England v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Trent Bridge July 6, 2011

A green and pleasant land suits England fine

When a pitch with a strong green tinge greeted them, England knew they'd been presented with everything they could have hoped for
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If England could have turned up at any ground in the country, in their situation of needing a win to stay in the one-day series, they would have picked Trent Bridge. It's a venue that always encourages swing bowling and when a pitch with a strong green tinge greeted them, they knew they'd been presented with everything they could have hoped for.

Winning the toss is a lottery, but maybe the coin falling Alastair Cook's way was a favour from the 'cricketing gods' he had invoked after defeat at Lord's. However, England couldn't afford to let the opportunity slip away and proceeded to produce a performance as dynamic as the previous two have been dismal. But while the bowling was incisive, nothing was more dynamic than the way the captain himself batted to finish on 95 off 75 balls and Cook said: "I can't remember hitting the ball sweeter... when you win by 10 wickets and play like that it doesn't get much better."

England's players have not always been impressed with the one-day surfaces they get given for home matches. At Headingley James Anderson realised they shouldn't have bowled first when an early delivery gripped off the pitch, and after Lord's Stuart Broad tweeted "Off to Trent Bridge...hopefully a quicker wicket."

What they got was early movement and good carry. It's the latter which made Cook happiest and Steve Birks, the head groundsman, could well have earned a post-match drink. "We got what we asked for from the groundsman, who should take a lot of credit, it was very brave to leave that much grass on," Cook said.

However, there were soon murmurs that conditions favoured England too much. Should that matter? Of course not. It's difficult to imagine anyone in India or Sri Lanka moaning if a pitch turns too much, in South Africa if Johannesburg is a bit quick or, many years ago, if Jamaica and Barbados would whistle past the batsman's ears. Perhaps the talk starts because 'English' conditions are so unique, but that's what makes cricket in this country a compelling, if at times damp, spectacle.

As Cook showed, if the bowling was poor runs could flow freely and England won the psychological battle as much as what happened in the middle. "I thought that pitch was as flat as I'd played on," Cook said. "It came on very nicely. It was just those first few overs it did a little. It was just the carry, that's what we want, we are very good in those conditions. The Sri Lankans might have looked at it and thought it did a lot more than it actually did."

Dilshan was philosophical about the conditions his team were handed as this series continued to show clearly where the strengths of the two teams lie. "They are very experienced in these conditions but when they come to the subcontinent they struggle in flat conditions," he said. "We have bowled really well in the last two games on flat wickets. They are used to these conditions and they adjusted better in the two matches they won. We can't use excuses for losing matches."

In many ways having favourable conditions can be a burden as the pressure goes onto the bowlers to make the most of them, especially when the captain has put the opposition into bat. In Anderson, though, they have one of the best in the world at exploiting such advantages and by taking three wickets in his first five overs he knocked the stuffing out of Sri Lanka. Such is the expectation of Anderson when the ball hoops that three scalps felt like the minimum but, despite a middle-order rally led by Kumar Sangakkara, he wasn't needed to complete his 10 overs.

"The way we bowled up front put us on the front foot," Cook said. "That catch Bressy took [to remove Angelo Mathews] changed the game when they were getting a partnership going and Jade [Dernbach] in the Powerplay, an area we haven't done well, I thought did very well."

England are level in the series and that will make for a compelling contest at Old Trafford. Yet, while the short-term goal of keeping the contest alive has been a resounding success, it's impossible to say it was an afternoon and evening that taught us anything new about this England one-day side in the field.

However, for a developing team it's vital that they can at least win matches - and series - in home conditions which in turn builds confidence for tougher challenges, of which many will follow this winter in India and the Middle East. It would be a significant feather in Cook's cap to take the series, while maintaining his Test-match form, and both captains will open their curtains on Saturday with keen interest.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mrgupta on July 8, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @Marcio: I am a bit confused. The only Top teams that SL defeated in the WC2011 were England and NZ, they played Pak and Ind and lost to both. India defeated Aus, Pak, SL, WI and Tied Eng all are among the Top teams. How was Sri-Lanka better?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 8, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    real flat track bullies!................

  • kothumalli11 on July 8, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    The comments made by some SL fans in this thread are very entertaining and exciting than the 4th ODI thrashing. Lame excuses like rain, overcast cloudy conditions, green top, give us sun, flat batting pitches etc.I don't know why these excuses are not made - don't give us day night matches/don't give us moon etc. As a neutral observer one could easily see the facts .i.e. INABILITY TO FACE TOP CLASS SWING BOWLING AND INCOMPETENT MILITARY MEDIUM PACE BOWLERS. If you can't handle or remedy the situation as an international test/ODI team, solution is simple -go and play in your own back yard with school kids. I think England to win the final ODI, irrespective of the type of wicket two teams are gonna get, they only have to do one thing - whisper in SL players ears "it's going to be a swinging wicket", that will put the SL players in to false sense of insecurity and lose their wickets.

  • Marcio on July 8, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    I think some of you SL fans are overrating your team. I do agree that SL were the most consistent team in the world cup, and probably should have won. And the batting line up is v. strong. But the bowling? Take out Malinga, and the rest look about as threatening as Daffy Duck. In fact, one or two of them look a bit like Daffy, the way they waddle up to the wicket and roll their arm over at the last minute.

  • mrgupta on July 8, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    @Valavan: Ha ha, your sense of humour is good. Firstly Malinga doesn't play in tests (You main weapon prefers IPL over his country, what a shame :-). Secondly Kula, Wele are nowhere compared to Ishant Sharma. Munaf isn't even our 3rd choice bowler, he might not even play in the tests. We have far better bowlers than SL and we have proven it several times, do u remember the 3rd tests when India last toured SL? Malinga played in that match still you lost on your own home ground. Check what Ishant did to Ausies and what Sree did to SA and then comment on Indian bowlers.

  • -Aila- on July 7, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    @ rana2000: SL would never have batted second. Dilshan said he would have batted first if he had won the toss remember? Hahahahaaa

    You guys lost because you played badly. It wasn't because of the pitch. The reason why it seemed another track when England were batting was because of the fact that England bowlers are better.

    The difference you have noticed was not a different pitch but the difference between England and SL bowlers

  • subbass on July 7, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Some of the SL fans on this site sure are sore losers haha. Guys get over it, I won't have any complaints if England goes to SL and you have spinning pitches. If it's a typical old trafford wicket in the final odi, prepare to get thrashed again by England.

  • 5wombats on July 7, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    @rana2000; what on earth are you talking about?! Sri Lanka had the best of the conditions!!! The SL openers walked out to bat in BRIGHT SUNSHINE. SL were 20/4 in BRIGHT SUNSHINE. Later, on the same pitch England scored 171 at 7 an over without losing a wicket, under lights, in claggy damp bowler freindly conditions. Decent bowlers would have rolled England over in such conditions. But Sri Lanka don't have decent bowlers and this time England thumped them. Don't kid yourself that "the pitch changed", that's rubbish. Excuses like that ain't cricket I'm afraid.

  • bobmartin on July 7, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    I now know why India and Sri Lanka don't produce wine... The grapes are too sour from that part of the world..

  • Valavan on July 7, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    @Raju Rajput, We are waiting for india vs England, first of all England can play seam better than spin, except ZAK, others arent equivalent to malinga or kulasekara or Welegedara, Munaf, Sreesanth will be toyed by Strauss and Co, we respect Zak, rest all are toddlers compared to SL pacemen.

  • mrgupta on July 8, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @Marcio: I am a bit confused. The only Top teams that SL defeated in the WC2011 were England and NZ, they played Pak and Ind and lost to both. India defeated Aus, Pak, SL, WI and Tied Eng all are among the Top teams. How was Sri-Lanka better?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 8, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    real flat track bullies!................

  • kothumalli11 on July 8, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    The comments made by some SL fans in this thread are very entertaining and exciting than the 4th ODI thrashing. Lame excuses like rain, overcast cloudy conditions, green top, give us sun, flat batting pitches etc.I don't know why these excuses are not made - don't give us day night matches/don't give us moon etc. As a neutral observer one could easily see the facts .i.e. INABILITY TO FACE TOP CLASS SWING BOWLING AND INCOMPETENT MILITARY MEDIUM PACE BOWLERS. If you can't handle or remedy the situation as an international test/ODI team, solution is simple -go and play in your own back yard with school kids. I think England to win the final ODI, irrespective of the type of wicket two teams are gonna get, they only have to do one thing - whisper in SL players ears "it's going to be a swinging wicket", that will put the SL players in to false sense of insecurity and lose their wickets.

  • Marcio on July 8, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    I think some of you SL fans are overrating your team. I do agree that SL were the most consistent team in the world cup, and probably should have won. And the batting line up is v. strong. But the bowling? Take out Malinga, and the rest look about as threatening as Daffy Duck. In fact, one or two of them look a bit like Daffy, the way they waddle up to the wicket and roll their arm over at the last minute.

  • mrgupta on July 8, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    @Valavan: Ha ha, your sense of humour is good. Firstly Malinga doesn't play in tests (You main weapon prefers IPL over his country, what a shame :-). Secondly Kula, Wele are nowhere compared to Ishant Sharma. Munaf isn't even our 3rd choice bowler, he might not even play in the tests. We have far better bowlers than SL and we have proven it several times, do u remember the 3rd tests when India last toured SL? Malinga played in that match still you lost on your own home ground. Check what Ishant did to Ausies and what Sree did to SA and then comment on Indian bowlers.

  • -Aila- on July 7, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    @ rana2000: SL would never have batted second. Dilshan said he would have batted first if he had won the toss remember? Hahahahaaa

    You guys lost because you played badly. It wasn't because of the pitch. The reason why it seemed another track when England were batting was because of the fact that England bowlers are better.

    The difference you have noticed was not a different pitch but the difference between England and SL bowlers

  • subbass on July 7, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Some of the SL fans on this site sure are sore losers haha. Guys get over it, I won't have any complaints if England goes to SL and you have spinning pitches. If it's a typical old trafford wicket in the final odi, prepare to get thrashed again by England.

  • 5wombats on July 7, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    @rana2000; what on earth are you talking about?! Sri Lanka had the best of the conditions!!! The SL openers walked out to bat in BRIGHT SUNSHINE. SL were 20/4 in BRIGHT SUNSHINE. Later, on the same pitch England scored 171 at 7 an over without losing a wicket, under lights, in claggy damp bowler freindly conditions. Decent bowlers would have rolled England over in such conditions. But Sri Lanka don't have decent bowlers and this time England thumped them. Don't kid yourself that "the pitch changed", that's rubbish. Excuses like that ain't cricket I'm afraid.

  • bobmartin on July 7, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    I now know why India and Sri Lanka don't produce wine... The grapes are too sour from that part of the world..

  • Valavan on July 7, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    @Raju Rajput, We are waiting for india vs England, first of all England can play seam better than spin, except ZAK, others arent equivalent to malinga or kulasekara or Welegedara, Munaf, Sreesanth will be toyed by Strauss and Co, we respect Zak, rest all are toddlers compared to SL pacemen.

  • piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on July 7, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    @Chameera Sampath : Actually Sri Lankan batsmen don't know how to survive once they set foot outside Sri Lanka

  • KingOwl on July 7, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Marcio: The wickets that NZ and Aus played on in Colombo did not change from morning to evening. It was the SAME for both sides. That was the difference from this pitch. That is what even the ICC recommends for pitches.

  • KingOwl on July 7, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    landl47: I am not talking about 2007. I am talking about now. If the current SL team plays the current England team on a wicket that does not change hugely from morning to afternoon, SL will almost always win. I do not complain about seaming pitches. England always has seaming conditions early season. My complain is about the unfairness between the conditions SL faced and England faced. If SL batted second and chased 180, they would have cantered to victory too. Or at least, it is most likely. There was nothing in the wicket after about 20 overs. Even Randiv had no problems batting on it! Think about it - Cook called it a 'brave' decision by the groundsman. It is brave because it is not normally the done thing. It ain't cricket, I am afraid.

  • 5wombats on July 7, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Well - I reckon I've seen all the excuses now! @rana2000 yours is a beaut; why dont you just say "our excuse is that the game wasn't played in Sri Lanka". And as for you @Deepfreezed; your excuse seems to be; "England won because the game was played on grass". Keep 'em coming guys - you're a laugh a minute. Hey @redneck & @Marcio! Looks like you blokes are enjoying this just as much as we are! Marcio - I haven't forgotten that I still owe you a drink!

  • on July 7, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    IF SL or India had made a turner would this statement ""We got what we asked for from the groundsman, who should take a lot of credit" be ok ?...The British media would have gone and gone about how unsporting pitches were and how it favoured home side. Now England is home side and publicly asked for pitch favoring them and that seems ok. Too bad Chaminda Vaas retired or England would have been repenting what they asked for and got. Try this trick with Zak ,Ishant and PK along with Munaf or Sreesanth in opposition . Guess it would be typical case of "Digging their own grave" for England.

  • on July 7, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    I hope India come in the summer and thrash England. Only rain can save the queen.

  • voma on July 7, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    Teams like the West Indies and Australia used to destroy England , on these so called green wickets ! . I can remember Pakistans bowlers playing brilliantly last year to . Sri Lankas bowlers and batsmen were hammered , Sri lanka must know the sort of pitches they will be playing on . Also the sun does not shine for 4 months in our summer time , just except the fact you was beaten by a better side on the day .

  • _Australian_ on July 7, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    For those of you on here blaming the pitch or claiming England can produce a pitch to suit them. Remember this is ODI cricket not test cricket. Test cricket is when you want pitches of this nature not ODI cricket. Also anyone who has played the game would understand as the game went on the pitch settled and got easier to bat on. So for ODI cricket this was a poorly prepared wicket. @ lastmanout99. I 100% agree with your comments. @Smithie. I think preparing pitches like this for India would not be smart. India have some very accurate bowlers who would use those conditions yesterday well. I also think they have a batting line up that would cope better than most. Hence why they are No.1.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on July 7, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    this is an exact display of a flat track bully team if pitch is flat sl so called greats like mahela,dilshan can score and if it swing they sit dead duck i am eagerly awaiting for sl tour to south africa when india last year toured all sl fans hooted and blabbered that india would lose 3-0 um sorry can anyone remind me the scoreline ???of test series and we almost won odi series with yusuf scorching ton of 60 odd balls that too in series without sachin,sehwag,gambhir

  • Deepfreezed on July 7, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    funny how England can only win playing on grass. I don't know how England even get past the initial matches in the WC.

  • on July 7, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    In limited overs cricket, the first few overs are critical. Sri Lanka batted and bowled badly during those initial overs. It is as if half the game is lost for them even before a ball is bowled at the sight of a drop of rain or overcast skies. Seeing the conditions, Mahela should have known that it was absolutely crucial that he played a pivotal role and negotiate the new ball without any lose shots. Maybe, Chandimal could have been saved for a little later. It is the nature of cricket that conditions are so un-standardized but when you come to England you have to be prepared to face pitches like these. For Sri Lanka, there is no impetus to develop their cricket in these areas as they come across it only now and then. But there should be no excuse for lack of application. The bowling was really bad. You can't blame the pitch for that. Hope we won't get to blame the Aussie pitches in 2015. Incidentally, Cook appears to have benefited from Mahela's advice.

  • on July 7, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    The problem is Sri lankan batsman don't know how to survive if the ball starts to swing a bit.

  • on July 7, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    @ Tharanga Nuwan Chandrasekara: Firstly, England DID pass 280 in the World Cup - we tied with India with the scores around 330... And what you're suggesting pretty much eliminates the need for a strong bowling attack in ODI cricket.. Simply because Sri Lanka's batting is excellent and their bowling is poor you want batsman friendly tracks? No way - England won because we have more than one dimension to our game. Sri Lanka's bowling attack has to improve if they're to remain a force in ODI cricket.

  • Balajipost on July 7, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    Great answer by Cook to his detractors. Hope the ODI batting does not affect his extra ordinary test batting

  • Balajipost on July 7, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    @tjsimonsen, you got it spot on. I am an Indian supporter and cringe whenever a team from outside the subcontinent come visiting and term a turning track as "unfit" for test cricket. In the match that you mentioned, Ricky Ponting did just that. Turning tracks are as sporting as seaming and bouncing tracks. So, there should be no complaint on either front. The home team should prepare sporting tracks that suits their strengths

  • Barnos24 on July 7, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    at the interview after the toss, didnt dilshan say he wanted to bat 1st anyway??

  • Agnihothra on July 7, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    I suppose people will stop moaning when a turner is set up in sub continent..... Naaah who am I kidding... home conditions are fair if only englang or Australia are struggling and need a win.. other wise all would want a sporitng wicket... McGlashan should not criticize a flat wicket or a turner in a subcontinental setting now...

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 7, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    @Smithie and then fell to own trap like SA and WI did... :)

  • Turbo_lover on July 7, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    @Smithie. Don't forget brother, Indian bowlers can swing the ball too (in fact that is all they do :p). It is not like the pitch is grassy for just Ind's innings. Sri Lanka, as demonstrated yesterday, is not a side with bolwers that swing. Their seams are wobbly and most are side armed. But ofcourse they have talent in their domestic cricket. They just have to make the smart choice of picking them in their side.

    Very eagerly waiting for Ind vs Eng. I wish English prepare the grassiest and bounciest pitches possible. It is true what someone already said here. It is a treat to watch batsmen in such conditions preparing to face each and every ball with all of their attention and making hair line decissions that make the difference between an edge and a drive . Only the classiest bats'MEN' will survive, the boys will be boys.

  • Turbo_lover on July 7, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Everyone should play on every kind of pitch. A home team has the right to prepare any kind of pitch. That is why we say Sri Lanka tours England, which means Sri Lanka's hones their skill in English conditions. It is vice versa when England tours Sri Lanka. Don't you guys see it? that is the whole point. The home side choses the battle site, the visitor tries to win this expedition. Complain less people.

  • liteniro007 on July 7, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    If it rains England wins! If it doesn't rain Sri Lanka wins!.....Simple as that.

  • on July 7, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    cricket was invented in this country and developed here in our climate as a contest between bat and ball. Its not meant to be a game were "good" teams score 360 on flat lifeless wickets and, the bowlers are reduced to just restarting the game, as all there skills have been neutered by the ground conditions and the choice of balls that dont last more than 5/6 overs. I certainly find that dull as dishwater, I and most people in this country want to watch quality skillfull bowlers not just pampered superstar batsmen. England to be a world class ODI outfit need to work out how to play in your conditions, there is no aurgument there, but you also have to figure out how to play in ours. I blame the administrators for forcing flat pitches that last 6 days so they can fill the stadiums for a whole test match. The best response has been in Pakistan were they have developed high class swing (reverse ) bowlers who can operate on all surfaces.

  • on July 7, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    Great BATTING by England yesterday to win the game but dont be fooled by the credentials of these bowlers. Anderson couldnt buy a wicket in the world cup. Subcontinental pictches are still sporting but only for 'naturally skilled' bowlers that dont require assistance by the pitch or overhead conditions, hence the reason why Junaid, Rana, Gul, Ajmal, Afridi, Shakib, Wahab are totally blowing away batsman in the UK T20.

  • on July 7, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    England use there home advance....to escape there 3rd lost to Sri lanka..

  • Herbet on July 7, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Posted by lastmanout99 on (July 07 2011, 04:23 AM GMT) "Isn't the whole idea of one day cricket to see the bat dominating the ball."

    No.

  • Herbet on July 7, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    I hope the wickets for the Tests v India are similar to this one, and I hope its damp, overcast, humid and about 18-24 degrees for everyday of the whole series! And if people think that is unfair on the Indians, think how English people feel when they go and play in burning sunshine and 40+ degree heat in Australia and the sub-continent. ECB, don't try and prepare flat tracks to give Dravid and Tendulkar a nice retirement tour and fill all the grounds for all 5 days of every test, lets go for Number 1!

  • on July 7, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Be weary of the Indian Pace trio of Zak/Praveen/Ishant b4 laying out greentops for them..Not to forget a certain Sreesanth....Beware of this mischief England, India is no Lanka...

  • OliverWebber on July 7, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    To all those who are saying that one-day cricket is about bat dominating ball - no it isn't! Where's the fun in that? The most exciting cricket - 20/20, 50 over or test - is when there is a fair contest between bat and ball. Yesterday I saw a re-run of an ODI between India and WI from 2006 - it was a low-scoring game, WI got 195 or so, then it came down to the last over and they won by 1 run - one of the most thrilling ODIs I've seen. As for the pitch and conditions - yes, they favoured swing bowling yesterday. So what? If a pitch in SA, Aus or the subcontinent favours pace, batting or spin, is that an excuse for a poor England performance? No, it means we have to learn to play those conditions better. Same goes for visiting teams everywhere.

  • bumsonseats on July 7, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    re the toss the SL captain said at the toss, if he had won it, he would have batted so the pitch was ok for him. if u come to a country like the uk, unlike SL we do not have the wamth of the sun after rain. i guess the rain in SLyou could prepare wickets of any kind, grassy or dust bowls or flat mud, and we know what u like to prepare so u r no different to england u pick for your strengths and have a 3 spinners and a couple of seamers. dpk

  • on July 7, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    @smithie-whatever "warm welcome" you are talking about,bring it on.we back our batsmen to perform under any condition and lively pitches suit our bowlers.talking about barbados and jamaica india would've won both those matches if rain did not intervene in barbados,despite being without viru,gauti,srt,sree and zak.even in the last tour,tremlett was talked up to blast the indians away,but he did'nt,did he?and england last defeated india in a test series in-wait for it-nah,i don't remember.

  • mrgupta on July 7, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    @Smithie: I hope you also noted how well our hugely depleted team fared against the Home team. Take out Cook, Trott and Anderson from English team and let see how do they face any team on these surfaces. If England are willing to prepare fast and bouncy pitches then they too must be ready to face the 'chin music', same as what SA recently found out. Don't remember? Check the Durban test Scorecard from India's last visit to SA.

  • on July 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Tharanga, you DID see bat dominating ball, when England were batting. And if the English team lacks talent, then what does that say about the Sri Lankans, who lost by such a large margin?

    And I see Cook is the highest run scorer (with the second highest strike rate) so far in the ODIs. Time for a few people to start thinking before they make ridiculous comments here. Although I doubt they will.

  • LoveLanka on July 7, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Well done to England, it is all about sri lanka forgetting the past. when ever they win with scoring big totals is good batting conditions, they end up crashing down the next game where conditions favour the bowlers. think that they have enough experience to understand that in this kind of conditions and england bowler are very impressive and on target withing the first 10 to 15 overs. so it is very much clear that not loosing more than 1 wicket is vital to give a decent score.Dilshan has cleary changed his batting mood because he took the captanincy. he must have scored 25 of 15 or 40 or 27 rather than getting out trying to be responsible as the captain where he ended up so far acheiving nothing. the pitch wasn't that bad as we saw how Cook and Keiswetter operated. it was only that few overs with grass on and rain. both teams should show their class by being positive with conditions that doesn't favour them. hope to see a nice game on decider. cheers.

  • Quizzy on July 7, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Well done ENGLAND. Although the pitch had some live grass you would expect professional sides to adjust. SL simply didnt and ended up on the wrong side. It has been said for donkey's years that we should use the diverse climate in SL to adjust to the different countries we travel to. How much it happens, God knows! It's time we had some 'over the top, hit the deck' bowlers. At least to get some assistance from a slightly moist wicket. you cannot drive your sedan in the desert... Think! Adjust, adapt! The wickets are not going to get any better in the last game. So get ready

  • AJ_Tiger86 on July 7, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @ Dasun Perera, check the facts before making a comment like that. In the last 5 years, the run rate in matches played in England is 5.14, while in Sri Lanka it is 4.83. In England the batting average is 30.52, in Sri Lanka it is 27.22. In fact, Sri Lankan pitches are the slowest, lowest and most batting unfriendly among all test playing nations. Check this link on StatsGuru: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;groupby=host;orderby=runs_per_over;spanmax1=07+Jul+2011;spanmin1=07+Jul+2006;spanval1=span;template=results;type=team

  • nickydude on July 7, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    I agree with Smithie fully!! Although, I am an Indian, we need some really tough series to justify that billing of No. 1 & also for the sake of Test Cricket!!! :)

  • Smithie on July 7, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Hopefully England Test ground curators have taken note of this pitch and the ones produced in Jamaica and Barbados. Time to give the number one Test side a " very warm " welcome !

  • tjsimonsen on July 7, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    @rana2000: You are right that you never get wickets that turn too much, because a turning wicket is a sporting wicket - just as a seeming wicket is a sporting wicket. Other than that, Land47 pretty much said it. @Dasun Perera: Wrong, some of the most exciting games as played in England because they are A PROPPER CONTEST BETWEEN BAT AND BALL - BETWEEN BATSMAN AND BOWLER. And not just a contest between" strong" batting sides (=flat-track bullies) bullying bowlers into submission in batsman's heaven. A contest where the batsmen's real abilities are put to the test constantly is way more interesting IMO. Remember that the bowler also have to bowl well to use the conditions. Yesterday we saw the difference between bowling well in the conditions, and not doing so. Let's get similar sporting wickets in the Subcontinent too. Like the one India and Australia play the 4th test on in Mumbai in 2004!

  • pratit on July 7, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    england have every right to prepare whatever pitch they feel like as long it is not substandard.it was a very sporting wicket that helped good batsmen and bowlers.if it was as bad as the lankans made it look like,then surely england couldn't have won by 10 wkts.so people should stop whining.fact is,srilanka does not have good enough swing bowlers to exploit these conditions,so it makes sense for england to prepare such pitches.

  • Mindmeld on July 7, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Nice one rana2000. Maybe all the pitches should be dry, grassless wonders to make it easier for you guys. That would be fair.

  • on July 7, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    As we all know, England will win, if it rains!

  • gagguv on July 7, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Simply put. It was typical England cricket day and pitch, even weather was supportive.. :-) still England had to play better and they did. So over to decider.

  • mrgupta on July 7, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    @rana2000: Clearly a case of sour grapes for you guys. When you win it was a sporting wicket and SL was better when you loose then they start the accusations 'unfair pitch' and 'match fixing' etc. Sore Losers.

  • lastmanout99 on July 7, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Isn't the whole idea of one day cricket to see the bat dominating the ball.Giving the batsmen opportunity to entertain the crowd that's what brings in the money.I don't think they would have left grass on the pitch if Eng wasn't 2-1 down.The conditions in england are unique and english players thrive on these kinds of conditions but when england travel abroad, they won't find this kind of conditions for ODI cricket in most other places.If england want to be a contender in ODI cricket they better learn to adapt to flat tracks at home and away.Use home conditions to your advantage in test cricket.

  • the_blue_android on July 7, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    Lankans finally running out of luck. I still don't know how they got to the WC finals, oh yeah they played NZ in the semis.

  • Marcio on July 7, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Right Rana200. Funny how SL coughed up a used pitch for the semi-final vs NZ, clearly favoring their spinners, and the rolled mud dished up vs AUS in the preliminary round, when the other wickets next to them had a fair covering of grass. It rained yesterday, Rana2000. Maybe the Englishman have a direct line to God.

  • on July 7, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    well play England!!! god try Sanga & mathews !!!I would like 2 c better batting pitch at the start!!! every things went England why!!! it 's not our day!!! Lions hope came back stongly nxt match!!!

  • on July 7, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    @ redneck

    most boring 50 overs played at england..most of the time scores are under 250..

  • on July 7, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    England won this because of the conditions. If Sri Lanka won the toss it would be a different game for sure. Ball start to only in the first 10 overs or so. Yes Sri Lankan conditions are more favorable for spinners and those conditions are called as batting pitches where a PROPER batting team with SKILLS will get 280+ score. That is what one day cricket is all about, Bat should dominate the ball. No one is interested about the game if the bowlers dominate. England team is lack of talent i would say, Even when we gave them a good batting track they can't go beyond 280 mark during the world cup. They have NEVER won a world cup (50-50) which shows the talent of them. If your team is so good why you need a green pitch to win the match?? Give a good batting track and score 300+ run and then win a match?? Thats the way to do it if you are so talented!!

  • Y2SJ on July 7, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in home team preparing pitch that suits their team. After all both teams play on the same pitch. To be a world beating side, the teams should be able to win in any type of pitch and against any opponent.

  • Trickstar on July 7, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @rana2000 The pitch was no different, from the pitches all year, Trent Bridge is and always has been, the most swing friendly pitch, in the Country. Second thing, there was nothing wrong with the pitch, at all, as was shown, when England batted. There was swing with the new ball and that was it, as also show when Sanga and Matthews batted. Your team, got punished by some really good bowling and Batting by the England team, simple as that, just like the first ODi. Home pitches happen everywhere and if anything, England don't use them enough and should make use of home conditions more. As far as your comment of 'If we prepare a fair pitch, we will beat England, 9 times out of 10' really? over the past 5 years, out of the 12 ODi's played, England have won 6 and SL 6, that includes when England went over to SL in 2007 and won the series out there. Your kidding yourself as well, there's always, been home team manipulated pitches, especially in SL and other sub continent countries.

  • landl47 on July 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    I didn't see much wrong with the wicket today. The ball swung, which is what caused SL's problems. Maybe the grass helped maintain the shine a little longer, but the grass wasn't any shorter for SL's innings and Cook and Kieswetter had no trouble. As for rana2000- I seem to recall that when England toured SL in 2007, England won the ODI series 3-2, with SL winning the dead rubber game after it was 3-1. What happened to the 9 out of 10?

  • on July 7, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    @rana2000 there's nothing unfair about this pitch, it had a little carry but was no minefield, as became very clear as soon as England started batting. Its an issue for both teams that they only seem to play well in conditions that favour bowling (England) or Batting (Sri Lanka). Bowling conditions are no more or less fair than batting conditions as both teams have to play on the same pitch.

  • redneck on July 7, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    @rana2000 yeah that rolled mud you guys offered for the aus game in the world cup was totally sporting!!!!! sri lankas one of the worst venues for ODIs as their pitches make half the games played their won at the toss!

  • KingOwl on July 6, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Mr. McGlashan, you would NEVER get a pitch that 'turns too much' for a one day international in Sri Lanka. Sure the wickets always favour the home team. But we (SLankans) do not do such blatant manipulation of pitches. Why? Because we simply don't have to. If we prepare a fair pitch, we will beat England, 9 times out of 10.

  • demon_bowler on July 6, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Time for Mike Atherton to eat humble pie, served by England's Cook. What a way to answer criticism for being a "slow-coach"!

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  • demon_bowler on July 6, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Time for Mike Atherton to eat humble pie, served by England's Cook. What a way to answer criticism for being a "slow-coach"!

  • KingOwl on July 6, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Mr. McGlashan, you would NEVER get a pitch that 'turns too much' for a one day international in Sri Lanka. Sure the wickets always favour the home team. But we (SLankans) do not do such blatant manipulation of pitches. Why? Because we simply don't have to. If we prepare a fair pitch, we will beat England, 9 times out of 10.

  • redneck on July 7, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    @rana2000 yeah that rolled mud you guys offered for the aus game in the world cup was totally sporting!!!!! sri lankas one of the worst venues for ODIs as their pitches make half the games played their won at the toss!

  • on July 7, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    @rana2000 there's nothing unfair about this pitch, it had a little carry but was no minefield, as became very clear as soon as England started batting. Its an issue for both teams that they only seem to play well in conditions that favour bowling (England) or Batting (Sri Lanka). Bowling conditions are no more or less fair than batting conditions as both teams have to play on the same pitch.

  • landl47 on July 7, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    I didn't see much wrong with the wicket today. The ball swung, which is what caused SL's problems. Maybe the grass helped maintain the shine a little longer, but the grass wasn't any shorter for SL's innings and Cook and Kieswetter had no trouble. As for rana2000- I seem to recall that when England toured SL in 2007, England won the ODI series 3-2, with SL winning the dead rubber game after it was 3-1. What happened to the 9 out of 10?

  • Trickstar on July 7, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @rana2000 The pitch was no different, from the pitches all year, Trent Bridge is and always has been, the most swing friendly pitch, in the Country. Second thing, there was nothing wrong with the pitch, at all, as was shown, when England batted. There was swing with the new ball and that was it, as also show when Sanga and Matthews batted. Your team, got punished by some really good bowling and Batting by the England team, simple as that, just like the first ODi. Home pitches happen everywhere and if anything, England don't use them enough and should make use of home conditions more. As far as your comment of 'If we prepare a fair pitch, we will beat England, 9 times out of 10' really? over the past 5 years, out of the 12 ODi's played, England have won 6 and SL 6, that includes when England went over to SL in 2007 and won the series out there. Your kidding yourself as well, there's always, been home team manipulated pitches, especially in SL and other sub continent countries.

  • Y2SJ on July 7, 2011, 1:45 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in home team preparing pitch that suits their team. After all both teams play on the same pitch. To be a world beating side, the teams should be able to win in any type of pitch and against any opponent.

  • on July 7, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    England won this because of the conditions. If Sri Lanka won the toss it would be a different game for sure. Ball start to only in the first 10 overs or so. Yes Sri Lankan conditions are more favorable for spinners and those conditions are called as batting pitches where a PROPER batting team with SKILLS will get 280+ score. That is what one day cricket is all about, Bat should dominate the ball. No one is interested about the game if the bowlers dominate. England team is lack of talent i would say, Even when we gave them a good batting track they can't go beyond 280 mark during the world cup. They have NEVER won a world cup (50-50) which shows the talent of them. If your team is so good why you need a green pitch to win the match?? Give a good batting track and score 300+ run and then win a match?? Thats the way to do it if you are so talented!!

  • on July 7, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    @ redneck

    most boring 50 overs played at england..most of the time scores are under 250..

  • on July 7, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    well play England!!! god try Sanga & mathews !!!I would like 2 c better batting pitch at the start!!! every things went England why!!! it 's not our day!!! Lions hope came back stongly nxt match!!!