ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
Sri Lanka v England, 4th quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Colombo
Of broken bats and the man with nine lives
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth quarter-final between England and Sri Lanka in Colombo
Sidharth Monga at the Premadasa
March 26, 2011
Jonathan Trott and Ravi Bopara did a good job of knocking the ball around later on during their partnership, but the there was the odd potential run-out thrown in too, especially because of the extensive employment of the reverse-sweep. One such effort from Trott, in the 23rd over, lobbed over Kumar Sangakkara's head, and he got so engrossed in watching over his wicket that he didn't realise the ball had reached the vacant short third-man region. Bopara wanted the run, Trott didn't, Bopara wanted it more, Trott was even more opposed, until he realised Bopara had reached his end and there was enough time for him too to make it to the other.
At least half a cat for sure. Eoin Morgan may as well head off to the casino after the game. They just didn't seem to be capable of catching him. He was dropped by Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath, on 16, 33 and 34 respectively. In between was the usually argumentative Sri Lankan captains' failure to dispute a not-out call when Lasith Malinga had Morgan lbw on 29. Murali's reaction when Herath grassed one at point was priceless: pointing at the fielder, shouting, cursing, competitive as ever at 22 days short of 39 years.
When Morgan dug out a yorker from Malinga in the 43rd over, the ball flew square on the off side, and a piece on wood square on the leg side. On first look it looked like Malinga had bowled him, but it was a chunk of the bottom of the bat that had come off. The single that Morgan took was also his 50th run, so in one wave of a broken bat towards the dressing, he acknowledged the applause and also asked for a new piece of wood.
It went horribly wrong, by the way. England have tended to promote Graeme Swann during the batting Powerplay overs, and Swann in turn has tended to employ the switch-hit to the first ball he faces. When he came to bat in the 44th over, despite all England's unpredictability, it was clear to all who have followed the World Cup that Swann was going to try the switch-hit. Mendis bowled straight, within the stumps, Swann swung, missed, and was caught dead plumb.
It's humid in Sri Lanka. If you didn't know it already from the two cramping centurions, go back to the highlights package, and check out Tillakaratne Dilshan's attempt at a pull shot in the 34th over of the chase. It was a good slower bouncer from Tim Bresnan, and Dilshan gave it a mighty thwack, except he didn't connect and the bat went flying towards square leg. Good that there was no square leg in place, and the umpire was deeper than where the bat landed.
With seven runs required for a win, and Upul Tharanga on 98, Dilshan - already past his century - cut Graeme Swann for a four to send a surprised murmur across the partying stands. He had played a part in denying Virender Sehwag a century last year, surely he was not going to deny his partner one here? Two balls to go in the over. Cheekily Swann bowls short and wide, this time Dilshan goes right across, and defends to send across a wild cheer. Now Swann tosses it up, and Dilshan stretches well forward for a defensive. And all is right with the world with Tharanga on strike for the next over.
Brendan de Caires on watching cricket at Bourda in Georgetown in the '70s
The Cricket Monthly June issue
The pairing of legspinner and keeper is unlike any other in cricket. By Osman Samiuddin
Tamim Iqbal talks about rediscovering his batting form through 2015, and Bangladesh's shortage of cricket this year
CPL chief executive Damien O'Donohoe talks about the league's plans
A two-division structure will give the format the shake-up it needs. It's important for fans of the traditional game to embrace change
He understands the Indian mentality better and doesn't have to deal with star players on the wane
As South Africa's slump gets deeper after the triangular series exit, ESPNcricinfo looks at three areas that need special focus and could possibly salvage them
Three years on from his sacking as Australia's coach, Mickey Arthur believes the same adherence to discipline will help Pakistan achieve redemption in England
Test cricket needs to be given back to the people. Everybody must buy in to this bigger picture or the moment will pass us by