England v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Trent Bridge

Cook's perfect day

Plays of the day from the 4th ODI between England and Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge

Andrew McGlashan at Trent Bridge

July 3, 2011

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook sped to a 37-ball half-century as England romped to victory, England v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Trent Bridge, July 6 2011
Alastair Cook had the ideal day as England captain © PA Photos
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Call of the day

Alastair Cook's day finished superbly, but it started even better when he won a crucial toss. The Trent Bridge pitch was very green and he had no hesitation in putting Sri Lanka into bat. This was no Headingley, it was made for the fast bowlers. And in James Anderson they have one of the best around for exploiting the swinging ball. As soon as he removed Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first over the feeling was that this would be England's day. Yes, the conditions were in the home side's favour but that's how it should be. To their credit, England were good enough to make it count.

Relief of the day

When you've waited 39 overs (spread over five matches) to take your next wicket it doesn't really matter how it comes. The pressure has been growing on Stuart Broad and the signs weren't great in his first over when an edge flew wide of second slip then another boundary flew over cover. So the relief on Broad's face was unsurprising when Suraj Randiv gloved down the leg side and even though Richard Illingworth's finger didn't take long to come up it would have felt an age for Broad.

Catch of the day

England pride themselves on taking half chances, something that hasn't always happened in this series, and Tim Bresnan showed the way with a superb caught-and-bowled to remove the dangerous Angelo Mathews. The batsman had been squared up by a touch of extra bounce but the leading edge appeared to be looping into no-man's land on the off side. However, Bresnan continued from his follow through then stretched full length to grab the ball with his finger tips and, crucially, didn't let it slip out as he rolled on the ground. Mathews wasn't sure, but all the TV replay did was prove what a fine take it had been.

Quiet achievement of the day

England have the best one-day bowler in the world. Take a bow Graeme Swann. The rankings tables on various websites won't show it because they are only updated after a series finishes, but Swann has moved into top spot to replace Daniel Vettori. Although he went wicketless today on his home ground - even though replays showed he should have had an lbw with his final ball - the seven wickets in the first three matches, and an impressive economy rate of 3.51, were enough to push him to the head of the pack.

Chris Gayle impression of the day

This was Alastair Cook as we've rarely seen him and it was an impressive sight. His hundred at Lord's was incredible worthy but this was, hands down, his best one-day innings for England as a 37-ball fifty set the team well on their way to beating the threatening weather to level the series. The bowling was friendly and 12 off the first over kick-started the innings but, like Mahela Jayawardene, it was authentic, positive batting. How bothered was he to reach a hundred? After what he said about Dinesh Chandimal at Lord's it was probably a mix of feelings but he was able to prove a point.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (July 7, 2011, 16:06 GMT)

As usual there is too much bias in the comments. I saw nothing wrong with what Chandimal did - if there had only been an over or two left or two wickets to get, then sure - but both he and Matthews knew they were always going to win comfortably, so why not get the milestone?? I actually reserve criticism for Kieswetter if anyone - he rarely played a shot in anger (yet still played the perfect innings) until Cook was in close sight of his hundred, then went for two huge sixes when the game was already easily done - he could have taken a single each time (rather than blocking a whole over like Matthews) and no-one would have batted an eyelid and Cook would have either got his ton or got out. I just thought it was a strange choice he made. All much ado about nothing though - best comment came from Botham who said Cook and England were in no position to criticize Chandimal & Matthews as they were already on the end of a damn good spanking and should be looking at their own performances!

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

I don't understand why a lot of people have been talking about Chandimal & Cook's tactics in the 90s. But I won't say any one of them is wrong. Both knocks gave their sides a win having enough time to spare. But Craig must have finished it off leaving Cook stranded maybe cause they wanted to get the win before weather interrupted.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

Bell & Trott didn't bat very well at Trent Bridge, I thought...

And where has Cook exhibited any sign of sour grapes? Top run scorer in the ODIs so far, with the second highest average.

In fact, even though the series is at 2-2, if you look at the stats. England are probably doing better than SL in most areas.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

@Chris Sun..Ohh what a way to compare 02 match winners? let me tell you Chandimal was younger than Cook who helped the team to get a victory with Matthew's help and achieving his milestone on the same time and it was a team effort.....Cook is a player who cannot even find gaps to paly his shot's in their own venue's and Mahela was good enough to give a word of advise to him how to play better Cricket....by far Cook even cannot match with Mahela....Dilshan has a bad run and he is trying to get his rythem back after getting a blow at his finger...but Cook is a struggeling Captian who is trying learn what ODI cricket is?????

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

Mr chris Sun, Chandimal wanted a victory too. He got a century and guided team to a comfortable victory. It's important to win the match of course but with his century they did it more comfortable. Also they got enough overs . But cook ( poor guy) finally he loose the century. I'm sure cook will be very disappointing about that. Well you are talking about Dilshan .. but what happened to England players ? Bell and Trott ? Did they played well in last ODI matches ?

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

Cook can't play 'sour grapes' after wht he said abt Chandimal's century. So he had to settle for something less. poor guy.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2011, 3:46 GMT)

Chandimal wanted a personal milestone, Cook wanted a victory. What's important? victory for the team. Cook led from the front. What Chandimal got in this match was nowhere near what Cook achieved. Cook could've got two hundreds, but Chandimal got a maiden duck a five ball duck. Don't get too carried away Chandimal. What's happening to Dilshan? Very good test captain but struggling with the bat in ODI, his flamboyance has undermined his batting. He should learn patience before accelerating but he did it the other way around.

Posted by Valavan on (July 6, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

Congrats it will be great decider at manchester, Cook followed mahela's past article and done it. the question is: Will mahela be happy about it?

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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