Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day December 13, 2007

Bell's bravado and Malinga the klutz



Alastair Cook is deftly caught by Mahela Jayawardene off the part-time (and rather effective) spin of Chamara Silva © Getty Images

Dismissal of the day
Mahela Jayawardene has heeded the plea from his main man, Muttiah Muralitharan, and spent much of this second innings scouting around for a potential spin partner. First he tried Jehan Mubarak, to no great success; then he dusted off his own offbreaks, after two-and-a-half years in mothballs. Then, finally, he lobbed the ball to Chamara Silva, whose only international overs had come - bizarrely - in Twenty20 cricket. He sent down three half-decent overs of legspin before lunch, and then struck with the very first ball of the resumption, as Alastair Cook prodded lamely to slip.

Bravado of the day
Ian Bell is nothing if not positive at the crease these days. No shot better exemplified his new-found derring-do than the lofted drive for four which took England to the lunch break. There was no timidity in that choice of blow, as he strode down the pitch, plonked Muralitharan over mid-on, then turned on his heel and went to put his feet up. Admittedly, he later gave his wicket away with an identical choice of stroke, but as Steve Harmison said on the fourth evening: "If you die in a hole, you're going to get battered."

Shot of the day
. There wasn't a whole lot to choose from on a day that never really ignited. But Kevin Pietersen can always be relied upon to enliven the proceedings. He made light of the problems that Silva had been causing his peers, and pummelled him ruthlessly over midwicket for six. It was England's only maximum of the match.

Klutz of the day
Lasith Malinga bowled with customary pace and hostility, but in the field he had a shocker. There's not much that can go wrong when you're being hidden at third man and deep midwicket, but Malinga somehow managed to make a meal of two of the simpler shots that came his way. On 9, Pietersen whipped Muralitharan through the leg-side, where Malinga stuck out a boot, missed, stumbled, and tumbled into the rope as he tried to make amends. Then, seven overs later, he was at it again, as a delicate nudge rolled straight through his legs at third man. The Barmy Army bugler gave him a quick burst of Benny Hill for that effort.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo