500 after following on, and seven fifties in an innings
After the first two days at Lord's, no-one gave Sri Lanka a chance of going into the second Test with honours still even, but that was before their batsmen decided to show just what they are capable of. The Sri Lankan second-innings total of 537 for 9 was only the tenth occasion in the history of Test cricket when a team scored more than 500 after following on. Eight of those matches - including this one - ended in draws. The only two instances of decisive results both involved India: in 1967 they scored 510 and lost, while Australia were at the receiving end - quite famously - at Kolkata in 2000-01.
|England/ South Africa||551||Trent Bridge, 1947||Draw|
|Pakistan/ West Indies||657 for 8||Barbados, 1957-58||Draw|
|India/ England||510||Headingley, 1967||Lost by six wickets|
|England/ Australia||538||The Oval, 1975||Draw|
|Pakistan/ Australia||537||Rawalpindi, 1994-95||Draw|
|South Africa/ England||572 for 7||Durban, 1999-2000||Draw|
|Zimbabwe/ India||503 for 6||Nagpur, 2000-01||Draw|
|India/ Australia||657 for 7||Kolkata, 2000-01||India won by 171 runs|
|England/ Sri Lanka||529 for 5||Lord's 2002||Draw|
|Sri Lanka/ England||537 for 9||Lord's 2006||Draw|
What's even more admirable is that Sri Lanka's second-innings display wasn't the result of just a couple of players putting their hands up. While Mahela Jayawardene did show the way with a patient and classy 119, almost everyone else did their bit as well - there were seven fifty-plus scores in the innings, only the third time that this has happened in Test cricket.
|England||Australia||Old Trafford, 1934||Draw|
|Pakistan||India||Karachi, 2005-06||Won by 341 runs|
|Sri Lanka||England||Lord's 2006||Draw|
Sri Lanka's unexpected resistance meant plenty of work for England's bowlers, who sent down 199 overs in the second innings. More than 25% came from one bowler - their captain, Andrew Flintoff, who bowled 51 overs for his two wickets. It was only the seventh instance, since 1990, of a fast bowler bowling 50 or more overs in an innings. Merv Dillon is the only one to have toiled through more than fifty overs twice.
|Kapil Dev||51-130-5||Adelaide, 1991-92||India lost by 38 runs|
|Craig McDermott||51-147-4||Sydney, 1991-92||Draw|
|Mark Ilott||51-161-3||Headingley, 1993||Eng lost by an innings and 148 runs|
|Martin Bicknell||50-155-1||Headingley, 1993||Eng lost by an innings and 148 runs|
|Merv Dillon||51-121-2||Galle, 2001-02||WI lost by 10 wickets|
|Merv Dillon||51-116-3||Antigua, 2001-02||Draw|
|Andrew Flintoff||51-131-2||Lord's, 2002||Draw|