England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, 1st day

Pietersen's flop, Cook's slog

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the day from the first day of the second Test in Lord's

Andrew Miller at Lord's

June 3, 2011

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Alastair Cook top-edged a pull to be out for 96, England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 3, 2011
A seemingly inevitable Alastair Cook hundred wasn't to be as he top-edged a catch on 96 © Getty Images
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Decision of the day
After a dank week in Cardiff, the Lord's Test could hardly have started in more perfect conditions, with blue skies overhead and a full house streaming into the ground from all directions. In the circumstances, therefore, Tillakaratne Dilshan's decision to bowl first was curious to say the least. With three of England's tallest bowlers all lined up in the same XI, it was a move that seemed motivated, first and foremost, by self-preservation, reminiscent of Mohammad Azharuddin's avoidance of Devon Malcolm in 1990 - the match in which Graham Gooch racked up 333. Andrew Strauss, however, conceded he had been tempted to do the same, and when England slipped to 22 for 3 in eight overs, he might have wished he had.

Shock of the day
England's newly crowned player of the year, Jonathan Trott, got off the mark with a clip for two through midwicket - the signature stroke of an extraordinary year in which he has racked up almost 2500 runs in all internationals. However, his prowess off the pads would soon lead to a rare downfall, when Suranga Lakmal fired a full delivery towards his leg stump, and Trott for once played all round it as he toppled towards the off side. A review proved futile, and he was sent on his way for 2, to contemplate the loss of more than two runs from his previous Test batting average of 66.77.

Fail of the day
The stage, it seemed, had been set for Kevin Pietersen. Two early wickets had given him the chance to be England's knight in shining armour once again, rather than the after-show entertainment he had been (for contrasting reasons) at Adelaide and Cardiff. There was certainly little prospect of Rangana Herath being tossed the ball as early as the ninth over, no matter how publicised KP's frailties against left-arm spin may be. And yet, Pietersen's need to get a move on once again lured him into a feckless early departure. On 2, he wafted loosely at Lakmal, and Dilshan in the gully snaffled a flying edge.

Shot of the day
Eoin Morgan began this match as the only member of England's top eight not to have scored a Test century at Lord's, and by the time he had been pinned for 79, that stat remained intact. Nevertheless, his was a vital and sparky contribution, and the shot that really kickstarted his innings came in the sixth over of Herath's spell. Morgan sauntered down the pitch to hoist the left-arm spinner high over mid-on and into the member's area to the left of the pavilion. It was the first six of the match, but only the second of Morgan's seven-match Test career - a curious fact given he has already struck 52 in all limited-overs internationals.

Slog of the day
Alastair Cook's 18th Test century seemed inevitable from the moment he emerged from the chaos of the first hour and set about grinding down Sri Lanka's bowlers with his typical blend of watchfulness and selective aggression. And perhaps, in some parallel universe, he is currently 150 not out, and powering through yet another of his daddy hundreds. Unfortunately for him, this particular universe involves an extravagant hoick across the line on 96, one that could have ended up as the 16th boundary of his innings, but instead plopped gently into the hands of Farveez Maharoof at midwicket.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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