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England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day

Jayawardene and light delay England

The Report by Andrew McGlashan

May 14, 2006

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Sri Lanka 192 (Jayawardene 61, Hoggard 4-27) and 381 for 6 (Dilshan 39*, Kapugedera 5*) lead England 551 for 6 dec by 22 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out



Mahela Jayawardene was at his best as he struck a brilliant century © Getty Images
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Mahela Jayawardene fought tooth and nail before being cruelly dispatched after an outstanding fighting century that kept Sri Lanka's hopes of a draw flickering in the gloom at Lord's. In a thrusting final burst Andrew Flintoff improved England's day by a few notches, keeping them firmly on course despite further missed chances, but Sri Lanka's determination has taken the match into an unexpected final day.

Their cause was helped when bad light lopped 24 overs off the evening and the forecast tomorrow suggests more assistance from the elements can't be ruled out. But for large parts of today it was the Sri Lankans who aided themselves. Jayawardene and Farveez Maharoof negotiated a full morning session and Tillakaratne Dilshan, following a double burst from Sajid Mahmood, ensured the resistance remained.

Jayawardene is enjoying a fine match and his outward emotion on reaching the hundred showed what it meant to him. Four overthrows brought up his century off 191 balls but it didn't matter how he got there as he pumped his fists, signalling to the dressing room, and certainly hadn't given up hope of pulling the match out of the fire.

England were left to rue dropping him on 58 - Andrew Strauss spilling his second regulation chance of the match - and when Flintoff finally struck it wasn't the runs that were of concern, but the time. With the wicket - fortuitous as the ball only touched the jumper - Flintoff exploded into his 'star' celebration, which became such a feature last summer for the first time this season. He clearly sensed the importance of the strike after a tough day.

Sri Lanka's first innings lasted 55.3 overs; Jayawardene and Maharoof batted 40 between them. As the stand developed England were beginning to wonder where a wicket was going to come from despite passing the bat on countless occasions. Maharoof - dropped on 30 when Paul Collingwood missed a chance high to his right at third slip - swung a six into the Grandstand to reach his fifty. However after threading two boundaries through the covers off Mahmood he slapped another attempt to Kevin Pietersen at cover.



Star man: Andrew Flintoff's strike was an important late boost for England © Getty Images
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The relief on the England faces was palpable but nothing should be taken away from Maharoof who had given ample notice of his batting ability. During the fourth-wicket stand of 113 he'd lost nothing in comparison to his captain and produced some strokes of the highest class against whatever England threw at him.

Samaraweera didn't find life quite as easy and, though he avoided a pair, couldn't last long when he flashed at a delivery that bounced from Mahmood. The well-worn phrase of 'one brings two' had come true for England, in the nick of time, and suddenly there was a spring in the step of the bowlers and fielders.

However, Jayawardene remained and his second ton at Lord's, the 14th of his career, arrived with a scurried single to mid-on, which turned into five when the shy missed the stumps. He was confident to take on the short ball and when anything was overpitched latched on. Dilshan formed another useful partnership - in terms of runs and time - of 68, overcoming the nerves of the first innings, and whatever the outcome of the match the Sri Lankans will take a huge amount of confidence to Edgbaston for the second Test.

England's plan had been based around the new ball, due 16 overs into the morning session; it swung and seamed, but the chances came and went. Strauss's miss came off Hoggard, who had repeatedly passed the bat in another metronomic spell, and the frustration was clear.

But the bowling remained menacing throughout the day as Mahmood's impressive debut continued and Liam Plunkett produced his best spell of the match. However, the young pacemen were shown that Test cricket is often a long, hard fight. Both teams will be glancing towards the sky when the final day dawns.

How they were out

Sri Lanka


Overnight 183 for 3

Jehan Mubarak b Hoggard 6 (10 for 1)
Ball swung back between bat and pad

Upul Tharanga c Jones b Panesar 52 (119 for 2)
Played for the turn, went straight on, sharp low catch

Kumar Sangakkara c Jones b Panesar 65 (178 for 3)
Pushed forward, thin edge

Farveez Maharoof c Pietersen b Hoggard 59 (291 for 4)
Firm drive to cover

Thilan Samaraweera c Jones b Mahmood 6 (303 for 5)
Short of length, top edged a flashing cut

Mahela Jayawardene c Jones b Flintoff 119 (371 for 6)
Speared down legside, brushed jumper not glove

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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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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