha interesting, why many indian fans come here speak about sachin. why they spam up here. the topic here is about Srilankan Overseas wows. what is sachins or IPLs business here. SL fans must accept they are not the same formidable side as before rather than giving lame excuses like fast bowler injuries and so on. SL lost to England in 2001 and 2002 even with murali and vaasy in side, so why so much fuss here.

Posted by Guruprasad.S on (June 1, 2011, 17:43 GMT)

As a cricket fan, I am dismayed by the comments of several readers on this forum. There seems to be a lot of animosity between some fans of Sri Lanka, India and England. England won a remarkable test match, but all this may inspire SL to make a comeback in the series. On SL's overseas woes (to summarize): 1. SL need to play more tests abroad. 2. They need capable replacements for Murali and Vaas. 3. More players in the playing 11 need to contribute, rather than only a few. 4. They are playing in the early season in England, so conditions are tough and alien to them. 5. Note that many SL players are touring England for the first time. 6. Due to IPL, Mahela and Sanga perhaps delayed their arrival in England. However, the decision was mostly theirs. 7. This failure does not make Sanga and Mahela poor batsmen all of a sudden. They are classy players and will come back. 8. Lets not compare overseas records of different teams here. There are far too many factors to account for.

Posted by shobhit2983 on (June 1, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

The main thing is tht SL have themselves to blame for this defeat. In the last 15 years they are continuously playing at home pitches where murali will get 10-12 wickets and one of there top 5 batsmen will get a double century and they will win the game. Now when they are tested on a true wicket they show there real worth, so Sangakara, Dilshan, Jayawardane, its time not to question other countries ranking, its time to improve your country ranking....play on true pitches, not dust bowl like colombo, kandy etc

Posted by   on (June 1, 2011, 14:26 GMT)

Vaas has taken 10 wickets today in the match against glamorgan

Posted by   on (June 1, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

lol, who cares :) we won the world cup :)

Posted by stormy16 on (June 1, 2011, 11:24 GMT)

I am not sure where some of you have lost the plot and fanatically defending SL/Ind/IPL/Sachin ETC. The fact is SL's record overseas is poor. The fact is SL were blessed with the Murali/Vaas combo for 2 decades. Fact is take those two away and SL's bowling will struggle to bowl out any team twice. Fact is SL is all about batting. Fact is SL batting flopped like an egg hopper from the previous day. There are excuses, wild allegations, challenges and then there are facts and the fact is SL were woefully poor in the first test wth both bat and ball.

Posted by   on (June 1, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

People keep saying that SL cant play abroad... bottom line they don't get as much opportunity compared to other teams. For example when was the last time SL played in SA??? People talk about SL not having the bowling since Murali retired, but tell me which country can field a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets when the 2 key strike bowlers are injured even before the 1st test??? SL is still a decent team and its still early in the series.. we will just have to wait and see if they have it to fight it out or lay down and be killed....

Posted by Woodsheart on (June 1, 2011, 5:47 GMT)

IPL ruined the players and test cricket ...oh stop guys ,I'm really tired of reading this ..If it is ruining ur players form in test cricket..Then why the hell your players come here and play ..Are there any compulsion that SRILANKAN players should play here ..OK,if t has ruined the players form ,same has to dealt with indian players when they go on to play ENG in ENG..Guys ,i know then u'll come with new reason and say that indians can oly play in summer ,when in ENG.. Don't u c urselves 1st whenevr u played in summer in eng ..What have u achieved ??????? GOOD CRICKETERS PLAY ANYWER BRAVELY AND CAN WIN ANYWER...Ind is yet to register a series win in Australia n southafrica ,I AGREE....Where as Srilankans yet to REGISTER A SINGLE TEST SERIES OUTSIDE SUBCONTINENT AND IN INDIA ...Gud LUCK srilankans and england ..May the better team on that day win....And never say TENDULKAR is a SELFISH PLAYER,Take away the 30,000 n more runs he scored in int.cric and see how many loses india wud ve got

Posted by rohanblue on (June 1, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Shahwaiz Ahmed dude u r funny, srilanka performed better than pak in england, we saw what happened to pakistan last year when they toured england, and they didnt play ipl

Posted by rohanblue on (June 1, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

sl cnt play outside their country, sl yet to win a series even in windies, dnt blame ipl, its nt going 2 help sl's cause, pathetic sl team cn only play in their pitches, outside sl they r worse than bangladesh.......

Posted by samincolumbia on (June 1, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

SL fans has yet to recover from the thrashing in the WC at the hands of India....the Dhoni six seems to have made them really insecure and taking potshots at India by blaming the IPL for the ridiculous test team side they actually are after the retirement of Murali and especially when playing outside the comforts of their questionable pitches.

Posted by Sammy_07 on (June 1, 2011, 0:49 GMT)

It's hilarious to read SL fans sniping at India's record overseas. The SL team is yet to win a single test match in India (sub-continent) and here they are asking about India not winning a test series in SA/ Australia. Sri Lanka has come this far due to their pitches and Murali..period!!I guess the IPL is also responsible for SL not winning a single test match ever in SA and Australia...

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (June 1, 2011, 0:11 GMT)

For Sri Lanka to be a good Test Side. Sri Lanka has to have gun bowlers that can take 20 wickets thats what winning Test cricket is at the end of the day all about having the Bowling arsenal to demolish a test side twice inside 5 days. Now in the last two decades Sri Lanka was fortunate to have Murali and Vaas that managed to win test series for Sri Lanka home and away. Sri Lanka always had highly skillful batsman so they would never have a problem putting runs on the board for their bowlers. My question is why didn't Sri Lanka plan for the future for a post Murali-Vaas era. Why didn't they put money into building a fast bowling academy in Colombo. They could have done that at anytime in the last two decades while Murali was in the team. Pakistan cricket has always been willing to give Sri lanka a helping hand in times past. So why didn't they set a Bowling academy headed by a Wasim Akram or Waqar Younis or Imran Khan. Imagine a Bowlin academy in Colombo run by say Imran Khan.

Posted by Leggie on (May 31, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

For those who defend SL's batting might on overseas / bowler friendly conditions, here is a sample of one of SL's stalwarts - Jayawardene's - overseas batting record on bowler friendly conditions (Thanks to CricInfo's StatsGuru).

1) vs NZ - 4 Test matches, 1 Hundred, Average of 27.71; 2) vs Australia - 4 Tests, 1 Hundred, Average of 34.25; 3) vs South Africa - 5 Tests, 1 Fifty, Average of 31.40; 4) vs England - 8 Test matches, 2 Hundreds and 2 Fifties, Average of 37.85;

Obviously these averages pale in comparison to his career average of 53 and a home average of 67. Jayawardene has been a shadow of himself even in Indian conditions where he has played 6 Test matches, scored 1 Hundred (a 275 @ Ahmedabad) and 4 fifties at an average of 55.97. We live in a time where statistics are available at the touch of a button. Please don't defend when it is not needed. SL needs to play more cricket outside it's comfort zone if it truly desires to move up the ICC rankings.

Posted by raghu1122000 on (May 31, 2011, 21:01 GMT)

@criceshwar. Can you atleast check cricinfo before making comments. tndulkar has an average of 56.94 compared to sangas 56.63. Ofcourse not to mention that hes played way more tests than sanga

Posted by JohnSmith1950 on (May 31, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

As a neutral all I can say is, India was granted test status in 1932 while Sri Lanka was granted in 1982. Sri Lankan side's experience in the big league as of 2011 is similar to India back in early 1950s (29/30 years after gaining test status) To sum it up, the other two countries that got test status after Sri Lanka are Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. That's where their success lies as I see.

Posted by jk.jeetukakwani on (May 31, 2011, 16:49 GMT)

now srilankans will realize d value of murali who made them a top side from an ordinary one. i will be hugely surprised if england dont win this series 3-0 now.as an indian i know how faulty is the technique of lankans batsmen.they can bat only in their back yard on placid slow n low wickets.give them a greenish wicket at lords...they will be bundled out in 3 days only..england should start thinking about indians now coz india is a team to beat these days.england will have to work atleast 3 times harder to get 20 wickets against the arguebaly the strongest batting line up of the world in any condition.with the likes of sachin,viru,gauti, dravid,luxman n dhoni in their batting ranks,india has become a formidable test side.gone are the days when they cudnt take oppositions 20 wickets.india has got probabely the strongest pace attack of their history lead by zaheer, ishant,munaf, shrisanth etc...plus the most important thing indians poses now a days is their self belief...gud luck england

Posted by nlambda on (May 31, 2011, 16:03 GMT)

I wonder how this animosity between SL and Ind fans got started on cricinfo. I think it took off when SL fans started believing SL were as good as India. Things soured when it slowly turned out they are not. SL w/o Murali & Malinga are faring like India of the 70s.

Posted by KingOwl on (May 31, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

Since a lot of the debate seems to revolve around India, let me say this: India is a hugely over rated test team. They are too scared to travel to England until it gets really hot and dry! If they are game, why not try playing England in May, ha?

Posted by KingOwl on (May 31, 2011, 15:52 GMT)

Just did a stats check because I don't accept any of these so called foreign woes. Since 1995 (somewhat arbitrary but that's the time SL matured as a test nation), here are the results. In SL: Played 9, SL won 3 Eng won 2 In Eng: Played 8 (inc the most recent), Eng won 4, SL won 2. For all practical purposes, SL's foreign performance is as good as England's. So Cricinfo, why don't you please do some proper analysis beore coming out with all this nonsense?

Posted by mrgupta on (May 31, 2011, 15:50 GMT)

@LankanWonder: How many times did Australia or WI won series in India/Pak during their Pomp? All they managed was remained unbeaten home and Away and Won several test matches away. India is doing same, though we have also Won series in WI, Eng, NZ and drew series in SA and SL and pulverized Aussies several times in last few years (They haven't won a test against us in last 8 Attempts and lost 5 times). Whats SL's record against Aussies? SL hasn't even Won a single Test match in India, SA or Aus, forget about winning series, even with Sanga, Mahela, Murli and Vaas they cudnt win a single test outside against Major teams. India has Won a Test series in SL in 1994 and several test matches on subsequent trips, SL, though, is yet to win a TEST in India in 29 Years!!

Posted by mrgupta on (May 31, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

@likeintcricket: By your advice if England prepared the faster and Bouncier tracks then they shud also look at what happened in Perth 2008, what happened in SA 2nd test (dont remember the ground) but it was very fast and bouncy. Their own players cudnt face Indian pacers and lost the plot. No more are Indians afraid of the fast tracks and the English too shud know that, they havnt beaten India in a test series (Home or Away) since 1996!

Posted by Mitsui on (May 31, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Last time we toured England we lost the 1st test but bounced back to win the 2nd test and clean sweep the ODIs. @cheeseburger & @Indiazen: Atleast our players can play the shortball and beat Bangladesh/Zimbabwe. But India is cannot play the shortball at all and I still can recall India getting trashed by Bangladesh in 2007 and by Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. hahahaha Joke in on you

Posted by anurag4u10 on (May 31, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

@south indian it seems u r xtremly dejected at sl defeat but my dear frend SRT is not 8 all rspnsble 4 mahela and sangas poor show. regardin tendulkar role in indias win....... well it is world wide knwn and let me re post the facts SRT has got 14 mom and 5 mos in tests ....... plz count how much mahela achevd

Posted by likeintcricket on (May 31, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

England, India and South Africa all can get to #1 ranking now but it is just a ranking. But they can never be matched with champion Australlia or WI of 80's. During their reign no side even got close to them for more than 10 years. Just like Srilankans without Muralitharan and Vass Indian side will struggle if they leave Sachin and Dravid out. My advice to England is to prepare pacey and green top wickets as their batsman are technically better on them. On Oval it is hard for them to beat India.

Posted by petermahon on (May 31, 2011, 13:10 GMT)

Stuart Law the current SL coach called Ian Bell a WIMP( means WEAK, LOSER or COWARD) on Sky TV a couple of years ago. An excellent hundred and a superb catch is the riposte from Bell. What could Sri Lanka do with a few WIMPS in their line up?

Posted by nlambda on (May 31, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

India are better (see victory in SA), but it would be foolish to say that SRT, Sehwag etc will demolish the Eng bowlers. Eng are playing awesome cricket and India will have to excel to win. Hope MS Dhoni is taking notes of how the poms bowled yesterday...

Posted by South_Indian on (May 31, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

@Thomas Cherian > haha funny bloke... its Murali (not Murli) and Vaas (not Vyas)... hahaha :) Btw which Ranji side is that having a better bowling attack than SL?? Do you follow Ranji cricket at all??? Jayawardene is a Asian tiger?? Oh yeah? have u seen the Asian tiger's brilliant century at Lords in 2006 when he hung out to save the test when batting last??? well, Jayawardene is better than Tendulkar who plays selfishly and has never saved any test match for India, let alone win them :P have u seen how he threw away his wicket against Pak in Madras test in 1999 after selfishly reaching his hundred??? May be u were busy watching Ranji cricket than worried about international test matches.

Posted by South_Indian on (May 31, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

@Sammy_07 and ALL INDIAN FANS, just chill n relax guys, dont get hysterical as always!! ok. Not long ago, even India was just like this, even with Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. And dont forget, SL won their first match in NZ soil way back in 1995 when NZ pitches were as green as the south indian rice fields and had very good bowlers in Morrison, Pringle and Nash. Well, India, even with Tendulkar, Azhar & co, could not even win Zim in Zim (not even able to draw a test series) up until the 2000s when they beat ZIM after it became a very weak side. Hahaha so dont get carried away by recent success :)

Posted by gargi_vizag on (May 31, 2011, 12:08 GMT)

it was a spirited effort by the English bowlers and they deserve the win very much. England at the moment are on a roll, they have a very good bowling attack and strong batting which makes them the team to beat currently. India's series wud definitely be interesting with England maybe just having an edge

Posted by maddy20 on (May 31, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

@Junta Kumar Well said. I do not remember when was the last time Sl won a test series over seas. The title "More overseas woes for Sri Lanka" is a massive understatement!

Posted by indianzen on (May 31, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

I think since good suspect bowlers like Malinga, Murali are retiring... Sanga doesnt want the responsibility of loosing matches... and hence he has stepped down... Dilshan can never be a good captain with an attitude of asking bowlers to bowl a no ball to avoid batsmen hitting 100...

Posted by CricEshwar on (May 31, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

Well I am not a huge fan of SL cricket, but guys give them a break. Nobody expected them to perform so well in the first innings, it has to be considered as a freak collapse. Either Sanga or Mahela should have come for the rescue, it did not happen and fell like a pack of cards. To call for dropping Sanga is a bit too harsh. Had he not stepped down voluntarily he would still be the captain. Sanga has a better average than Tendulkar with enough runs to make comparisons. For someone like that he cannot be all that bad. With such noise of calling for his head, once he does something brilliant in the next match which btw he is totally capable of, what do you expect? Call for Samaraweera dropping, he you can call flat track cruiser. No care for team's position, he will just bat out for a landmark.

Posted by KingOwl on (May 31, 2011, 11:43 GMT)

This whole overseas wins debate is really superfluous. Teams win overseas if they are familiar with foreign conditions. So when India comes in late Summer when the condtions are dry and sunny, it is far easier to win. If they come in Spring, they too will struggle. England win in Aus and SA because they are familiar with those away conditions due to the same physique of their fast players. Of course strong Boards such as the BCCI also put pressure on hosting teams to provide 'fair' pitches, which a small country like SL cannot do. You put SL in neutral conditions and they will ALWAYS be one of the top teams. That is why they are great in world cups - whether 50 over or T20. If there was a test championship we will find out that its the same in tests too.

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (May 31, 2011, 11:41 GMT)

Sri Lanka lost the game because of lack of bowling resources and early part of English season which renders two spinner policy ineffective. Shoes of Murali are too big to fill and it will take some time.Look at Aussies it was twin retirement of McGrath and Warne that made them so ineffective to the extent that even English can beat them at home. Imagine that!!!

Play Dilhara Fernando and Randiv together should make the bowling department more experienced. Mahela and Kumara will not fail in consecutive test so the next test should be very interesting .Go Lankans. We are hoping you tenderize the English for the later part of the season to set up a grand bbq.

Posted by KingOwl on (May 31, 2011, 11:31 GMT)

Aditya: So, England has won 1 series! That's it? So all this big talk about England's performance is based on 1 series! Come on, give me a break. If SL played more series, as opposed to just single matches, they would have won too. Even otherwise, the only reason why it is far more difficult for SL to win (relative to other counties such as Aus and India) is because SL only get their series in the Spring and not Summer. These wins have nothing to do with English performance, just English weather.

Posted by teamxxx on (May 31, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

Now all the teams of the world see how damaging is this IPL.when all the gr8 players play the ipl matches ,you can see the different attitude when the play for their franchise,these players just play out of their skin.but in this particular test match you can see that more than three sril lankan batsmen who averages 50+,and are also the top ranked players could not even play two sessions,this is really a shame for the game of cricket,i m not getting credit away from English team,they played brilliantly,and they outclassed Sri lankan team in all departments of the game,and for me this English side is the best TEST side in the world at the moment,because they won matches home and away and against considerably strong bowling attacks,not like INDIA and SRI LANKAN sides who played each other a dozen time in the last two years on flat tracks to improve just their batting averages and nothing else....i tell you what that these sides will surely be tested on English conditions.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 10:51 GMT)

Srilanka is so much over hyped team..in the past they were doing well only bcz of murali but now since murali has taken retirement from international cricket srilankan cricket has no one to replace him n in at present squad there is not even a single bowler who can win a test game for them..n same goes for batting apart from sanga n mahela there is not even a single batsman who can save a test game for them..they are nothing but a over hyped side bcz most of the tym they are playng in their sub-continent..how many of you remember srilanka successful tour to SAF,NEWZLND these are the country where seam bowling will do wonders n in those conditions i dont think any of the srilankan batsman will be able to bat in full swing..they desperately need an insulin to bounce back n hope dat in next game they will bounce back to add more excitement to this on going series.

Posted by indianzen on (May 31, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

what to do mate.. there is no murali...

Posted by indianzen on (May 31, 2011, 10:39 GMT)

When SL can win against England in their own soil, how can they overseas ? as far as my opinion England and India are string contenders for the No1 test spots...

Posted by indianzen on (May 31, 2011, 10:38 GMT)

Next tours for SL - Bangladesh, Kenya, IRELAND, zimbabwe and an injured NZ... to improve players and team rankings...

Posted by indianzen on (May 31, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

As long as players like Samaraweera, Dilshan who are having attitude problems are in the team, the team will break up like Pakistan team... go ahead copy paste IPL as LPL and try to get more money, thats what lankans can do... sorry to Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de silva...

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 10:30 GMT)

Gotta love the indian fans, havent won a single test series in SA or Aus. Couldn't even beat the 'weak' SL outside India. Why so defensive? The reason no one really thinks you are the best test team isn't because of SL, it's because you can't win outside the sub-continent. Sure SL hasn't won anything but you probabaly won't either if you only get 5 test macthes every 10 years like we do. We won and drew last 2 times we toured eng. We SL fans know that our cricket team is not world beaters. That's why we love our team, they punch above their weight. You don't see us cursing at our team like you guys did when you lost the first test to SA, remind me? wasn't it even a worse loss. So don't worry about us, we have always sprung a surprise when everyone least expects it. If indians think they can beat England in any conditions why don't they tour England in the early summer and not wait till late summer when picthes become less bowler friendly? it is funny. The pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by bumsonseats on (May 31, 2011, 10:20 GMT)

it does not bode well for the 2nd and 3rd test. cardiff if any of the 3 test matches venues would offer SL the best chance of a win or a draw. at lords the bounce with finn coming in to the team will struggle i would think. at southampton in the 3rd test it could be another nightmare for SL as it can be a very bouncy track. dpk

Posted by Guruprasad.S on (May 31, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

Couple of hours of bad batting by SL (allied to some good bowling and fielding by England) led to this defeat of SL. While all batsmen failed, there is no point blaming Sanga and Mahela alone for the defeat. Those who question their batting record outside the subcontinent should recall Mahela's marathon 119 at Lords and Sanga's majestic 192 in Hobart against Aus. These are indeed very good players. The fact is that Sri Lanka hardly get enough tests in places like Eng, Aus and SA. Also, Sri Lanka need to produce more match winners with bat and ball, especially with the ball. In the absence of Murali and Malinga, the onus is on Mendis and Co. to get wickets. Lot of people here seem to be deriving vicarious pleasure in Sri Lanka's stunning defeat at the hands of England. The series is not over yet. Although it looks bleak for Sri Lanka, they have the strength to comeback in the series.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 9:51 GMT)

there is Only 1 option for sri lanka, PLAY DINESH CHANDIMUL AS NUMBER 6!!!!, then move prassana to 7 to extend batting line up. drop maharoof as he can't bat , can't bowl. Keep mendis in side as he is THE ONLY CHANCE SL HAS!! herath was innefective, lakmal was useless, perera was no better. Even with 6 bowlers (including dilshan) they only managed to get out 4 batsman + james anderson. The thing here is quality over quantity, why is there a need to play 3 bad seemers, a innefective herath and an out of form mendis, why not just pick your best 4 and back them, having an extra bowler does nothing if he isnt going to take his share of wickets. dilshan bowls well he can be 5th bowler and dont play herath, no need for 3 spinners, mendis hardly bowled. sanga and mahela really must step up, Sri lanka wont be able to take 20 wickets. should randiv be played in XI hmm, No he will probly do worse (mite be worth a go?)

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

Sangakkara averages 50 away from home in test cricket. Yeah...flat track bully.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 9:40 GMT)

I'm finding it hilarious how some people say Sangakkara is a flat track bully and only plays well in SL. He averages 50 away from home. Clowns.

England were bowled out for 40 in the West Indies and for 80 in SL not that long ago relatively speaking. These freak results happen every now and then.

The bigger concern is the bowling attack. I agree that SL need to start beating the bigger teams away from home but it's difficult when we don't get given tours on a regular basis.

Posted by Praxis on (May 31, 2011, 9:14 GMT)

It won't take long before Sangkara finds his true game, hopefully Mahela too.

Posted by faizalsehwag on (May 31, 2011, 9:05 GMT)


Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

The IPL has destroyed true cricket in my opinion. It has stolen everygood thing that was in test cricket, playing for your country, a fair contest between bat and ball and transformed it into a money grubbing sport. It has robbed cricket of its elitism and thrown it to scavengers to feed on.

Posted by Quizzy on (May 31, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

Being patriotic is one thing but this? was unbelievable. It was a clinical & penetrative performance with the ball which SL lacked through the test. Makes me wonder who can bring these elements to the side. Fact is that it is the batting that looks better on paper than bowling and when your strength fails, where do you go? AM needs to give the ball more time to spin. It was just too quick and easy off the back foot. The mystery of the guy is in the air. Not when it is pitched half way down. Where are all our left arm pacers and swingers? Being sub continent players, why can't someone take the challenge to knock swann off his feet? The guy is good but quick feet can put him out. C'MON SL I KNOW YOU HAVE IT IN YOU TO FIGHT. We don't get a 3 test series in eng easy and you played as if eng made a mistake by inviting us to play there at all. C'mon FIGHT!!

Posted by ste13 on (May 31, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

come on, this is not IPL impact. The only thing is more English players had a few week rest after World Cup. Still, they are all professionals, so there is no excuse. Collapse under pressure that's all. One game does not make any player bad or good

Posted by sudhan_83 on (May 31, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

Clearly some people on this thread are extremely misinformed! Mahela has 4 centuries in english soil and sanga has made centuries in Australian test matches against a much better lineup than then the English bowlers! They will certainty come good in the next test match as world class players do. Sides definitely have bad days.. especially sides like England & India... there are too many instances. One that i could clearly remember what in a one day match when India was blown away by SL for 53 runs!! it was a finals as well.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (May 31, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

Slightly mixed feelings this morning. Although, of course I'm delighted with England's win and that such a great test match (somehow) happened, I can't take any joy inthe nature of Sri Lanka's defeat. Like a lot of English, I have a lot of affection for the SL team. i expected them to struggle to bowl England out post Murali and Malinga but it was a shame to see the batting fail.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 7:11 GMT)

@ I have to agree with Najib Yusuf on concerns on why Sri lanka is having step mother treatment from ICC , why don't Sri lanka have Overseas trips more as mots of their eayer planner is busy with playing home??? We have to agree that Sri Lanka does not has the experiance of playing in traks like AUS,ENG,SA OR NZ...why don't we ever get tours for our youngsuter's to play there? questions raised to the Sri Lankan board? I think this will be a turing page for Sri Lanka but still if we do not get any positives out this I think it's a same old story!!

Posted by DINESHCC on (May 31, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

Lankan mates. Don't be panic. India also suffered huge defeats in all its first matches. But they used to come back strongly and defeated the same opponents in their own backyard. SL can also rise up to the occasion and level the series. But to win matches, please drop Mendis. He is one match wonder. Please replace him with someone else. At the most he can be compared with our NARENDRA HIRWANI who took 16 wickets on his debut against WI and gone out thereafter. When Swan could take 4 wickets inside 7 overs, Mendis could have taken more wickets.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

@ All the Indain fans ..We agree that it's not corerct to blame IPL just you lost a game againts England on gloomy Monday in Cardiff...The Sri Lankans had a BAD DAY!! It's just that...these things happened and you just have to live with that...for the Englishman....it's not over yet and etas stiil early days to predict of a 3-0 win...where I belive Sri Lanka will bounce back..the questions you will have to fire up is WHAT HAPPENEED? AND WHY A TEAM WIHC SUCH STRENTH CAN STUMBOLE for 82 runs just like that? and Who sold the match?

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 6:43 GMT)

dont blame india and Ipl for srilanka s loss..its absurd !! just accept the fact that srilankans were a weak team !!

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

IPL killed Sri Lankan cricket

Posted by Leggie on (May 31, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

Sri Lanka's batting averages are exaggerated - thanks to piling tons and tons of runs on the slow / low turners of Sri Lanka. Their current style of cricket is unidimensional winning mostly on slow/low turners. If SL is truly interested in improving their rankings, they should travel more and take on opponents even on fast / bouncy wickets. They can take a leaf out of Indian cricket administration's book - making sportive wickets even at home.

Posted by Mitsui on (May 31, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

@Sammy_07 : The only over hyped team is India who still hasn't won a series in Australia, SA, and in SL (for 20 years) What's the point of winning a match when you can't win the series. Before accusing others of bad mouthing just take a little bit of time to realize that's what you are doing in an article that DOESN'T relate India. We don't care about India so save the gloating for an Indian article this article is about England - Sri Lanka series and mind you cricket doesn't revolve around India

Posted by itsankush on (May 31, 2011, 5:37 GMT)

Hope SL fans will keep theur mouth shut and wont question India #1 ranking again..

Posted by faizalsehwag on (May 31, 2011, 5:36 GMT)


Posted by Mitsui on (May 31, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

@mrgupta: So? India hasn't won a test series in Aus, SA and they haven't won a test series in SL after SL became a full fledge team )for more than 20 years). They lost a match to SA IN India and drew the series in their backyard. Then going by your consideration the question can be raised How can India be No.1 in tests? Sure if you look it at that way Australia is still the number 1 test side and if not Australia then it should be South Africa. Don't criticize others when they are down and just worry about how your team is gonna perform in WI

Posted by cheeseburgers on (May 31, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

Sri Lanka needs to regroup asap...they need to call Bangladesh/Zimbabwe to play Test series...(so that Jayawardene and troupes regain their form)...bcoz here the ball is moving...and their feets are immovable overseas..lol:)

Posted by Charindra on (May 31, 2011, 5:14 GMT)

A few points I need to add here. 1. All the wise guys yelling SL suck outside home, look at the opportunities they have been given. India has played dozens of matches in England, SA and Aus in the last 16 years, whereas SL has only played 5 tests in Aus, 7 in Eng, and ONLY 2 or 3 tests in SA!!! How are they supposed to improve then??? And India don't play the bouncing ball well either, as in 2008 they were bowled out in 20 overs against SA. 2. SL deserve all the brickbats coming their way ABOUT THIS INNINGS as the pitch wasn't too bad. It was completely horrible batting and some really good bowling by England. 3. Whenever SL play in England it is in early "summer" which is ridiculously chilly, whereas India gets the late summer and the turning pitches. Maybe if SL was a wealthier cricketing nation we'd be winning more matches overseas? 4. Sanga and Mahela better get serious about this because it looks really bad on SL as a whole if they don't perform after arriving late!!

Posted by NumberXI on (May 31, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

When India last visited Sri Lanka Sangakkara declared "India away from home are a different team from India at home" - and it wasn't meant as a compliment. The truth of that comment should come home painfully to him and the rest of the SL team who have struggled to win away against the top test teams, and have capitulated woefully to lose this Test. Sangakkara also loved to question the rankings when SL won the first test the last time India visited - though he forgot about it by the time the third test was over. India have been at the receiving end of several jibes by SL supporters - including when India lost the first test in SA. To be touchy enough the declare then, that "Indians. mind your own business" is pathetic.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 4:39 GMT)

Sri Lanka at it very best...They are now back to where they belong ...Can see 1980's all over again for next 20 to 30 years for them till the next chucker like Murali comes along ...who amassed 800 run outs !!!!!!!!!! with his throwing and making meek lankan team look like winners when they are actually nothing but pretenders...i mean 800 wickest ICC allowed him and he kept taking them in dozens and team used to get excietd that they r the best...total blind eye ICC turned for nearly 18 years from 1992 when this guy started chucking and SL though they have becoem world beaters...take a walk first beat Indian Ranji Teams and than pretend that u belong here....Now enjoy with Pak , WI , Bangladesh in bottom 5 along with NZ for next 30 years...Mark my words Lankans

Posted by Jarr30 on (May 31, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

Where is Sanga hiding?? He had the balls to question India rankinsg when these Lankans Flat track bullies can't play anywhere outside SriLanka and were placed No# 2 last yr. Dilshan, J'wardene, Sanga all need some batting tips from Harbajan singh.

Posted by mysay on (May 31, 2011, 3:50 GMT)

Thomas Cherion, Mahela has done well specially in England, but those were the days when the public enjoyed Test Cricket in all its glory. Then came IPL, and Test took the back seat. So all those players who represented the country took to captaining some IPL franchises, and money is a question as these two teams in particular failed to make it to the top four. Surprisingly when these two represented the same IPL Franchise it did not fare any better either, but when you play for money you're supposed to play better right? Or are these two just dead ducks who are no more than a "Has Been".

Posted by Roshini on (May 31, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

The ever persistent overseas woes away from the subcontinent and I am more and more convinced now why top nations of real cricket which is "TEST CRICKET" are so reluctant to give SL a decent run while hosting us. It is obvious to think on the lines of financial losses host nations suffer as a result of such common one sided affairs. Almost three decades of top level cricket since gaining test status and except for very few brilliant performances the vast majority have been utterly deplorable meek capitulations to say the least. We may be an exceptionally good side in the shorter format of the game but having said that when it comes to the real deal "TEST CRICKET" the battle is long lost without even going the full distance. Food for thought SL cricketers and administrators. Hmmmm may be another five decades to prove we are battle ready to face the big guns in their own den!!!! I doubt mate!!!

Posted by RANJITHRANALA on (May 31, 2011, 2:24 GMT)

This is a total failier of SANGA and MAHELA..let them only play IPL..axe them from SL team and Give a chance to Chandimal and Trimmane....IPL is good for INDIAN cricket..not for SL cricket. It is really sad to loose like that..I think Dilshan did his best..but SANGA AND MAHELA let him down. I could still remeber SANGA's and MAHELA'S goarns and complaints of not having enough test matches from ENGLAND, SOUTH AFRICA and AUSTRALIA..that is bullshit. Do they really prooved they deserved more test matches.. THEY DIDNT EVEN BOTHER TO COME EARLY AND GET USED TO CONDITIONS IN EARLY SUMMER IN ENGLAND...Hey SANGA and MAHELA if YOU FEEL LIKE ,YOU WANT JUST MONEY NOT A PRIDE .JUST KEEP PLAYING IPL..DONT SCREW UP SL CRICKET.. BTW I HOPE DILSHAN GET SOME BOLD DECIONS FOR 2ND TEST I WOULD LOVE TO SEE DROPPING SANGA OR MAHELA AND GIVE A CHANCE TO CHANDIMAL...I THINK SANGA AND MAHELA HAVE LOT TO LEARN FROM ARAVINDA AND ARJUNA...

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 1:58 GMT)

He he. .wait england..viru sehwag will show how to hit anderson out of england squad,, I can not wait to see the indian batting line up demolishing england on their home turf.

Bleed blue,, Here comes the new India..

Posted by Sammy_07 on (May 31, 2011, 1:50 GMT)

Over-hyped team that can only win in turners with suspect bowlers in their own backyard...and Sanga had the gall to question the rankings!! India won a series in England last time, try winning a match first in SA, Australia or India before mouthing off about rankings!

Posted by just_chill_chill on (May 31, 2011, 1:34 GMT)

"More overseas woe for Sri Lanka"- And this is new news? When have they played well outside their home soil? Mahela, Sanga are just flat track bullies, and they can't put bat to ball when they play outside subcontinent.

Posted by ranilranathunga on (May 31, 2011, 1:33 GMT)

Sanga and Mahela please do retire and go and play IPL we need chandimal and Bhanuka in our side...

Posted by SLMelb on (May 31, 2011, 0:56 GMT)

Come on Sri Lankans………………….go and play more IPL matches………………..it'll help you to play like this……………..this current bunch of Sri Lankan administrators and players destroy the Sri Lankan cricket image……..what Arjuna achieved on 1996……….they only care about money….not Sri Lankan cricket future………..!!!

Posted by   on (May 31, 2011, 0:27 GMT)

Indians, Mind your own business.... Test series is not over.... Too early to predict anything, and anything can happen..... Yes England is stronger and we have become more weaker, that doesn't mean that we will loose everything..... Wait for it... We will come back strong.....

Posted by the_blue_android on (May 30, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

Sanga, want to question the ICC rankings now? Last time the current # 1 side was in England, they won the series.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2011, 22:23 GMT)

Without Murli and Vyas ....the bowling looks very weak...I think one of the ranji teams have a better attack than the lankans....AS for Jaywardane he is more an Asian tiger...yet to prove outside the subcontinent

Posted by   on (May 30, 2011, 22:22 GMT)

Some of the comments made here are quite surprising. Of course, the batting in the 2nd innings was extremely poor, and there are no valid reasons for this performance. However, let us not condemn all these cricketers for just one afternoon's performance. Many of them are relatively inexperienced. As for Kumar and Mahela, you cannot expect them to perform well everday, and please stop blaming the IPL. Indeed let us wait till the end of the tour before having our final opinions. As for all these comments about Sri Lanka cannot win tests overeas etc etc. Let us remember that SL received Test status only in 1982 unlike some other countries which have been playing Tests for a much longer time. Let us remember also that the SL Board and captains such as Kumar have been asking for more Tests overseas without success. SL have had only 2 three Tests in UK before and always it is in the 1st half of the season. There are good and bad days. This was a very bad day. Good days will certainly come.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

@cranaweera: Unfortunately, England has won a series once in SL. SL haven't managed that yet.

Posted by SDHM on (May 30, 2011, 21:57 GMT)

Cranaweera - there was no pressure on the Sri Lankans until England came out and bowled brilliantly though, so how you can say that is beyond me. Sri Lanka certainly didn't help themselves, but you don't bowl out a side for 82 by bowling badly.

Posted by AncientAstronaut on (May 30, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

I like Sri Lanka, so it's sad to see them lose the way they did. Their support batsmen and bowlers look terrible for now, but they have enough good players to compete. I understand a cricketer's need to play the IPL, but it may have been one of the reasons why they failed. As tiring as the IPL has become, there really should be an international window for it with buffer time before and after it. Stop the overkill for both the players and the fans!

Posted by KingOwl on (May 30, 2011, 20:59 GMT)

Oh come on now. So SL lost. It was not as if it was due to English brilliance. The SLankans just couldn't handle the pressure. These things happens from time to time. Regarding SL's overseas performance - sure it could be better. But how often has England won in Sri Lanka. If England visited SL next week, I will bet my last penny that England will get a right royal thrashing in all three forms of the game.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

For those SL fans who were saying that SL were better than India, the fact is that you've got to improve your Test record overseas. India has at least won a series in England. SL haven't even managed to win a Test in India (which is still the subcontinent). India's record overseas is vastly improved -- but I still don't think we can claim to the No. 1 in the world. The same goes for SL, obviously.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2011, 20:37 GMT)

They can't do anything without Muralidharan...they cannot take wickets at all

Posted by mrgupta on (May 30, 2011, 20:36 GMT)

How can they be No.4 when they haven't won a single test in Either Aus, SA or India? How can they be no.4 when they cudn't even beat a hugely depleted Indian team in their own backyard and lost the final test? They often raise questions about ICC rankings (Sanga in press conf) because India is No.1, but atleast India has Won tests outside India and the subcontinent. Just after their victory in the Tour games Fans were talking about clean sweep against England, well that looks possible but by the England side.

Posted by hollandindian on (May 30, 2011, 20:25 GMT)

i already said a while ago thats SL is not a team to play overseas. they just have batsmen to play on subcon. conditions. on occasional moments they will score runs but in Eng, Aus SA and india they will fail. and yest they just win against the weaker teams in the subcon

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