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

Prior's luck, Dilshan's pluck

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

Andrew Miller at Lord's

June 4, 2011

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An MCC member required some assistance after being hit by a six struck by Tillakaratne Dilshan, England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, June 4, 2011
An MCC member required some assistance after being hit by a six struck by Tillakaratne Dilshan © Getty Images
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Jitters of the day
It's been six years and 11 Tests since England last failed to score a century in a Lord's Test, but that record was looking in some jeopardy. After Alastair Cook succumbed for 96 on Friday, Matt Prior needed an extraordinary run of good fortune to sneak through to three figures today. After moving calmly along to 86, he hurtled to 99 in the space of four balls - each and every one a genuine edge through the slips. Three of them fizzed away to the boundary, including a perfect bisection of keeper and first slip, while the fourth was badly dropped by Mahela Jayawardene at second slip. At the fifth time of asking, the middle of his bat did the business, as he nudged a single out to midwicket, to jog through to his fifth Test century - equalling Allan Knott's record for an England keeper.

Blow of the day
For the first 18 overs of Sri Lanka's innings, Graeme Swann was fairly confident he had sustained the most painful blow of the day - a bruised right wrist after an edge from Dilshan had bounced awkwardly in front of him at second slip. For an anxious hour he was off the field receiving treatment, leaving England to contemplate the possibility of being a bowler down for the second Test in succession. But then, eventually, he returned to the fray ... and his short leg man, Ian Bell, was soon made to wish he hadn't bothered. Swann's first delivery of the match was a long-hop, which was clattered mercilessly into his ribs by Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Drop of the day
Paul Collingwood's absence continues to be felt by England. His successor, Eoin Morgan, may have produced a feisty fifty to propel their hefty first-innings total, but in the field, Colly's safe hands have not yet been adequately replaced. Alastair Cook is the new man in the cordon, but on 37 for 0, he dropped a clanger as Tharanga Paranavitana edged Steven Finn at a comfortable height to third slip. The opportunity struck him on the thumb and spun away to safety, as Sri Lanka's opening pair took advantage of the let-off to pile along to their country's highest first-wicket stand against England, beating the 113 that Sanath Jayasuriya and Michael Vandort added at Kandy in 2007-08.

Reactions of the day
Dilshan's second half-century of the series was a watchful affair in spite of the pace he scored his runs, and no moment epitomised that better than the first ball after tea. With the over-spin that has become his trademark, Swann looked to have squeezed a length delivery through Dilshan's back-foot defences, as the ball looped up behind the batsman and was heading inexorably for the stumps. But, with a casual flick of the back of his bat, Dilshan deflected the ball away to safety, and carried on with his innings. It wasn't quite the Dilscoop, but it was innovative bat-work nonetheless.

Non-reaction of the day
Emboldened by that escape, and by a subsequent squashed thumb courtesy of Chris Tremlett, Dilshan decided to up the ante after tea. On 56, he sashayed down the track to Swann, and belted him handsomely towards the pavilion benches at long-on. There, minding his own business, was an MCC member who hadn't a clue what violence was heading his way. The ball crashed into left-hand side of his chest, and within minutes, the England doctor had rushed down from the balcony above to attend to the scene. Fortunately, after a few anxious minutes, the patient was back on his feet.

Spurious record of the day
Hastings and Collinge, eat your heart out. A new (unratified) record was set in the closing stages of England's innings, as Steven Finn joined Chris Tremlett to form the highest tenth-wicket partnership in Test history. Admittedly, their runs tally of 34 fell some way short of the 151 held jointly by the above-mentioned Kiwis and Pakistan's Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed, but at a combined height of four yards, one foot and three-and-a-half inches, there's surely no other combination who could hold a candle to them (without using a stepladder).

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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