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June 25, 2011
Dud comeback of the day
There is tough competition for this award, but despite the futile swinging of Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb it has to go to Samit Patel. After all the coverage of his return to England colours - and Mick Newell's pointed warning not to "cock it up" - he couldn't really have fallen in a worse manner. Patting the ball into the off side he sauntered out of his crease and didn't seem to clock that Mahela Jayawardene was swooping from point. He turned slowly then didn't really extend himself as he tried to make his crease. Jayawardene hit direct, but still Patel seemed convinced he was safe. When 'out' came up on the big screen he was in for a shock.
Wimbledon moment of the day
With due respect to England's Twenty20 cricketers this match was never going to be top billing in the sporting agenda this weekend. Wimbledon is in full swing at SW19 with Andy Murray dominating the headlines. For one moment, though, there was a cry of that familiar tennis phrase "new balls please" after Eoin Morgan cracked the second of his consecutive sixes over midwicket off Thisara Perera. The ball didn't appear to leave the ground, but perhaps was snaffled by a shrewd punter who wanted a souvenir so it meant the umpires had to find a new one. Three deliveries later the ball was in the stands again from Kevin Pietersen's bat although this time it was returned.
Age-defying performance of the day
It's widely known that Sanath Jayasuriya's short-term return to the Sri Lanka side is more than purely a cricket-based decision. There are bigger issues at stake that show how sport and politics are so often intertwined, but he didn't let his side down when handed the ball at a crucial stage. With his fifth delivery he skidded one through Pietersen's attempted cut and later fired a quicker ball past the struggling Ravi Bopara. The batting didn't go quite so well as he drove to mid-off for 8, but he more than played his part in Sri Lanka's victory.
Shuddering halt of the day
England's innings was nicely set up at 95 for 2 in the 12th over with Pietersen and Morgan regularly clearing the boundaries, but from that high-point their effort dribbled to a conclusion. They hit one more boundary and added 41 in eight-and-a-half overs after Morgan's dismissal. The final stages were summed up when Stuart Broad failed to connect with three leg-side swings at Lasith Malinga and was then comically run out off the last ball trying to steal another bye.
Innings of the day
England omitted their most elegant batsman when Ian Bell was surprisingly left in the dugout, but Sri Lanka were never doing to drop their leading stylist. Mahela Jayawardene had a tough Test series yet gave another display of how Twenty20 isn't all about brute force in an elegant innings of 72 off 57 balls. He raced out of the blocks and by the end of the third over had 27 off 15 balls. Except for a slash over the slips it was classical batting and a straight drive for six off Chris Woakes was as pleasing on the eye as anything Morgan or Pietersen managed. Before they could blink, England's chances of building any early pressure had vanished. And with it so had the match.
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