England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Invetsec Test, Headingley, 1st day

Plunkett and Broad rattle through Sri Lanka

The Report by David Hopps

June 20, 2014

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A

England 36 for 0 (Robson 21*, Cook 14*) trail Sri Lanka 257 (Sangakkara 79, Chandimal 45, Plunkett 5-64, Broad 3-46) by 221 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Highlights: Broad hat-trick and Plunkett five-for make it England's day in Leeds


Liam Plunkett takes the applause for his maiden five-wicket haul, England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 1st day, June 20, 2014
Liam Plunkett takes the applause for his maiden five-wicket haul © Getty Images
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Stuart Broad became the first England bowler to take two hat-tricks in Test cricket, and only the fourth bowler of all time, as England tore through Sri Lanka's lower order on the opening day of the Headingley Test.

It was a day of thrust and counter thrust, a far cry from the footslogging atmosphere of the opening Test at Lord's and left England with a definite advantage in a Test that will decide the outcome of the series.

Broad had to share the acclaim with the local favourite, Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, who took the final wicket of Nuwan Pradeep, one of life's No. 11s, to finish with 5 for 64, his first five-wicket haul in Tests, and fully justify his recall with a chest-thrusting and, at times, hostile display.

From the moment that Broad removed Kumar Sangakkara, the mainstay of Sri Lanka's innings, for 79, well caught by Ian Bell at gully, Sri Lanka's innings immediately crumbled: four wickets lost in nine balls. Plunkett's bouncer accounted for Dhammika Prasad, second ball for nought, before Broad added Dinesh Chandimal at first slip and Shaminda Eranga, a catch to the keeper, with the first two deliveries of his following over.

The sequence so confused Broad - and many others alongside him - that he was initially oblivious to the hat-trick. "I'd absolutely no idea," he admitted. It was a momentous achievement all the same, taking him alongside Australia's legspinner Jimmy Matthews (who did it twice in the same match), his fellow Australian Hugh Trumble and Wasim Akram of Pakistan as the only players to achieve the feat twice. Broad's previous success came against India at Trent Bridge in 2011.

It was not all perfect by England, though. Sangakkara is on what many presume to be his farewell tour of England, but he must have been flattered to see how many gifts were bestowed open him. They treated him to a missed run out, a non-appeal when he nicked one and two catching blunders to enable him to blunt their progress. Plunkett suffered most of them. He might have buckled. That he did not was a test of his character as well as his physique.

England should have run Sangakkara out before he had scored. His appetite for a single to mid-on from the fourth ball he received was misconceived, Broad's low throw was calm enough to give Matt Prior time to hurtle up to the stumps, but the ball bounced awkwardly in front of him and he was unable to complete the run out.

His second let-off, in the last over before lunch, was belatedly revealed on Sky TV nearly an hour later. England stifled appeals for a catch at the wicket as Sangakkara's bat also hit the ground, pushing at Plunkett, but Hot Spot revealed the presence of a thin edge.

Sangakkara's third moment of fortune, on 27, surprised him so much that he was already four paces to the pavilion. Plunkett, again the bowler, was celebrating, the crowd was roaring its approval and England's slips were setting off in unison towards the bowler when everybody realised that the ball had struck Prior on the chest and, oblivious to the fact that it was nestling on his gloves, he had thrown his hands apart in confusion and allowed it to drop to the floor.

Cook protested pre-match that something should be done about Shane Warne, a grouse that suggested that he was a captain feeling in need of friends. Instead, he had to contend with Headingley, that most capricious of allies, a ground liable to indicate one thing and do quite another. He took a deep breath and put Sri Lanka in to bat. It was not a simple choice, but it turned out well as Sri Lanka's resilience in their first Test in Leeds was lacking.

In the first hour, Headingley, although clothed by light cloud, refused to play ball. Few deliveries swung and Sri Lanka's openers left the ball with conviction. However, as the temperatures rose, the ball began to do a bit. Cook, pilloried for negativity, was in the mood to push his attack to the limit: Anderson bowled 10 on the bounce as he eased into his work; Plunkett, used to short spells, was asked for an eight-over stint in the afternoon. The pitch was quicker than Lord's and the forecast suggested that England could anticipate good batting conditions on the morrow.

Cook himself was grateful to survive to see the second morning when England negotiated a tricky end-of-day session. TV replays ruled out an edge to first slip, where Sangakkara admitted from the outset that he was uncertain whether the ball had carried.

If Cook was under pressure, so was Headingley. Yorkshire, under good direction these days, had put in considerable effort to win hearts and minds among a notoriously hard-to-please public, and although the overall crowd figure will eventually exceed that for the previous Test against New Zealand, the gaps on the terraces did not provide overwhelming evidence for the love of Test cricket routinely professed by Yorkshire folk wherever in the world they might be.

England had marked Bell's 100th Test by presenting him with a silver cap and by a guard of honour from the players as he took the field. Cook voiced the opinion that he was "one of the best, if not the best" batsmen he had ever played with. For Sri Lanka, there was sadness: players wore black armbands after hearing of the death of their baggage man, PD Nimal, in a motorcycle accident.

Not only Sangakkara had a reprieve. Broad had an opportunity to strike first for England, only for his enthusiasm for a review (low key by his own standards) to be overruled when an lbw against Kaushal Silva, on 10, was turned down. Signals from the England dressing room that the review would have been out brought a Draco Malfoy scowl from Broad: England's captain and wicketkeeper were in no rush to make eye contact. Silva did not make good his escape, a thin edge against Anderson providing a simple catch for Prior.

Plunkett struck with his second ball: a big inswinger, delivered from wide of the crease, around the wicket, which left Dimuth Karunaratne's stumps splayed. Plunkett might have had a second wicket in the last over before lunch when Mahela Jayawardene pulled a short one but a difficult chance escaped Bell's diving effort at leg slip. Already, sporadic cries of York-shire were beginning to pepper the old ground.

Plunkett, displaying the physical presence that had been nullified at Lord's, struck back with two wickets in successive balls. Jayawardene, on the drive, was athletically picked up, one handed, by Chris Jordan at second slip and Lahiru Thirimanne fell first ball, his poor tour extended by a hostile delivery which he could only fend to Sam Robson at short leg.

England added Angelo Mathews at third slip, a second wicket for Anderson but by tea, Sangakarra, given another life on 57 when Moeen Ali dropped a chance high to his right at point, had supplanted Jayawardene as Sri Lanka's leading Test run maker.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cricsnake on (June 23, 2014, 14:59 GMT)

Well played SL after sudden falls of important wickets. Mathews did exceptionally well. SL lead by 318 & need another 40-60 runs from the tail. Its all in the hands of SL bowlers. The result depends on SL attack. Good Luck both teams.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 21, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

@Greatest_Game (post on June 20, 2014, 20:35 GMT): Not everybody judges cricket on stats; I certainly do not, and it seems Cook doesn't either. Stats do not (usually) take into consideration things like consistency and form - I've posted before that teams need a mixture of guys that score a reliable 45 virtually every game PLUS the guys that can go on a get bigger, faster scores. How can things like bowling be entirely stats driven when you're relying on so many variables such as fielders taking chances; uncontrolled shots going to hand or not; are your fellow bowlers creating/maintaining pressure at the other end? Stats are useful and interesting in cricket, but they cannot- and should not- govern how you judge players. If they do/did, then Plunkett should not have been recalled. For England, the likes of Trott, Bell, Flintoff, Giles etc. are some of the "best payers they've ever had" - because they've consistently delivered and contributed to teams. Their stats, conversely, stink.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (June 21, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

@ Mervo. A bowler in his 2nd or third test with bad career stats may be a good bowler who had a bad game or two to start with, or a bad bowler. But when he then settles in and takes a 5-64, those who know, & understand cricket, still recognize a good performance when we see one. Some bowlers start well, like Philander did when he completely rolled Aus for 47 in his 1st match. Some don't, like Plunket - but, in this match, he still took a fine 5 for 64!

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

@Mervo on (June 21, 2014, 10:24 GMT) So it's not possible for a player to improve? Once he has a poor set of stats he may as well give up?

Posted by Mervo on (June 21, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

If Plunkett with a Test average can 42 can get 5 then that wicket must be slow

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (June 21, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

Looks like England need a new opener, Cook is a liability at the top now despite his record. So, new captain too?

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

well done plunkett nd broad. win the match also

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Well done Plunket and Broad. Nice to see a guy turn his career around the way Plunket has get his rewards and great to see Broad get a hattrick even if no one realised it at the time. It was a strange scorecard with Eng looking on top at 5 down but the SL looking on top before the 6th wicket and then the collapse. Poor in the field so the scorecard could have read so much better for the home side

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@Anthony Purcell on (June 20, 2014, 23:46 GMT) It was more our batsmen that lost us the series in Oz but even comparing the bowlers you also must look at the Australian lower order batsmen who on a number of occasions shifted the momentum back to Australia. SL seem to have nothing in the lower order/tail

@Un_Citoyen_Indien on (June 21, 2014, 3:52 GMT) You're right. ECB managed to get their own way by insisting there should be no hotspot etc which enabled Broad to get his hattrick. Oh wait a minute it wasn't England who insisted on not using the technology was it?

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@Mervo on (June 20, 2014, 11:47 GMT) The beauty of this game is that players can have 2nd chances or even 2nd careers. Some players have numerous chances and make little of them whereas some come back stronger. I thought that as an Ozzy you would realise that. Personally I think it's a great story that a guy who was pretty much ready to pack it in not so long back is back in the fold by merit of his domestic form.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 21, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

@Greatest_Game on (June 20, 2014, 20:35 GMT) That's Cook's opinion and if he believes that then good on him. If he has said "One of the best - if not the best" it means that he's debating as to whether he has him on a par or ahead of KP and Trott . You must also bear in mind that Bell's test stats are almost certainly better in the 2nd part of his career than they were at the 1st part of his career and Cook would not have played with Bell in the 1st part of his career. And in his last home series it was Bell who almost single handedly did it with the bat. I've been a big critic of Bell but credit where it is due and many players who have played with Bell inc KP himself have waxed lyrical about him. Still I suppose it's good to get a comment in mentioning KP.

Posted by St.John on (June 21, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

SL selectors continue to disgust with Thirmanne's continued selection and other strange moves. Sennanyake, who troubled England most in the ODI's and whom Farbrace had identified as a severe threat to England, was sent home despite still being eligible to play. So was Mendis. And why sideline Dilruwan? His batting would have been a bonus. Eranga, Pradeep, Prassad,Welegedera, Lakmal, etc don't really trouble a top test team...A wicket or two at the most and none of them can bat for toffee!

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

There was one other milestone that went largely unnoticed. When he reached 56 Sangakkara became the highest scoring Sri Lankan in Tests, finally overtaking Jayawardene, having previously trailed him throughout their careers

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 7:13 GMT)

When Thilan Samaraweera failed in first two tests in 2006 England tour averaging 4 he was dropped not only for the final test but omitted from test line up altogether until he was recalled after demonstrating good form in domestic cricket and also after sorting out his overall approach to the game. From that point onward he went on to have a successful career (barring his final tour down under) and averaged 50 in 2011 test series in England. At the time Thilan was dropped he was an established middle order batsman in the side. Why not same should apply to Thirimanne? He is still finding his way in test cricket. If he is given another opportunity in dead wickets in Sri Lanka against South Africa next month there is a possibility that he might score some runs and survive. But that will only give a false indication of his real abilities as a test cricketer. Vice captain or not he should be dropped if he fails in second innings. The vice captain. has to lead by example.

Posted by nursery_ender on (June 21, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (June 21, 2014, 3:52 GMT) As Broad's hat-trick victim when he last achieved the feat, wasn't Harbhajan given out L.B.W. despite getting a clearly visible inside edge on the ball?

Indian fans still whinging about that? Funny how you remember the calls that went against you but not those in your favour. I remember Sachin being absolutely plumb (at Lord's I think) having missed the ball by six inches but Billy Bowden imagined an inside edge and gave him not out. Of course all that did was slow up slightly the 4-0 thrashing...

Posted by dunger.bob on (June 21, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

@ screamingeagle: I don't know anything about Dravid being done over thrice. All I'm saying is that if it had gone to some sort of elementary review system the inside smash would most likely have been detected. He would have been given not out and there would have been no hat-trick. .. mate, that's all I said. I haven't tried to ignore anyone or cast aside aside anything. .. If you can prove to me that it's 100% probable that DRS would have made no difference in that particular case then I'll accept that DRS is a waste of time. .. Until then I'll stand by my views and I'm happy for you to stand by yours.

Posted by screamingeagle on (June 21, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

@ dunger.bob on (June 21, 2014, 5:42 GMT) @ Un_Citoyen_Indien : 3 Letters mate. DRS. If he'd have had the option, there would not have been any hat-trick. "Of course, DRS did help Dravid such a lot in that series. Thrice I think? " NOT. But then, that would be conveniently ignored since DRS is the way to go and whoever does not like that may be cast aside.

Posted by AS7777 on (June 21, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

If Sri Lanka can play intelligently still Sri Lanka can come back. SL need to restrict England to below 400. Then score again more than 350. 200 in second innings is a tricky task to England as early signs shows that wicket is turning from the day one.

Posted by dunger.bob on (June 21, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

@ Un_Citoyen_Indien : 3 Letters mate. DRS. If he'd have had the option, there would not have been any hat-trick.

Posted by Sinhaya on (June 21, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

Very good lesson for us for not playing Kithuruwan Vithanage. Why on earth are we playing Thirimanne? Surely Vithanage is better as he can bowl too. Well key only hope now is for us to get 3 English wickets in the first session or if not, we will see a total of 500. Well bowled Broad and Plunkett.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 4:42 GMT)

SRILANKA CRICKET Board should take the brunt of RESPONSIBILITY of this consistant failures in test cricket.They are lately more interested in oneday cricket and had been chopping test cricket to accomadate one dayers.Until and unless cricket loving gentlemen come to the helm of Srilanka cricket board this would be the result.On top of that poor team selection is another factor.Hopeless Mahela is retained in the team despite his string of failures.one in 10 innings he scores a 50.I dont feel we should worry much about youngsters like Dimuth and Thirimanne.Hopefully they will learn from these failures and improve with experience.But what can be said about Mahela?If we are to perform well in test cricket We need to find talented youngsters and expose them to more test match cricket.

Posted by Un_Citoyen_Indien on (June 21, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

As Broad's hat-trick victim when he last achieved the feat, wasn't Harbhajan given out L.B.W. despite getting a clearly visible inside edge on the ball?

Posted by AS7777 on (June 21, 2014, 3:07 GMT)

I can understand selectors trying to do by selecting Thirimanna. They were trying to create a rift among English bowlers. Whoever get the first chance to bowl at Thirimanna get the wicket and competition create who get the chance to bowl at Thirimanna.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 21, 2014, 3:03 GMT)

From what I read, there may have been some criticism of Cook's decision to bowl first after winning the toss. That decision has certainly been vindicated with England very much winning the day despite their staunch refusal to dismiss Sangakkara. He is an excellent batsman and one of my favourites but this may well be the luckiest innings that he's ever played.

I'm not sure how Broad or others viewed his first hat-trick but I never felt completely comfortable with it because the second wicket was an LBW given despite a significant inside edge. If only there had been DRS available to overturn the decision - oh, hang on, it was against India and they refused to have DRS, oh well. Anyway, it's not the only hat-trick to include a wicket that shouldn't have been and there are no doubts about this one.

I was thinking that 300 was a definite possibility when Sangakkara and Chandimal were together and then suddenly 250 was looking unlikely. England's day despite the last two lingering.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

sangakara like Dr avid is a class act. He does give his best. as for Jayawardane he is like sehwag King of flay tracks. An inning here and there is not enough to prove he can bat well on pitches with some juice on them

Posted by MH19 on (June 21, 2014, 2:09 GMT)

Mahela should step down in test cricket after this test as he is now a passenger in the test line up.Mahela has done wonders to SL Cricket and i hope he will take a good decision after this tour about his test future.Chandimal should play in his position number 4 for SL in test and 1 dayers. Dimuth/Silva/Sanga/Chandimal/thiri/mathews/all rounder/herath/3 pacies or 2 spinners and have the all rounder a fast bowler.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 1:31 GMT)

@Rishad,in the previous test eng were 209 for 5-1st inn and ended up getting 575 and 121 for 6 wickets in 2nd inn and ended up 267....this is because their tail enders like jordan,broad,plunkett score 40s each,but the srilaankan tail collapses each time cheaply,so is it not the difference between the twosides..

Posted by dunger.bob on (June 21, 2014, 1:00 GMT)

257 is obviously not a great score but it is a score. At least it's something to work with and it's over to the bowlers from a SL point of view. .. I think they're in enormous trouble already but tomorrows a new day and they might be able to return the favour to the English batting. .. doubtful though.

Posted by Shehan_W on (June 21, 2014, 0:44 GMT)

Chandimal is much much better than Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne. Yesterday he once again showed why he averages of 50 in test cricket.

Posted by 12thUmpire on (June 21, 2014, 0:41 GMT)

What were the exact GMT, when the tourists were dismissed @ Trinidad & Headingley? A similar occurrence , about 20 minutes apart when Blewett and Ganguly were dismissed for 99!

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 0:30 GMT)

Both teams have to bat, remember?

Posted by landl47 on (June 21, 2014, 0:21 GMT)

Well, despite England's seeming determination to present Sanga with a century on what might be his last test in England (Bell must have missed the memo), inserting SL and removing them for 257 wasn't bad. Sanga can rarely have batted worse- besides the missed run-out, dropped catches and no appeal when he actually was out, he inside-edged balls past the stumps, popped them in the air and played and missed an astonishing amount for a great batsman. Without his 79, though, no matter how shabby it was, SL would be in even deeper trouble.

The England seamers bowled well, and apart from Jordan eventually got the rewards they deserved. Great to see Plunkett get his first 5-for on his home ground. This is a useful seam attack and it needs to be, because Ali is not a test-class spinner.

Nice to see Cook and Robson survive the last 50 minutes and Robson is already looking much more at home. Both need a decent innings and let's hope they give England a good start tomorrow.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 23:46 GMT)

I'm Australian and I wonder: If England had had this attack during the Ashes would it still have been 5-0? Seems a far more effective unit.

Posted by JustIPL on (June 20, 2014, 23:12 GMT)

Useful knock by sri lankan tailenders scoring 28 crucial runs. No team can be comfortable when Broad is firing and then plunket came good also along with evergreen anderson.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

There should be a result now in this Test, weather permitting, and despite pieces of sloppy play in the field by England. Congratulations to Broad on his historic hat trick, and also to Plunkett on his first 5 wickets at this level. Great chance for Cook and Robson to make a big score to ease the pressure.

Posted by SLMaster on (June 20, 2014, 22:43 GMT)

I'm frustrated with Thirimanne as any one else. But the matter is he is much better player going through a bad patch. I would be more concerned about Mahela. But he is a better player as well. Hopefully, they all apply well in the second innings. Fans need to support them when they gota rough patch.

SL IS DOING FAR BETTER THAN WHAT HAPPENED TO END IN AUS....HA.HA.HA

Posted by SLMaster on (June 20, 2014, 22:38 GMT)

Hello All, this is not a bad total from SL. Eng still have work to do. ENG only marginally better. The pitch is opposite of Lords. Batting gets easier as test move forward. So, SL still have 2nd inning to do better. so guys hold onto your horses.

Posted by JustIPL on (June 20, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

Nice to see english team coming back after aussie debacle. With bresnan and finn still in the wings of which broad, bresnan and jordan are the allrounders who can inflict win for their team with the bat even. Sangakara showed how to play. Poor Thrimanne was unlucky to get the deadly short ball. When chandi can score then batting should be easy despite fiarce english batting.

Posted by markatnotts on (June 20, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Let us not forget England still have to bat! We could and should have got SL out for much less if the fielding was better. Something tells me tomorrow is going to be very interesting!

Posted by 2MikeGattings on (June 20, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

Well down England's pacers, but you'd better get ready for some graft. I don't think the spin twins are going to bowl much this summer.

Prior had a shocker. I don't think I have seen a worse drop from an international keeper, and there were byes too.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (June 20, 2014, 20:35 GMT)

"Cook voiced the opinion that he (Bell) was "one of the best, if not the best" batsmen he had ever played with."

Has Mr Cook so soon forgotten a fellow by the name of Kevin Pietersen? Mr Bell's underwhelming average of 45.24 does not even put him in the top tier of international batsmen. Mr Bell has been not-out 22 times, allowing his average to appear on par with Mr Pietersen's not particularly awe inspiring 47.28. But, Mr Bell is not on par as a run scorer.

In 181 innings Mr Pietersen scored 8181 runs. In 172 innings - just 9 less - Mr Bell has scored 6787 runs, and therein lies the difference.

The statement "one of the best, if not the best" appears to be either hyperbole stirred up by the occasion, or an alarming lack of objective analysis by Mr Cook.

I'm not, by any means, a KP cheerleader. Nor, it appears is Mr Cook. However, I will let the objectivity of stats govern my assessment of the strength of a player's career. Anything else would just not be cricket, would it?

Posted by Kavum on (June 20, 2014, 20:21 GMT)

Has there ever been a more hapless lower order than this SL team's last 4 "batsmen"? At least Chandimal at 7 played ok. Prediction: England to score 500+ and SL to lose by an innings on Sunday or Monday morning.

Posted by lionspaw on (June 20, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

Sri Lanka Please let the English cricket team win this match!!!! the English fans are devastated with their football teams performance in the world cup. The fans wont be able to handle another defeat from another game introduced by themselves. I hope cricinfo will publish this. They didn't publish last 22 of my comments.

Posted by Sageleaf on (June 20, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

I totally agree with Dark Man X and the match will be over on the 4th day. The reason is SL team does not know how to cope with body line bowling. What adjustments have SL made to conquer the England fast bowling? Nothing...Sri Lankan fast bowlers are no where closer to England. I think our ODI side is better than this test team. Mahela keeps failing and what's with Thirimanne? SL again just threw their wickets away. It was a big joke to watch the tail-enders bat. They did not know what to do. We need foreign coach. Why don't you have Kusal, Ashan and Kithruwan Sachithra in the side? Sri Lanka can have many different plans...but nothing is going to work because there is no proper direction. SL couldn't get England tail-enders out twice and how are they going to get them out in this test? SL will lose because of poor selection and negative playing. Dimuth is no opener. Wonder why most get injured and unfit to play specially the fast bowlers.

Posted by USA_Res on (June 20, 2014, 19:45 GMT)

@ M.Shuaib Hussain: Still think you are in a strong position ??

Posted by St.John on (June 20, 2014, 19:15 GMT)

England had to only take 12 wickets to win this match and they got off to a flying start. Sri Lanka bat only to number 6 and the rest (Tail) is the worst in the world. Even the first 6 is reduced to 4 really as Thirimanne is clueless and Mahela J is struggling. The English batsmen should cross 500 again given the pretty much toothless SL attack.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

@Chandu: that is indeed a very lame excuse for this paltry total. your argument of having a useless tail is baseless, in a good batting performance the tails don't even come in the picture. anyway, 213/6 that is without taking into consideration the scores of the last 4 batsmen doesn't account for a good batting performance anyway. The bitter truth is England bowled well, asked questions and SL didn't have the answers.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 17:45 GMT)

The nucleus of yet another good battery of English fast bowlers. will be wonderful to see them on a helpful surface. just need to set out the spinning options

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

as a sri lankan proud about our team getting at least this total with having practically only 6 wickets as thirimanne and the entire tail very very useless,meaning we start our innings like 0/4....so with this lot of travellers in the team will feel proud if we avoid losing by a inning,,,

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

As I mentioned in the preview to the match SL will struggle because of a weak tail .Many would be surprised at my comment but there remain very few good top order batsmen in Tests .Only Warner Amla and maybe Cook Pujara and Sanga come to mind .The tail along with No 6 or 7 batsmen should be able to contribute at least 50-100 runs .Look at NZ vs WI match .And also watch the performance of English tail irrespective of top order performance .They will put a price on their wicket .5 wickets fir 29 runs is not good at all.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 17:19 GMT)

Bell v Collingwood as amazing fielders. Reckon Collingwood still has the edge - but close!!

Posted by Speng on (June 20, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Harry Potter reference tops off a great report... Seems like the Lankans missed the trick scoring poorly in the first innings.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Chandimal bats too lower down the order. He had a good test series in Australia,instead srilankan selectors go for thiramanne always. He bats at no 7 in odi too. Chandimal had a great career in odi when he batted at no4 and 5. Again thiramanne so called talent made chandimal to lose his odi place. He batted superbly during cb series.

Posted by cricat16 on (June 20, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

It is very sad thing Chandimal get axed for Thirimanna and Mahela always . If some one analyzed open minded Chandimal is far ahead than Thirimanna and Mahela .

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 16:22 GMT)

hahaha.. SL all out for less than 260. My prediction seems to be right. SL bat first, england winning by innings margin.game over in 3 days. poor team selection made SL pay. Leeds becomes a batting paradaise by day 2 folks. expecting to see 100s from cook, bell and root.

Posted by cric1965 on (June 20, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

Thirimanna against England-4 runs in 3innings . Why selectors chose him ahead of vithanage? Currently unable to cope with England bowlers and conditions. Is he fit enough to play in tests at out side the sub continent? Is he the vice captain in test team? He has not yet fixed his place in test team. Need to change and give vice captaincy to a performing youngster like Kaushal Silva or other. Dropping Kulasekera and selecting Chandimal is a good move.

Posted by C0l0mb0 on (June 20, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

I am a SL fan. But SL is going no where with this kind of team selection. its too bad that SL selectors cannot see wat SL public can see for their country. Only plus point for SL so far is, Thiimanna didnt got out for Anderson.

Posted by Haleos on (June 20, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Moeen Ali takes less than 1.5 wickets/ First class match. Wonder why he is in the team considering his batting average is a mediocre 38.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

lankans need to show bit of aggresstion. If they keep playing the waiting game, might end up for a loosing cause.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (June 20, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

Am wondering if Cook missed a trick by not opening with Plunkett? surely he would be more effective with a hard shinny new ball and this would answer cook's critics about not thinking ourside the square et all...and even as i type this, plunkett has taken 2 in 2.......:)

Posted by kc69 on (June 20, 2014, 13:28 GMT)

Wow...Looking at Thirimanne This series so far 2(17) and 2(11) and now 0(1) well his selection looks so justified.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

Isn't it time to end the Captain cook era ? New skipper needed , one that will instill some steel to this team .

Posted by Mervo on (June 20, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

Plunkett playing. Played 10 tests with a bowling average of 42! Is this the best that can be found?

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

bringing dammika prasad not a clever move.nuwan has probing swing which works in england.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

All the best for Sri Lanka to wrap up all three series. We are in a strong position to win this match as well. Best wishes. Sri Lankan Cricket Lover KSA.

Posted by jb633 on (June 20, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

IMO opinion instead of having academies and camps for young spinners the ECB must push it upon club captains that their spinners need to bowl more. It is all well and good having guys bowling with coaches but the only way to improve is the individual seeing what works/doesn't work for him in a game situation. We keep encouraging spinners in club and school cricket to concede 2 runs r.p.o rather than spin the ball and get wickets. We produce guys that bowl flat and on the spot but don't spin a ball all day. How is this good for our game? We must encourage spinners to attack and spin the ball

Posted by jb633 on (June 20, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

SL to pile them on and Herath to bowl us out on the last day. Any takers? Cook, seriously what are you playing at? It is so sad to think this is our best 11 we can field for an international game of cricket. I bet India can't wait to come over and give us a good hiding. In a way I want us to lose so we can get rid of Cook as skip and we can't hide from the serious issues in our game. I mean how can we have no spinner that is even worth a gamble in international cricket. The way our young spinners are taught and treated at grass roots cricket is absymal. The net result is an abundance of average medium pacers who stick it on the spot. Sad to see the state of English cricket right now.

Posted by ksquared on (June 20, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

To me the pitch looks like a belter ENG definitely should have batted.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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