England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Rose Bowl, 2nd day June 17, 2011

Tremlett's six keep England in control


Sri Lanka 177 for 9 (Fernando 33*, Welegedera 7*, Tremlett 6-42) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chris Tremlett continued an impressive performance at his former home ground to claim a career-best 6 for 42 on a rain-hit second day to leave Sri Lanka 177 for 9 when the weather closed in again. That the visitors didn't collapse completely was down to Prasanna Jayawardene's fighting 43 and an unbeaten 33 from Dilhara Fernando at No. 9.

As had been predicted from a few days out, heavy rain greeted players and fans on the second morning meaning no play until after lunch was possible. A brief window then allowed 23.2 overs before the rain returned to leave the ground resembling a lake by late afternoon. Tremlett made the most of the drier period to become the first player on the Rose Bowl honours board, but his success wasn't shared by James Anderson and Stuart Broad who both endured a frustrating afternoon. There was a feeling that, despite Sri Lanka's difficult position, England could have done better.

Tremlett's first wicket of the day was Thilan Samaraweera, who had already taken a blow on the thumb before edging a drive to gully where Kevin Pietersen, another former Hampshire player, took a regulation catch. That broke a determined 50-run stand for the fifth wicket and exposed Sri Lanka's long tail as Thisara Perera showed he was nowhere near a Test No. 7.

Tremlett gave him a real working over with the short ball and Perera could have gone from his third delivery when he top-edged towards fine leg where Jonathan Trott was slow to respond from the boundary. However, it only took Tremlett three more balls to strike when Perera edged a cross-batted swipe to Matt Prior who had to react quickly. Rangana Herath wasn't in the mood for blocking, either, and played his shots before he fell to another top edge and this time Anderson settled under the catch at fine leg to give Tremlett his fifth.

However, amid some poor application from the tourists, Prasanna fought hard for his team. He is as technically correct as any of Sri Lanka's top order, which enabled him to survive the moving and bouncing ball by playing straight. His driving was especially impressive and he was denied a greater tally than five boundaries by a slow outfield.

The game turned into one of those frustrating periods when the main batsman starts declining singles with tailenders for company and England resorted to trying to bounce out Prasanna. Broad couldn't open his wicket tally, remaining the least effective of the pacemen, and was looking increasingly frustrated although some of the short-ball tactics employed were odd with the ball still swinging around.

Given how hard he had worked against the quicks it was disappointing when Prasanna picked out deep midwicket in Graeme Swann's first over but at least he went down in positive fashion. Fernando had provided Prasanna with solid support in their 41-run stand and showed far more determination than the two batsmen above him in the order. He kept the slips interested but also showed a deft touch when he late cut Anderson to third man, while the sight of Swann's slower offerings brought a few more shots.

Tremlett returned and claimed his sixth wicket, when Suranga Lakmal gloved a pull first ball, but despite a couple of huge swipes from Chanaka Welegedara he couldn't quite finish off the innings before the looming rain started to fall. However, the forecast for the weekend is more promising and Sri Lanka's low-scoring first innings at least means the match has progressed.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dave on June 18, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    ShadySlim - think you will find anyone who batted against England through the 90s had a superior average to their career. We were garbage. Average of 38 last time round though once we had an attack worthy of the name. I wouldn't put my house on any sporting event, but I'll have a few quid on us. India are certainly not in the same league as the Aussie tourists of 2005 and we are several rungs above our own class of 05. And we all know how that went.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    For all the people complaining about the "unfair" conditions earlier. They are not unfair they just favor the bowlers. Both teams have to bat and Struass has already gone, if Sri Lanka bowl well they can get wickets. Suddenly the pitch does not look like having so much bounce, I think that's more to do with the difference between tremlett and the Sri Lankan bowlers than the pitch.

  • S on June 18, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    Don't give up Team SL! If the weather stays like this, the opposition batters will also have a challenging time. Keep fighting... this match is far from over.

  • S on June 18, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    @EnglishEmpire, that's a very apt name for your current (as Allan Border noted) Empire-XI side too! :) And pls do know your facts before spouting off bombastically - Tendulkar averages 60+ in England, as opposed to his career Test avg of 56. Finally, I hope you're not betting your house that the "underwhelming" Indians will get beaten 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 by your mighty Empire-XI?? Wouldn't want even someone like you ending up homeless!

  • Sameer on June 18, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    The result would have been 3-0 if only the weather had held up. Didnt expect SL to win the series but the way they have played so far has been shocking, specially the batting. The bowling was always going to struggle since Murali retired. Surprisingly, the only batsman to have looked the part has been the wicketkeeper, who was under criticism for being a poor batsman.

  • Dave on June 18, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    Welcome to the home of cricket, for those of you who think it might actually be an Indian game. These are the conditions cricket was born in and are the truest test of bat and ball. You can keep your subcontinent dustbowls where runs flow freely, that is what is killing test cricket. The amount of average players with 50+ averages in the SL and Indian sides is nauseating, you can knock at least 10 runs off those averages for a true reflection. Tendulkar would have at least 25% less 100s and batting average if he had been born English. And finally, all the Indians saying wait until the World Champions (yawn) come to town. Well all I can say is the prospect is frankly underwhelming. Nothing like the fever when the Aussies are coming to town, and to a lesser extent the great WI sides of the past. Take a look, you can still get tickets for most days in most grounds.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Why is it that play does not start earlier to make up for lost overs? In SA this is normally the case.

  • Nimal on June 18, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I know its a bouncy and pace pitch but Tremlett needs bad weather to take wickets like that!!! not only Srilanka any team will struggle against this conditions. Lets hope the weather will get better and then we can see a real test!!!!!

  • amit on June 18, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    india is one of the best team in world cricket today, they have won test matches all over the globe, even the great australian team of stev waugh failed to win atest series in india still they are considered to be great so why not india,and if SA ENG, AUS are such a great team why they fail when they come to subcontinent pitches.as far as this series goes.ecxept for the 20 over madness at cardiff it is pretty evenly contested.It is surprising to see Sanga and mahela fail in tandum. they are the back bone of srilanka team along with Dilshan.if your top three batsmen fail or get injured u are sure to struggle

  • Al on June 18, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Hammond ..your comments 'Cricket is an English game...Played on greenish wickets & unpredictable weather smacks of Xenophobia.Yes, England invented the game and have a really superb Test side right now but there is no need to have a 'master race' kind of attitude. Well, for all the' English game', rain, and green wickets,you mention England played 4 ( Yes four) WC's IN England and never once won the trophy...so much for your 'English game in English conditions. In these 4 instances the final was won by 3 teams from the Tropics (Twice WI, once India) and once by Australia.Cricket belongs to the world now...accept it, rejoice in it, and move on...

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