Sri Lanka v England 2007-08 / News

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

Bell's bravado and Malinga the klutz

Andrew Miller in Colombo

December 13, 2007

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

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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