England A v Sri Lankans, Worcester, 3rd day May 6, 2006

Sri Lanka go down with barely a whimper

England A 259 and 41 for 0 beat Sri Lankans 179 and 118 by ten wickets

Jon Lewis - in fine voice and fine form ... he ended with match figures of 9 for 130 © Getty Images
For their second tour in succession, Sri Lanka are in England at a time of year that many club cricketers are still casting half-hearted looks out of the window wondering when summer might start. The warm, sunny weather of the last couple of days might have given them a false sense of well being, but the more seasonally typical low, grey skies and almost permanently-threatening drizzle which returned today brought them down to earth, as did a ten-wicket loss.

They resumed this morning with five wickets down and needing a miracle to take this match much beyond lunch on the third of the four scheduled days. Their batting so far on this tour has been dire, and only Tillakaratne Dilshan of the recognised batsmen remained.

He started brightly, smacking Rikki Clarke for successive fours in the second over of the day, and for half an hour he and Chamara Kapugedera looked relatively untroubled. It was Liam Plunkett who made the breakthrough when he found the edge off Kapugedera's bat, and the rest was routine as the Sri Lankans' last five wickets added only 38 runs.

Lewis, the pick of the bowlers, took his ninth wicket of the match when Farveez Maharoof limply chipped to Robert Key at mid-on - Lewis's six overs cost only four runs - and Dilshan's innings was ended when Stuart Broad got one to lift and he spared the ball to Alastair Cook at second slip.

Ravi Bopara and Broad, who finished with an impressive 3 for 17, polished off the innings and Cook and Key's stroll to knock off the 39 needed was only interrupted by lunch.

England name their squad for next Thursday's Lord's Test tomorrow, and Lewis and Liam Plunkett will both be keeping an ear to the radio. And if England are struggling with their selections, then Sri Lanka have even more problems as they trudge back to London.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo