England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's, 5th day June 7, 2011

Dilshan in doubt for series decider

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Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka's captain and Man of the Match in the second Test at Lord's, fears he will not be fit to play in the series decider at the Rose Bowl on June 16, after being advised to rest for three to four weeks following a hairline fracture to his right thumb.

Dilshan's first-innings 193 was the outstanding performance of a match that petered out into a stalemate on the final day, with England's declaration target of 343 providing no incentive to take risks on an unresponsive wicket. Although he was padded up and ready to bat if needed, Dilshan stepped down from his opener's role, and remained unused as Sri Lanka closed on 127 for 3.

"At the moment I am out for the third Test," said Dilshan at the close of play. "The physio and doctors have advised that it will take three to four weeks to heal. I have ten days [before the third Test] so if it's a quick recovery, it might be that I can play, or else I'll give a youngster a chance and be ready for the one-dayers."

That youngster is likely to be the 21-year-old left-hander, Lahiru Thirimanne, who played in three ODIs in 2009-10, but has yet to make his Test debut. He is now certain to play in Sri Lanka's three-day warm-up against Essex later this week, with the prospect of higher honours to follow. "He is batting really well in the nets and ready to play international cricket," said Dilshan. "I think if I can't play, I can give him a chance to open the batting."

Despite the injury, Dilshan's team-mate Mahela Jayawardene backed his captain to play through the pain. "If he's ruled out, that is something we'll need to cope with," he told ESPNcricinfo. "But knowing him I reckon he'll be okay to play the Test match.

"After all, the way he batted on after two really painful blows shows what determination he has got, and though he didn't field yesterday or bat today, that's simply because we didn't want to take any risks with him," he added. "We wanted to give him three extra days to settle that sore thumb and see how it comes up.

"He'll now have five or six more days to rest and if he's feeling well enough to hold a bat, I know he'll want to play that Test match. If he's not there, it's going to be a big blow, but fingers crossed for him. Like we've always done when things get tough, we'll back the guys to stand up just like they did in this match."

In Dilshan's absence, the captaincy would pass to his predecessor, Kumar Sangakkara, who led the side in the field on the final two days of the Lord's Test. "We have one more chance to level the series so we have to come out strong at the Rose Bowl and try to win and draw the series," said Dilshan. "All the players have that mindset for playing good cricket at the moment."

Despite the obvious parallels with the situation in Cardiff, when Sri Lanka were left to bat for 51 overs on the final day and were bowled out for 82 in 24.4, Dilshan insisted that no such negative thoughts had crossed the team's mind when Andrew Strauss's afternoon declaration left them with 58 overs to negotiate at Lord's.

The draw was set up by another disciplined anchor role from Dilshan's opening partner, Tharanga Paranavitana, who made 44, while the veteran Mahela Jayawardene also helped soak up the pressure of the situation in a 53-run stand for the second wicket.

"We just talked about batting normally, whatever we got, 50 overs or whatever," said Dilshan. "Just bat those 50 overs and don't think about the result. They all played really well and I'm happy Mahela spent some time in the middle. The batting group did a great job."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @lijihas -2nd turn coming mate...well your comments makes not sence at all...we are talikng about the game here and not about Sangakkra and the rankings...well we all know how Indian's won the test status..go an have a look at the history and what made u win the test status it was because of us Sri Lankans..get you facts right mate....

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 9, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    @LankanWonder. Fortunately our team were not in a situation to give excuses. We one at least 1 test in all away matches. First do some homework and argue. You captain do not have any more excuses remaining because you are losing all matches!. It will be better if SCB can assign a commission to find excuses for your team...lol

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    we missed u dilshan.hopefully u can come back to one day series

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | June 8, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ranilranathunga I for one have never claimed this England side is "Great". I do however think they are pretty good. They may (I repeat may) also be the best test side in the world, because no other team at the moment is great either

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | June 8, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    @SL Fans, first win it and then speak or loathe as a typical asian. well except Paranavithana and Dilshan, which SL batsman contributed. England has certain reservations, they are still on the path, they have made 5 fifties and 2 centuries in Lords test whereas SL has one big hundred and a fifty, England is not the windies of 80s or aussie of 2000s, Strauss was cautious about declaration and that back fired, on the other hand SL didnt do something great, when mahela and sanga make big 100s back in SL, why cant they make some with WEAK English bowling. Dont overhype SL team here, but this English team is not the same as it was in the past, by the end of this series, most of you will come to know about it.

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | June 8, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Le Pom ...I dont feel better or worse for my comments. I am not a fan of any team but always sympathize with the underdogs and at the moment I feel I have to defend the current SL team who have been getting a lot of stick from Cricket journalists. Of the 3 teams that you speak of that can 'create a win' I would say India definitely but not England and S. Africa and if we are talking cricket in general then England and S.Africa have never won a world cup so I dont know what they 'create'. A correct definition of ' holding your own' is to do as well as anyone else (Thesaurus) and SL inspite of a mediocre bowling attack are doing just that.

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 8, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    @ Eng fans- U r point makes no sense, yes we all agree England were the better side so far in the series who are playing in home conditions, no doubt about that. But SL did not get blown away as many pundits predicted and it proved Eng may be the better side but not a great side!!! SL are undergoing a transition period and will settle down very soon but even then Eng are struggling to beat SL in their home conditions. Yes Brits u can be happy u were the better side so far but u will be proved that Eng side is a average team very soon nad no great team by any means..... @ faizalsehwag- Sri Lankans Pussy cats in away matches???he he he what a joke-world cup semis in 2007 in south africa, finalists in west indies, has won test matches in two occasions in England and won test matches in most countries, what a funny comment

  • POSTED BY HAKF5 on | June 8, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Lahiru Thirimanne is the best correct stroke maker I have seen after sometimes. He is a brilliant stroke makers. He had two good domestics seasons as well. Last year he scored two brilliant 100s against Pakistan & India in warm up matches . His batting style defiantly suits for these seaming and bouncy wickets. Also I would like to see Dinesh Chandimal bats at no 5 instead of Thilan Samaraweera . These two youngsters will be our future cricketing heroes.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    @5wombats-Well we made some active comments to your silly remarks made...why don't you understand? Yes!! the truth hurts? we are not the only team ended up with " if's and but's" The same story was told by Mr.Strauss in his intereview....shamless to see how the Englishman bowled in Lords....come on..40 odd leg bys..you meant to say your pace attack cannot bowl streight...the truth is England can only do well on day that has bad weather..and on Sunny conditions in Lord's they were out played by the Lankan's ..I say you guy's got lucky on cardiff mate...and you guy's imagined the same at Lord's wake up???

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Lord.emsworth, I don't think that beating Australia in Australia is so easy. We will see when other teams tour there but while England made them look bad if you look at the team they still have they are not that bad. The batting and pace bowling is not so bad but they may struggle in Sri Lanka due to a lack of spin options. I still think they will prove hard to beat, at home at least. For Sri Lanka, they have not yet looked capable of winning a test in England. Never say never but they really have to improve their bowling to have a chance in the next match, a draw is not good enough when you are losing the series.

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @lijihas -2nd turn coming mate...well your comments makes not sence at all...we are talikng about the game here and not about Sangakkra and the rankings...well we all know how Indian's won the test status..go an have a look at the history and what made u win the test status it was because of us Sri Lankans..get you facts right mate....

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 9, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    @LankanWonder. Fortunately our team were not in a situation to give excuses. We one at least 1 test in all away matches. First do some homework and argue. You captain do not have any more excuses remaining because you are losing all matches!. It will be better if SCB can assign a commission to find excuses for your team...lol

  • POSTED BY on | June 9, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    we missed u dilshan.hopefully u can come back to one day series

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | June 8, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ranilranathunga I for one have never claimed this England side is "Great". I do however think they are pretty good. They may (I repeat may) also be the best test side in the world, because no other team at the moment is great either

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | June 8, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    @SL Fans, first win it and then speak or loathe as a typical asian. well except Paranavithana and Dilshan, which SL batsman contributed. England has certain reservations, they are still on the path, they have made 5 fifties and 2 centuries in Lords test whereas SL has one big hundred and a fifty, England is not the windies of 80s or aussie of 2000s, Strauss was cautious about declaration and that back fired, on the other hand SL didnt do something great, when mahela and sanga make big 100s back in SL, why cant they make some with WEAK English bowling. Dont overhype SL team here, but this English team is not the same as it was in the past, by the end of this series, most of you will come to know about it.

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | June 8, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Le Pom ...I dont feel better or worse for my comments. I am not a fan of any team but always sympathize with the underdogs and at the moment I feel I have to defend the current SL team who have been getting a lot of stick from Cricket journalists. Of the 3 teams that you speak of that can 'create a win' I would say India definitely but not England and S. Africa and if we are talking cricket in general then England and S.Africa have never won a world cup so I dont know what they 'create'. A correct definition of ' holding your own' is to do as well as anyone else (Thesaurus) and SL inspite of a mediocre bowling attack are doing just that.

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 8, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    @ Eng fans- U r point makes no sense, yes we all agree England were the better side so far in the series who are playing in home conditions, no doubt about that. But SL did not get blown away as many pundits predicted and it proved Eng may be the better side but not a great side!!! SL are undergoing a transition period and will settle down very soon but even then Eng are struggling to beat SL in their home conditions. Yes Brits u can be happy u were the better side so far but u will be proved that Eng side is a average team very soon nad no great team by any means..... @ faizalsehwag- Sri Lankans Pussy cats in away matches???he he he what a joke-world cup semis in 2007 in south africa, finalists in west indies, has won test matches in two occasions in England and won test matches in most countries, what a funny comment

  • POSTED BY HAKF5 on | June 8, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Lahiru Thirimanne is the best correct stroke maker I have seen after sometimes. He is a brilliant stroke makers. He had two good domestics seasons as well. Last year he scored two brilliant 100s against Pakistan & India in warm up matches . His batting style defiantly suits for these seaming and bouncy wickets. Also I would like to see Dinesh Chandimal bats at no 5 instead of Thilan Samaraweera . These two youngsters will be our future cricketing heroes.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    @5wombats-Well we made some active comments to your silly remarks made...why don't you understand? Yes!! the truth hurts? we are not the only team ended up with " if's and but's" The same story was told by Mr.Strauss in his intereview....shamless to see how the Englishman bowled in Lords....come on..40 odd leg bys..you meant to say your pace attack cannot bowl streight...the truth is England can only do well on day that has bad weather..and on Sunny conditions in Lord's they were out played by the Lankan's ..I say you guy's got lucky on cardiff mate...and you guy's imagined the same at Lord's wake up???

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Lord.emsworth, I don't think that beating Australia in Australia is so easy. We will see when other teams tour there but while England made them look bad if you look at the team they still have they are not that bad. The batting and pace bowling is not so bad but they may struggle in Sri Lanka due to a lack of spin options. I still think they will prove hard to beat, at home at least. For Sri Lanka, they have not yet looked capable of winning a test in England. Never say never but they really have to improve their bowling to have a chance in the next match, a draw is not good enough when you are losing the series.

  • POSTED BY lijihas on | June 8, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    I AM SCARED THAT SANGA WILL CRY AGAIN FROM ENG THAT "WE NEED NO.1 RANK PLEASE".....(LIKE AS HE DID IT FEW MONTHS BACK BECAUSE OF JEALOUSY TOWARDS INDIA) HE WAS CRYINHG ON MEDIAS..... NOW WHOLE THE WORLD ARE WATCHING THIS SERIES..I THINKS ICC SHOULD REMOVE TEST STATUS OF SRILANKA INSTEAD OF RANK....

  • POSTED BY sanath007 on | June 8, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    If we exclude that 1 hour of shame..series would have been 0-0...what a great knock by dilshan

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Why don't they bring in Upul Tharanga? He is an accomplished opening batsman and scored a lot of runs with Dilshan at the top of the order in the World Cup earlier this year. He should be a welcome addition to the squad for the third test.

  • POSTED BY Mitsui on | June 8, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    @lijihas: thanks for your sarcastic comment. Let's see how the overrated champions fair in England @Man007: You always make pro-Indian comments or anti-SL comments in articles you comment on. But everyone has a right to express their opinion so I respect it. By the way Dhoni can learn from his neighbours on how to take defeat gracefully without offering inane excuses like poor umpiring/UDRS/weather like real men do instead of hiding behind the rich board and offering excuses. Hence I cannot see how they can be called MEN in blue when they act otherwise. Thank you

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Dilshan must be saying that because thirimanne will open instead of dilshan and surely he is hinting that maharoof will go for the extra batsman in Dinesh chandimul, Chandimul is way way way better player then Thirimanne and they are both top order players, for some reason SL is reluctant to play chandimul as premier keeper/batsman. If thirimanne plays and chandimul doesnt i think it will be a disgrace to 1st class cricket. SL need longer batting line up, maharoof has struggled to even get 1 or 2 wickets a game and he has scord nearly no runs in 2 tests, he has a terrible test record after 20+ games, he is wasting a batting slot.

  • POSTED BY faizalsehwag on | June 8, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    U r rt man007.......LANKANS ARE PUSSY CATS IN AWAY MATCHES...THEY WILL BE LIONS ONCE IN WHILE AT COLOMBO OR GALLE.... hope this time sanga wont cry for getting No 1 ..... hey lankans ,with out winning test matches evrywhere how can u achieve NO 1 rank..also these ranking systems wont available in supermarkets....u should play and get it....

  • POSTED BY Sumeet.Gupta on | June 8, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Someone please explain me why Sangakkara talks with an accent? Did he study overseas?Or is it just fake?Anyhow, it does not suit him

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | June 8, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    As assumed, SL going to lose this series. yet again proved as Lions in own pitch and cats in away matches.

  • POSTED BY lijihas on | June 8, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    GREAT ACHIEVEMENT FOR LANKAN CRICKET IN ENGLAND..!!!!! THEY GOT ONE DRAW.... .. GREAT...GREAT.... I THOUGHT SEREIS WILL BE 3-0 ...... NOW LANKA CAN RELIEF THAT END WILL WIN THE SERIES BY 2-0 ONLY... CONGRATULATION LANKA..KEEP IT UP.....

  • POSTED BY nimal183 on | June 8, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    It is shocking that people already writing Sri Lanka off.. its true that we have a weak bowling attack at the moment.. when suddenly 3 top quality bowlers leave from a side (Malinga, Murali, Vaas) it will take some time to replace them specially a bowler like Murali.Our bowling is inexperienced they are not bad bowlers. Well . Did england try to win this match??? its a Big No... The way Cook batted 11 runs in 1 hour..He just played for his 100 and not for the teams win.. If they really want to win the match they should have declared when the lead was in 270s... I dont think this England side will compete us in our home soil even with the same bowling side...

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | June 8, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    what I still cannot believe is how our past heroes like Sid wettimuny, duleep mendis ,and amal silva scored superb hundreds in Lord's.It was way back in 984.Why now we cant do that kind of a performance now? Only Dilshan shined so far.I guess this is due to the differnce between 1984 English attack (one man show;BOTHAM) and the pace attack they posess now.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | June 8, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Some surprisingly silly comments here from one or two Sri Lankans and some even sillier ones from some India fans. Sri Lanka - guys - you are behind in this series! You are behind because you got outplayed in Cardiff. You were not the better side there and you were not the better side at Lord's either. You can imagine you were if you like - but imagination doesn't win Test matches. If's and buts don't change anything. Also - SL simply don't have the bowlers to dominate England; @Manesha Madiwalagamage; why are you talking about the World Cup? I don't understand! @ranilranathunga; no-one in England is doing any boasting, and, no England are not overrated. Why are YOU boasting on India's behalf??? If you like India so much that's good - you'll get plenty of chance to watch them later on this summer. All very strange.

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | June 8, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    It's a real shame about Dilshan- both for SL and for the summer's cricket. I was disappointed with the conservative declaration and Cook's lack of alacrity. I'm slightly confused as to why people seem to think this series is evidence that Ebgland are no good, however. They won one game by an innings and then had the better of a draw on a flat track, where nearly a day had been lost to rain against a strong top order, despite their bowlers being below par. Hardly the performance of a poor team.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    these drawn, high scoring tests where only a few wickets fall, are really bad advertisement of tests. A test match should be all about twists & turns, change of strategies after session breaks, fall of wickets then rebuilding innings, then it should be conclusive, one side should win, other must lose. But tests like these, scoring 400+ then other team trailing it at snail's speed, then a littile lead, later chased and again setting up a target of more than 350 with only a half a day to 'chase' ending up with a draw declaration, would always make a test boring.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Mahela shld make captain n bring bck jayasuriya,murali,vaas, n throw ot fernendo,mendis,mahroof. N de silva should resingd frm selection community n join SL team. It seems lyk Srilanka ll goin to turn in next Westindies team soon.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    @landl47-Here we go again....without the likes of "Muralie & Vass" Sri Lanka dosn't have fire power to win ..what a bold comment??? ....for all in all they were past and we have a new young team and more to come which Englisman have never seen before..Sri Lanka always has the glory of producing great names in the game...and you guy's were like enough to see them playing??? What happened in Cardiff was a bad day..and the Englis thought the same at Lord's but failed to get wickets...measuring both teams will not be usefull as both teams have their own star class players....all we saw was Englismanlost their confidence to win the game where Srilankans gained their pride and showed how we play our brand of Cricket!! no matter what we are going for Rosebowl with winning mind..we'll meet u there...

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | June 8, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    I agree with some comments that we don't look like we can take 20 wickets BUT thus us because we are in a state if rebuild the team. The fact that our bowling line up is weak doesn't take a genius to figure out but the fact again us that we proved to the fools that thought cardiff second innings was the norm, that it was a blip. Don't forget we batted well to score.400 in the first innings. I agree no point in saying if we had our stars of the past we would win...I am positive that Englands superior bowling attack is not good enough to bowl us out twice at the home if cricket. If England fans are being honest,they would admit this bowling unit looks ordinary without Anderson with only tremlett providing venom.I know Finn got wickets but his bowling overall was poor. For next test we should bring thirimanne at three,chandimal at six for samara and drop maha for randhiv. Open with mahela and play prasana as pure bat with chandimal as keeper.good luck Lanka

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    @5wombats- I beleive by measuring both teams will not do better for the point that you are trying to prove Mr.?? Well We Sri Lankans know that the Era of Murali & Vass was past ( Sorry for you that u guy's did not have any world class spinners like we did ) we are pretty much happy with our past records...but what happened in Cardiff was past too..and it was one of those bad days for us...but we move on showing our guts that we Sri Lanakn's are a strong team at Lords on the final day....well mate it's your problme that you guy's had bad weather but seriously who got beaten!! in the WC in our own back yard playing on nice weather conditions...and won by 0 wickets making 231 runs....now measure that??

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | June 8, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    The issue that most seem to miss is that Eng are clearly the favorites on all fronts and in home conditions, but got no where near winning that game!! The more potent bowling attack was taken for 450+ by a 6 batters line up. SL did well to draw that game and the highlight was Dilshan, Cook and Prior. When conditions were favorable Eng threatened and the SL batting looked dodgy but the SL bowlers inability to use favorable conditions was notable on day 4. Dissoppoinments were Stauss and Broad for Eng Mahela, Sanga and Dilhara for SL notably all senior experienced players. Cant find fault with the spinners as there really was nothing for them. SL will be the happier team with the draw.

  • POSTED BY Mitsui on | June 8, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Coming from a Sri Lankan it is pointless to say we would've won if Murali/Malinga had been there even if it is true simply because this is a new era in SL cricket and we must live in the present era. At the same time @rahulcricindia: we don't feel triumphant after a draw but we are proud of how we played in the 2nd test after a horrible 2nd innings in the 1st test match. We were 'expected' to be blown away by the so called great English trio + Swann but we proved our metal and bounced back from the nightmare. We didn't provide lame excuses like poor umpiring/weather/pitch as your captain Dhoni does but were man enough to admit we were dismal in the 1st test. @English fans: Rain saved SL in the 2nd test? Please don't make me laugh. Rain hampered SL's rhythm and provided the lapse of concentration English bowlers needed to take wickets. Please don't over rate your team. English bowling was proved to be mediocre by our batsmen and faired only a bit better than our bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY Mitsui on | June 8, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @Deepfreezed: Go check what Mahela did in last English tour or his record in Lords/England. You called Dilshan a flat pitch player sometime before this tour. But what happened? No need to label classy players stating they can only play in the sub when they've proved their metal all around the world. You don't become a world class player by just doing well in your country/continent.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | June 8, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    "Still if the Murali had not retired it wouldve been a very intense match." IF ifs and buts were pots and pans there will be no tinkers in the world! C'mon guys accept the fact Murali was on the slide when he retired with too many injuries that made him less effective even in the subcontinent. Also Malinga could not manage the strains of 5 day cricket and Vassy though still playing has lost the sting in his bowling. Not too long ago the POWERS THAT BE of SLC were gushing about the variety of bowling stocks. I wondr where they are right now because we have an inexperienced and average attack. Add to that a 3some who average 50+ but have done nothing to justify their positions among the top 10 test batteers in the present. If not for Dilly, Para and much criticised PJ we would still be making Cardiffish totalls in all 3 innings!!!

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 8, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    I dont think England has achieved much in cricket and they are not going to gain much with this team....Just bcoz they won ashes they are thinking they are a great team...we will soon see how overrated they are...poor england fans

  • POSTED BY crickstats on | June 8, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Thirimanne and Chandimal both open and bat at No.3, Why Thirimanne? when Chandimal has a better record in domestic tournaments.Moreover Chandimal is a right hander while Thirimanne is a left-hander, while Chandimal has played ODIs successfully Lahiru is yet to prove his credentials.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 8, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    It's unfortunate that Dilshan might miss the third test. Without him, Sri Lanka would have lost this test comfortably. I'm not sure where the Sri Lankan fans get the idea these sides are level; England won by an innings and only lost 5 wickets in total at Cardiff and would have won this match too with another half day's play- one more wicket and they were into the tail. Sri Lanka have never looked as though they could get 20 wickets. As for ranil and his 'with Murali and Malinga' comment- they've retired. It makes no more sense for you to say that than for me to say that with Fred Trueman and Frank Tyson, England would have thrashed Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka have picked their side from the players available and you'd better get used to the idea that this is it- SL doesn't have Murali any more and if they lose it's because they aren't good enough to win.

  • POSTED BY LePom on | June 8, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    "Lord.emsworth on (June 08 2011, 03:27 AM GMT) James B Wing... Of course SL have held their own. The Cardiff loss was a cricketing anomaly, uncommon but known to happen sometimes. Dont read much into Englands recent Test victories"

    Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but be prepared for an over abundance of anomalies. Sri Lanka is capable of holding its own, true, but there is a world of difference between having the ability to not lose (hold your own) and the ability to create a win. There are 3 teams that have the ability to do that consistently at the moment. India, South Africa and England. Of the three, I could not say which is currently the best.

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    if Thirimanna will be brought in for Dilshan, why not replace the under-performing Sangakkara with Chandimal? Mahela can captain in the 3rd test.

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | June 8, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    James B Wing... Of course SL have held their own. The Cardiff loss was a cricketing anomaly, uncommon but known to happen sometimes. Dont read much into Englands recent Test victories. Oz were a team in rapid decline losing to India and several others before the ashes. SL beat the daylights of them in the ODI's just before England arrived in OZ land. ODI's are not test matches true but still the results showed up the weak, creaking, Aussies for what they are. SL have held their own with practically a one man team in Dilshan. Wonder how it would be if the guy had some decent support....

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    yes, Mahela was always a better captain. He is more balanced than the rest of the team members.Still if the Murali had not retired it wouldve been a very intense match.

  • POSTED BY PremasiriS on | June 8, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    Only S'weera & P'thana have skills to save a match (in this present team) under any weather conditions having the distinction of winning the best Schoolboy C'ter of the Y Awards for batting consistency from their schooldays. Though they are the men for all seasons they couldn't get into the side till they reached the age of 24 & 27 respectively. Due to the weaknesses I've mentioned above. As for bowlers Herath & Randiv (1stCl'sBow.Aves. 25+) aren't the best in the country at the moment. There are two very consistent tall Legee & Offee who've 1stCl'sBow. Aves. Of 20.04 &20.15 and taken 685 & 282 wickets respectively. I don't think they require rough spots on the pitch to make the ball to spin.

  • POSTED BY PremasiriS on | June 8, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    This is good news. It's a blessing in disguise, to include a promising youngster. Otherwise they would like to keep these future stars out in the cold forever. As in the case of Ian Daniel (who've had the 3rd Best batting aggregate with an ave of 74+ in the year 2000 Youth WC & who went on to win the best schoolboy batsman of the year award in 2000 and & very consistent as a 1st Cla. cricketer in his earlier career) who wasn't given a chance to play for the country like many other unfortunate batsmen of quality & technical proficiency. The selectors of late (last 12-15y's) have always preferred boundary hitters as they( s'tors.) never bother about the manner or number of chances their favorites offer to score a 50.That's why situations like the 2nd ins. at Cardif occurs& batsmen the class of Cooks , Trotts,..are missing in SL Team.( to be cont'd)

  • POSTED BY on | June 8, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    @Lord.emsworth "Sri Lanka are on par with England and have more than held their own in the two tests". Have they? A loss and holding on for a draw is not really holding your own in my opinion. Sri Lanka have taken 22 wickets in the series @59, England have 33 wickets @33. England bowled poorly in this match but Sri Lanka are yet to demonstrate that they are actually capable of taking 20 wickets. This Sri Lanka team looks like it can draw matches but not win them. Since Galle in 2010 (8 wickets for murili) Sri lanka have not won any of their last 7 tests. England last 7 matches have included 4 inning victories.

  • POSTED BY LePom on | June 7, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    There is a fair amount of wishful thinking on view in the comments here. The cold stark facts are that the better team will win most of the time and the lesser team will be left with a list of what ifs. Just look at the length of time England went without an Ashes series win, and the list of small yet significant things that, on paper could have changed the balance but did not. There was only one point in the match where Sri Lanka had any realistic chance of winning the test, and that was in the first few overs of the first day. After that the only two outcomes likely were a draw or an England win. The two teams are fairly evenly matched on the batting front. Fielding, England are better, though they were below par in this match. On the bowling front England have the edge by a good margin.

    Sri Lanka are a strong team that is hard to beat. England are a better team because they have the ability to actively win a test (whilst Sri Lanka lacks the bowling fire power to do that often).

  • POSTED BY Hasan2012 on | June 7, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    I Hope and pray your Thumb gets better for the time for series decider Dilshan, We need you, as Mahela said you will great miss if you don't. please play(even with pain) for your country!

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    England are by far the better team out there... when u take it player to player only the top 3 batsman are matched by SL. Kevin/ Kumar, Cook/ Dilshan (tho they play very different styles..both have proved very effective) and Mahela/trott... its the fighting style of the Sri Lankans (and the weather) that gave them a chance to go into the 3rd test 0/0 but the collapse ensured that the better team is 1 up.. i think that the pace attack SL have is just not good enough to trouble the Eng batsman... So the only other option is to play to SL's traditional strength - play 2 spinners... Leave Mahroof out and bring in Randiv... it ll take a valiant effort to topple this English side.. lets just wait and see how much of a fight this group of lankans can muster...

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 7, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    @5wombats-Sri Lanka scored over 400 runs in both test matches and media was boasting about england bowling attack....they were struggling to get the first wicket until 200 runs were scored...now dont forget these are english conditions and you guys are struggling to win the matches...come to sri lanka and see what happens to the england team...yes eng is a decent team but not great by any means...Too much boasting and a overrated team is this english team...this will be clearly proved when indians come...Sri Lankans with all their injuries are still giving england a good fight and england won the 1 innings just by 7 runs in their so called conditions...and the excuse is weather....he he he so hilarious

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | June 7, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    @5wombats- you are wrong, the simple fact is the weather hampered us not helped us. If it wasn't for the rain at three hundred for two,we would have built a lead and put pressure on England. It was the rain that allowed Englands bowlers to run through us in the first innings.need I remind you of our opening partnership? The fact is you couldn't bowl us out twice with your "superior" bowling attack and in familiar conditions. Our " toothless" attack was never expected to do much but surprised many. Anyone who thinks we will be rolled over like in the last test again,is a fool. Well don3 Sri Lanka on forcing the draw! All we need is a win at the rose bowl to avoid losing the series.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | June 7, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    All out for 82 @Cardiff and 7 for 107 @Lords should be enough proof of their batting pedigree...? @ranilranathunga' "sri lankans are evenly matched with english team who is playing in their own conditions". Sorry - don't agree. The weather saved SL at Lord's - and it didn't quite save them at Cardiff. I'm surprised and disappointed that some Sri Lanka fans aren't able to see the truth - which is that England are by a measure the better team. Don't get me wrong - I like Sri Lanka's brand of cricket, swashbuckling and bold. I like the way they fight. But don't get carried away - England are overall the stronger team and will win the series. @ranilranathunga; "If Sri Lanka had Malinga and Murali Brits would have got a real thrashing" - this is rubbish. Forget about Murali & Vaas - they are history and will never play for Sri Lanka again. Talk about now - not about historical figures.

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 7, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    Yes Mahela is very much better captain than sanga...and I think we should give a chance to Chandimal before Thirimanne...I am not sure why Thirimanne comes before Chandimal...Chandimal is easily the better one out of two...

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 7, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    ranilranathunga, if England had Anderson, Onions, Bresnan fit (and Broad were not coming back from a long injury lay-off)... and maybe Trueman, Larwood and Barnes. You don't. England don't either. And Malinga does not have such a Test pedigree. Sri Lanka were, again, obliged to bat to save the match on the friendliest surface in England and even so had some nervous moments and would most likely have lost had the rain not taken so much time out of the match. They have not managed a first innings lead and suffered another massive collapse in the first innings here. Various of the senior batsmen are not contributing and the tail is long and unreliable. If England had not been chasing quick runs, would have struggled to take 4 wickets before the declaration. It doesn't look like an even series when you look at cold facts.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricindia on | June 7, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    it feels like srilankans felt triumphed after a draw .....as they were expected to loose that one....its very funny when they say 'if we had malinga and murali" boy everybody has to retire ...its present team that matters...otherwise westindies will feel triumphed every day regardless of their present condition..

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | June 7, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    @kavum i absolutely agree with you regarding Sanga.He is all sound-bites which the media loves and with his fluency even the western media. When a guy talks with an accent you know he is fake.I would say give Thilan S the captaincy and to talk to the media send Sanga :)

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | June 7, 2011, 20:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka are on par with England and have more than held their own in the two tests played despite a bowling attack sans their big names and the terrible constant failures of silky talking Sangakarra and his mate, the the likeable Mahela. Stuart Law said that England are the best test playing nation right now and taking this into context then Sri Lanka must be surely the equally best test playing nation or something very close given the results. And Dilshan? what can you say..."Every inch a king"...

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Dilshan has proved many people wrong about what they said when he was appointed as captain. i am sure he will improve with time. grt work. Mahela and sanga are the biggest disspointments for Sl cricket in this series. they should know that IPL is not what Sri Lankans need and SL cricket is more importent than IPL. they both strugle to score in England conditiona and they must have used every oppertunity to get used to england conditions when the option was there before the test series. if any of them have done a better job we would have easilly drawn the cardiff test. at least please learn , as sri lankans we love you all and we need you all to perform for our country, not for BCCI..

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | June 7, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    This is further tragedy to this team, Dilshan showing prime form.Cutting edge from bowling was lost with Nuwan Pradeep.IPL is following both Sanga & Mahela sadly out of form from their high standards.They should learn a lesson and cannot bluff any more telling all is mental toughness.Had they put a significant contribution in the first innings to top Dilshan's,this game was ours to win.Should drop both Maharoof and Samaraweera,useless passengers.Rose Bowl will be a flat pitch,Bring in Chandimal and cross batting Thissara,at least as youngsters,would be an investment. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY stationmaster on | June 7, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    I feel that Cook should have played for the team, not the members board, felt too much like the 'old' England, and not enough guts to try and push further to being number one team. Shame.

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 7, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Except for cardiff 2nd innings sri lankans are evenly matched with english team who is playing in their own conditions....They are struggling to beat the sri lankans in their own country..If Sri Lanka had Malinga and Murali Brits would have got a real thrashing...Luckily for them SL are having a young bowling attack...

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Like I've said before, the second innings at Cardiff was an aberration for the Sri Lankans........400 in the first innings at Cardiff and 479 here at Lords should be enough proof of their batting pedigree. BTW Cook, for all his consistency and form, couldn't accelerate when required. As the designated ODI captain of England, he should have had the nous to kick on and put up a score to challenge the SL team. I don't see him leading from the front, come the ODI series. This evening I'm particularly enjoying my 'Schadenfreude' because the hype built up by the English media with regard to the trio of giant fast bowlers (Tremlett, Finn and Broad), proved to be a damp squib. The Sri Lankan batsmen didn't get blown away like they thought:)

  • POSTED BY RecordHunter on | June 7, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    good idea to give Thirimaane to open the inning.I think Sanga ia not a good captain.At least he do not know to shuffle the bowling attack nor to do something differenet. he do not rely on part time bowlers. As far as the team concrened for the next encounter SL should drop Maharoof and Thilan, to bring Thisara or Mendis and Chandimal . I beleive Paranavithana would be a good candidate for the Vice Captancy in the future.

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | June 7, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Mahela is a better skipper than Sanga. Sanga is all in to philosophizing things but rarely turns into any action. Both Mahela and Sanga are utterly disappointing in England. I am afraid at this rate Mahela deserve the label that he only can play in sub-continent pitches.

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | June 7, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    Mahela is a loads better skipper than Sanga who only says things that please the palefaces. Thus, he is "highly regarded" by those who "used to matter" in the game. Methinks he speaks with a forked tounge. Mahela, though not as fluent, appears to have the better cricketing brain. Although both have loyalty issues - in that they preferred the IPL to prepping for a national tour, MJ might be the safer bet. If not, Thillan Samaraweera is a good option. He may not spout the trite soundbites that the Western media love, but he has the experience and the nous to handle second-grade cricketers which he has done for the A team and will have to deal with in this squad.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | June 7, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    I cannot believe that Cardiff was not on their minds. But, they did fight well this time. Why do cricketers never stay true to their emotions - irrespective of the country, cricketers always make these cliched nonsensical statements to the media. Why not just say that they were ner

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  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | June 7, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    I cannot believe that Cardiff was not on their minds. But, they did fight well this time. Why do cricketers never stay true to their emotions - irrespective of the country, cricketers always make these cliched nonsensical statements to the media. Why not just say that they were ner

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | June 7, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    Mahela is a loads better skipper than Sanga who only says things that please the palefaces. Thus, he is "highly regarded" by those who "used to matter" in the game. Methinks he speaks with a forked tounge. Mahela, though not as fluent, appears to have the better cricketing brain. Although both have loyalty issues - in that they preferred the IPL to prepping for a national tour, MJ might be the safer bet. If not, Thillan Samaraweera is a good option. He may not spout the trite soundbites that the Western media love, but he has the experience and the nous to handle second-grade cricketers which he has done for the A team and will have to deal with in this squad.

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | June 7, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    Mahela is a better skipper than Sanga. Sanga is all in to philosophizing things but rarely turns into any action. Both Mahela and Sanga are utterly disappointing in England. I am afraid at this rate Mahela deserve the label that he only can play in sub-continent pitches.

  • POSTED BY RecordHunter on | June 7, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    good idea to give Thirimaane to open the inning.I think Sanga ia not a good captain.At least he do not know to shuffle the bowling attack nor to do something differenet. he do not rely on part time bowlers. As far as the team concrened for the next encounter SL should drop Maharoof and Thilan, to bring Thisara or Mendis and Chandimal . I beleive Paranavithana would be a good candidate for the Vice Captancy in the future.

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Like I've said before, the second innings at Cardiff was an aberration for the Sri Lankans........400 in the first innings at Cardiff and 479 here at Lords should be enough proof of their batting pedigree. BTW Cook, for all his consistency and form, couldn't accelerate when required. As the designated ODI captain of England, he should have had the nous to kick on and put up a score to challenge the SL team. I don't see him leading from the front, come the ODI series. This evening I'm particularly enjoying my 'Schadenfreude' because the hype built up by the English media with regard to the trio of giant fast bowlers (Tremlett, Finn and Broad), proved to be a damp squib. The Sri Lankan batsmen didn't get blown away like they thought:)

  • POSTED BY ranilranathunga on | June 7, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    Except for cardiff 2nd innings sri lankans are evenly matched with english team who is playing in their own conditions....They are struggling to beat the sri lankans in their own country..If Sri Lanka had Malinga and Murali Brits would have got a real thrashing...Luckily for them SL are having a young bowling attack...

  • POSTED BY stationmaster on | June 7, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    I feel that Cook should have played for the team, not the members board, felt too much like the 'old' England, and not enough guts to try and push further to being number one team. Shame.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | June 7, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    This is further tragedy to this team, Dilshan showing prime form.Cutting edge from bowling was lost with Nuwan Pradeep.IPL is following both Sanga & Mahela sadly out of form from their high standards.They should learn a lesson and cannot bluff any more telling all is mental toughness.Had they put a significant contribution in the first innings to top Dilshan's,this game was ours to win.Should drop both Maharoof and Samaraweera,useless passengers.Rose Bowl will be a flat pitch,Bring in Chandimal and cross batting Thissara,at least as youngsters,would be an investment. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Dilshan has proved many people wrong about what they said when he was appointed as captain. i am sure he will improve with time. grt work. Mahela and sanga are the biggest disspointments for Sl cricket in this series. they should know that IPL is not what Sri Lankans need and SL cricket is more importent than IPL. they both strugle to score in England conditiona and they must have used every oppertunity to get used to england conditions when the option was there before the test series. if any of them have done a better job we would have easilly drawn the cardiff test. at least please learn , as sri lankans we love you all and we need you all to perform for our country, not for BCCI..

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | June 7, 2011, 20:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka are on par with England and have more than held their own in the two tests played despite a bowling attack sans their big names and the terrible constant failures of silky talking Sangakarra and his mate, the the likeable Mahela. Stuart Law said that England are the best test playing nation right now and taking this into context then Sri Lanka must be surely the equally best test playing nation or something very close given the results. And Dilshan? what can you say..."Every inch a king"...