Sri Lanka Board XI v England XI, Colombo, 3rd day March 17, 2012

Anderson takes seven in innings win

ESPNcricinfo staff
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England XI 303-8 declared (Cook 163*, Bandara 3-58) beat Sri Lanka Board XI 169 (Anderson 4-19, Panesar 5-37) and 119 (Anderson 3-21, Finn 3-24, Swann 3-33) by an innings and 15 runs
Scorecard

England still harbour doubts about their batsmen as they approach the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, but their bowling attack has quickly found the groove. The England attack was largely blameless during a 3-0 defeat against Pakistan and they could not have made better use of the first warm-up match, dismissing a Board President's XI for 119 on the final day to force victory by an innings and 15 runs.

James Anderson took three more wickets to finish with 7 for 40 in the match and there were also three apiece for his fellow fast bowler, Steve Finn, and the offspinner Graeme Swann. With Monty Panesar also among the wickets in the first innings, England only need Stuart Broad to prove his fitness in the final practice match to reach Galle in good heart.

Anderson said the intensity with which his team played the practice match will serve the tourists well. "I thought it was a pretty good three days for us with both bat and ball," he said. "We could not have asked for more. There are sterner challenges ahead but all we can do is play what is put in front of us. We know full well it is going to get harder throughout the tour with the heat and the opposition."

The only downside was that their victory was so swift it prevented any of their out-of-form batsmen, primarily Ian Bell, from spending more time at the crease. They had declared on 303 for 8 overnight, a lead of 134, their authority established largely through Alastair Cook's unbeaten 163.

Sri Lanka cricket will be unnerved by the extent of the defeat. They selected a young side, but only two of the top seven reached double figures second time around.

It took England only three balls to strike when Ashen Silva, who top-scored with 66 in the first innings, carved the third ball of the innings, from Anderson, to point. Finn also struck with the new ball when Bhanuka Rajapaksa, an attacking left-hand batsman who impressed in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, edged an attempted drive to Swann at second slip. One unexpected blemish in England's display came from Anderson, whose reliability at slip is taken for granted, but who dropped three chances off the spinners in the match. Dimuth Karunaratne benefited from a let-off, a difficult chance, but after he raised the fifty he was bowled by Swann for 31.

Prasanna Jayawardene, with 43 Tests to his name as well as a Test hundred against England, was the most recognisable opponent to the England attack, but he made only two runs in the match, falling for a duck second time around when Finn had him caught at second slip with the first ball of his second spell. Five wickets fell by lunch as Swann had Sachithra Serasinghe caught at short leg.

England's progression through Sri Lanka's lower order during the afternoon was marked by several moments of ill temper. Swann's frustration showed through when Panesar made a comically inept attempt to catch Dilruwan Perera off Swann.

England fielders then reacted angrily when the captain, Andrew Strauss, claimed a catch off Anderson, but Perera refused to take his word for it and stood his ground. The umpires conferred before Ravindra Wimalasiri, the umpire at square leg, indicated that he had not seen whether the ball had carried or not so could not confirm the catch. Perera was surrounded by half-a-dozen England players, protesting that in the absence of technology the captain's word should have been accepted.

The refusal of a run-out appeal against Malinga Bandara moments later further inflamed tensions, but it merely delayed the victory.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Britpop - Fair play you answer my arguments well even if I still believe 5/1/5 is the way for this Eng side to go. I will though say that that Australian batting line up could have scored runs against most bowling attacks and losing 3-0 to Pakistan is worse that losing 5-0 to that Australian side. I have (in recent times)wanted them to play a 5/1/5.I like that balance and I think it gives you more cover for various things.Also because we have far greater depth in our bowling than we do in batting and I believe that whoever we pick as our 5th bowler will do a better job than whoever we picked as our 6th batsman.I still believe that Finn or Bres or CT (whoever was not in the side vs India) would have done more with the ball than Morgan/Bopara with the bat even in our 4-0 win. PS Think NZ is a bad yardstick as SA were always expected to win comfortably whichever side NZ picked

  • brittop on March 20, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    @JG2704: even after all your posts about 5/1/5, I'm still not sure if you favour it generally, or simply because our middle order is out of form and you think the bowlers are more in form.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    @jmcilhinney ctd Ive put instances where our 4 bowlers did not break through in UAE and the 5th bowler might have made the difference.Also if a 5/1/5 was right for beating a decent Oz in 05 why could it not be right now?This is also a series where we need to win to preserve our ranking and SL's batting is on paper harder to break through than Pakistan's.So if our batsmen score a heap of runs (and let's not forget that these might not be the type of UK wkts where we can build good scores at 4/5 an over and therefore quicker)our 4 bowlers may have a struggle to bowl them out twice.A lot of ifs,buts and maybes but I would be more confident of Finn or Bres contributing in the W column than all the mentioned batsmen in the runs colums.If these are batting wickets we may struggle to bowl them out twice with 4 bowlers.We could still win if losing a batsman means lower scores for us by bowling SL out cheaper but we can't win if we score big and we can't bowl them out twice.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on Understand your views but how long do we wait for our lower middle batsmen to come good and how many matches must we fail in until this happens? Had the rain not intervened in NZ/SA 1st test the likelihood would be that we're knocked off the top at the end of that series. If we wait long enough , yes these guys will score runs , but if we lose our number 1 ranking in the mean time because of these failings then what's the point ? Bell has had 10 inns plus one 12 not out and his highest score was 29. Bopara and Patel didn't play but in these short series can we afford time for batsmen to find their form?

  • brittop on March 20, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    @JG2704: Let me answer your point about batsmen 4-6 explicitly. I, personally, would not have dropped Pietersen or Bell as I believe they are good test players. Morgan is my concern and maybe I would have replaced him, but with another batsman. As @jcmilhinney says, I believe you're trying to solve a problem England doesn't have - 4 bowlers is doing the job. You go back to one series (seven years ago) in 2005 to prove 5/1/5 is good. I believe that only worked because Flintoff played like a proper batsman in that series. You overlook the 2006/7 Ashes that we lost 5-0 with 5/1/5. Does any other test team play 5/1/5 at the moment? Ah NZ do which means Vettori at 6 - not working too well for them.

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    @JG2704... Agree on Broad - you don't muck around with your best asset... Prior (@44.24) should be batting at no.6 & is wasted at no.7... Cannot see why Broad/Bresnan can't bat at no.7 as an allrounder with the rest considered bowlers...

  • jmcilhinney on March 20, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    @JG2704, personally I'm not against 5 bowlers but it does seem to be trying to solve a problem we don't have. Surely what we want to happen is for the batsmen to start scoring runs. That may happen gradually so it would be a real shame to drop the one who was about to come good. Adding a fifth bowler may be an insurance policy against one bowler going down or having a bad game but if the first four perform, as they have been, then the fifth bowler is a fifth wheel, except maybe to keep all bowlers fresher for the next game. It just seems to me that dropping a batsman is an admission that they won't succeed and there's noone else who will either. I don't think that that's an admission that England will or should make.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    @Britpop - I have asked you and other Eng fans to name a time when anyone from numbers 4-6 in that series made a contribution worthy of fully justifying his place and no one has and yet I have given several examples of where a 5th bowler might have made a difference. If the 5th bowler had played and had made a difference then he would not have been a luxury player. I'd say having 3 batsmen whoes Agreed - if our batsmen did their job ... but they didn't and what happened , we get whitewashed. There are two ways of looking at how to win matches. 1 - you score more runs than the opponents 2 - you bowl the opposition out cheaper. As I put before , when we ended the Australian stranglehold over us in 2005 it was done with a 5/1/5 formation. To me that is a better series result than any in the last 20 years and if that was right to beat a decent Aus side why would a 5/1/5 not be right now? PS No just one batsman for 1 bowler. I use batsmen 4-6 because I did not want to single out Morgan.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on March 19, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    @RandyOZ you truely have NO CLUE. Bell = easily England best batsman V South Africa in South Africa. If you know nothing best not to come here to display it. "journeyman" LOL LOL LOL LOL.... Talent is "thin" when someone like Ponting is still playing for Aus... a walking wicket in the last Ashes series he captained, and the one before, ha ha ha! Aus have no-one near the quality of Ian Bell - and you know it.

  • Yevghenny on March 19, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    "Bell , these days excels against modest bowling attacks like Australia and India." = is that why he was our best batsman on the South Africa tour? Against Steyn and Morkel?

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @Britpop - Fair play you answer my arguments well even if I still believe 5/1/5 is the way for this Eng side to go. I will though say that that Australian batting line up could have scored runs against most bowling attacks and losing 3-0 to Pakistan is worse that losing 5-0 to that Australian side. I have (in recent times)wanted them to play a 5/1/5.I like that balance and I think it gives you more cover for various things.Also because we have far greater depth in our bowling than we do in batting and I believe that whoever we pick as our 5th bowler will do a better job than whoever we picked as our 6th batsman.I still believe that Finn or Bres or CT (whoever was not in the side vs India) would have done more with the ball than Morgan/Bopara with the bat even in our 4-0 win. PS Think NZ is a bad yardstick as SA were always expected to win comfortably whichever side NZ picked

  • brittop on March 20, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    @JG2704: even after all your posts about 5/1/5, I'm still not sure if you favour it generally, or simply because our middle order is out of form and you think the bowlers are more in form.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    @jmcilhinney ctd Ive put instances where our 4 bowlers did not break through in UAE and the 5th bowler might have made the difference.Also if a 5/1/5 was right for beating a decent Oz in 05 why could it not be right now?This is also a series where we need to win to preserve our ranking and SL's batting is on paper harder to break through than Pakistan's.So if our batsmen score a heap of runs (and let's not forget that these might not be the type of UK wkts where we can build good scores at 4/5 an over and therefore quicker)our 4 bowlers may have a struggle to bowl them out twice.A lot of ifs,buts and maybes but I would be more confident of Finn or Bres contributing in the W column than all the mentioned batsmen in the runs colums.If these are batting wickets we may struggle to bowl them out twice with 4 bowlers.We could still win if losing a batsman means lower scores for us by bowling SL out cheaper but we can't win if we score big and we can't bowl them out twice.

  • JG2704 on March 20, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on Understand your views but how long do we wait for our lower middle batsmen to come good and how many matches must we fail in until this happens? Had the rain not intervened in NZ/SA 1st test the likelihood would be that we're knocked off the top at the end of that series. If we wait long enough , yes these guys will score runs , but if we lose our number 1 ranking in the mean time because of these failings then what's the point ? Bell has had 10 inns plus one 12 not out and his highest score was 29. Bopara and Patel didn't play but in these short series can we afford time for batsmen to find their form?

  • brittop on March 20, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    @JG2704: Let me answer your point about batsmen 4-6 explicitly. I, personally, would not have dropped Pietersen or Bell as I believe they are good test players. Morgan is my concern and maybe I would have replaced him, but with another batsman. As @jcmilhinney says, I believe you're trying to solve a problem England doesn't have - 4 bowlers is doing the job. You go back to one series (seven years ago) in 2005 to prove 5/1/5 is good. I believe that only worked because Flintoff played like a proper batsman in that series. You overlook the 2006/7 Ashes that we lost 5-0 with 5/1/5. Does any other test team play 5/1/5 at the moment? Ah NZ do which means Vettori at 6 - not working too well for them.

  • zenboomerang on March 20, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    @JG2704... Agree on Broad - you don't muck around with your best asset... Prior (@44.24) should be batting at no.6 & is wasted at no.7... Cannot see why Broad/Bresnan can't bat at no.7 as an allrounder with the rest considered bowlers...

  • jmcilhinney on March 20, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    @JG2704, personally I'm not against 5 bowlers but it does seem to be trying to solve a problem we don't have. Surely what we want to happen is for the batsmen to start scoring runs. That may happen gradually so it would be a real shame to drop the one who was about to come good. Adding a fifth bowler may be an insurance policy against one bowler going down or having a bad game but if the first four perform, as they have been, then the fifth bowler is a fifth wheel, except maybe to keep all bowlers fresher for the next game. It just seems to me that dropping a batsman is an admission that they won't succeed and there's noone else who will either. I don't think that that's an admission that England will or should make.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 22:53 GMT

    @Britpop - I have asked you and other Eng fans to name a time when anyone from numbers 4-6 in that series made a contribution worthy of fully justifying his place and no one has and yet I have given several examples of where a 5th bowler might have made a difference. If the 5th bowler had played and had made a difference then he would not have been a luxury player. I'd say having 3 batsmen whoes Agreed - if our batsmen did their job ... but they didn't and what happened , we get whitewashed. There are two ways of looking at how to win matches. 1 - you score more runs than the opponents 2 - you bowl the opposition out cheaper. As I put before , when we ended the Australian stranglehold over us in 2005 it was done with a 5/1/5 formation. To me that is a better series result than any in the last 20 years and if that was right to beat a decent Aus side why would a 5/1/5 not be right now? PS No just one batsman for 1 bowler. I use batsmen 4-6 because I did not want to single out Morgan.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on March 19, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    @RandyOZ you truely have NO CLUE. Bell = easily England best batsman V South Africa in South Africa. If you know nothing best not to come here to display it. "journeyman" LOL LOL LOL LOL.... Talent is "thin" when someone like Ponting is still playing for Aus... a walking wicket in the last Ashes series he captained, and the one before, ha ha ha! Aus have no-one near the quality of Ian Bell - and you know it.

  • Yevghenny on March 19, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    "Bell , these days excels against modest bowling attacks like Australia and India." = is that why he was our best batsman on the South Africa tour? Against Steyn and Morkel?

  • brittop on March 19, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @JG2704: PS you say no-one from 4-6 justified their place. Would you have replaced them all by bowlers? Would that guarantee bowling out the opposition for under 100 each innings?

  • brittop on March 19, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    @JG2704: My point is that I believe a fifth bowler to be a luxury. That principle doesn't change because they batsmen aren't playing well - or, as you believe, can't score runs if those above haven't, then, as I said get someone in who is/can (so you can then think "oh great xxxxxx to come next"). You say there were times in the UAE when a fifth bowler might have made a difference. I say, if the batsmen had done their job, we would have won the series.

  • bouncy-pitch on March 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    :tjsimonsen. " Bell ......was also one of the best batsmen in the world last year".

    What a joke! Bell plunders weak attacks like Ind/SL last summer and the OZ team last winter. He cannot score runs consistently against good opposition in trying conditions. Messrs Ajmal, Gul and Rehman proved that point. Even Gambhir is king in India, but we know he is not a all round quality player for us.

    England fans need to wake up. You have a very good seam attack, but your batsmen were shown up in UAE, with an honourable exception of Cook.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @tjsimonsen on (March 18 2012, 16:11 PM GMT) - Mental character in hot , humid conditions when you have men round the bat trying to crowd you is surely more important than anything. That's what seperates the Cooks and Trott's from the Bell's and Bopara's. It's much easier to come in at 5 or 6 if the previous batsmen have scored 250-300 than it is when they are in double figures. Randy Oz is kind of right. Bell , these days excels against modest bowling attacks like Australia and India.

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @Britpop - PS - I have posted numerous times on instances when a 5th bowler might have made a big difference in UAE. 1st test , 2nd test 2nd inns when we had them 4 wkts down and found it hard to get the 5th wicket. 3rd test , 2nd inns. Can you - or anyone for that matter - name a time when anyone from numbers 4-6 in that series made a contribution worthy of fully justifying his place?

  • JG2704 on March 19, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    @brittop Hello. Is it not hot/humid conditions out there anyway?Ok say we're 200-4 (optimistic judging on how we batted in UAE) do we think great we have Bopara or Bell in next.To me these guys - if the guys above them don't score runs - are liabilities and if the guys above them score runs then the number 6 batsman is not that important. Is a number 6 batsman who doesn't score runs not a luxury then? You say about them reverting to the 80s/90s etc , but a more recent example of the 5/1/5 formation was 2005 when we beat a decent Australian side. We kept the same formation for the series and then brought in Collingwood for the injured Jones and but for KPs inns the batsman replacing bowler would have backfired. The 5/1/5 formation wouldn't suit all teams but to me our 5th bowler (Finn or Bres) is more likely to take valuable wickets than Bell/Bopara will score valuable runs.Also as Pak proved vs us you can set low totals and win tests if you have the bowlers to do damage.

  • RandyOZ on March 19, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @tjsimonsen - Bell's a journeyman, who never should've been given another game after being completely destroyed by Warne. I suppose the talent is really thin so you didn't have much choice.

  • tjsimonsen on March 18, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    I don't quite share people's general total lack of belief in Bell. Sure, he was in horrible touch in the UEA. But he was also one of the best batsmen in the world last year. I think his current problem is more of mental character than anything else. But that can of course be just as difficult to deal with.

  • brittop on March 18, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    @JG2704: I can almost (but not quite) see the merit if 5 bowlers in very hot/humid conditions. I believe that a fifth bowler is always under used and is a luxury that cannot be afforded. 200-4 is all too easy in a test match and you want a batsman at six with a keeper like Prior at 7. England's four man bowling attack consistently bowls sides out for under 300. They lost in Pakistan because of the batsmen - if they aren't performing, then I believe you should bring in others who will. (That, of course, is another can of worms, as when do you drop someone? Would hate to see Engkand revert to the 80s & 90s when you got two tests and if you didn't get a 100, then you were gone again.)

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    @A_Vacant_Slip You have emphasised one of my many points about playing a 5 man bowling attack. Right now we have 2 batsmen who I have alot of trust in (Cook and Trott) ,2 batsmen who I believe can come good again in the SL series in KP and Strauss , Patel who is an unknown , Bell who I have zero faith in right now and Bopara who I have doubts about.You say Morgan contributed nothing in UAE. KP and Bell were also liabilities in the tests IMO so it wasn't just Morgan. By having a 5 man bowling attack we still have Prior at 6 and is Prior or even Broad or even Swann any less dependable than Bell,Bopara right now?As I said in posts in the Pak series - yes our bowlers were excellent but there were points - 1st test,2nd test 2nd inns when we had Pak 4 down when we couldn't get the 5th for a while and 3rd test 2nd inns and for what batsmen 4-6 contributed in the whole series inc the warm up games would it not have been worth trying? the saying "Nothing ventured , nothing gained" is very apt

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    @Sir_Freddie_Flintoff on (March 17 2012, 19:28 PM GMT) To be fair I love Jimmy and think he's quality but right now I'd even say that he's not the best pace bowler in England.

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Re comms from anuradha_d and drdani - I realise these are probably snipes but there are truths. The full SL side will be much, much tougher and they are correct that we won the warm up matches in UAE but then came apart in the tests. Batting still needs to be addressed , but I'm really not sure we have the personnel.

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay_TestCricketRules I have to say there is an element of truth in what you say but that's all." Eng are only good in their own conds".Well you may have a point re the batsmen if we're going by Aus conditions being similar to Eng and how Eng did in UAE However if we're just going on the UAE then the bowlers bowled well and put Eng in positions where they should have won test 2 and could have won test 3.You say SL handled Eng very well - beg to differ,if weather had not been a factor we'd have won at least one if not both the other tests.Also you say about Oz in their pomp winning in all conditions ,check out their record in India in the mid-late 90s.Correct that warm up games mean little but also how do you equate the modern Aus team are a better test side than Eng? All in all you are right about 2 things (Eng batting in non Eng/Oz conds and this is just a warm up and tests will be much tougher) but I feel that in a post full of snipes that would always be a probability

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs on (March 18 2012, 02:09 AM GMT) Eng should go with 3 quicks and 2 spinners. Swann may not be on top form but even in the form he's in now he's more likely to do damage with the ball than Bopara , Bell and probably Patel would do with the bat

  • JG2704 on March 18, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    @RandyOZ on (March 18 2012, 00:26 AM GMT) So when Engs batsmen are bad it's because they are bad and nothing to do with the opposition bowlers being good , but when WI batsmen are bad - lo and behold , it's because Australia's bowling is brilliant and nothing to do with WI being poor on a poor batting pitch?

  • lankavigi on March 18, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Time for Prassana Jayawardene to give way for Dinesh chandimal. He did really well against South Africa. Prassana did not do well at all. He's also in the 30s and if he's not playing well, then he should just move away and give his position to someone who's in form and has got time on his side. As an experienced player Prassana proven himself. SL should just rest all their seniors for their final asia cup game against Bangladesh and play the youths. There is no point in wasting time there, beating the best test nation is more important.

  • voma on March 18, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    England dont claim to be the best test side in world cricket , the icc state they are ! .

  • A_Vacant_Slip on March 18, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay_TestCricketRules on (March 18 2012, 02:59 AM GMT) you say; "Aussie better than England". LOL man you haven't got a clue! How can Aus be better when England just thrashed them out of sight with 3 Innings defeats in Australia just a year a go? Don't be silly - obviously England the far superior side. Certainly we can say that Sri Lanka and Pakistan are better than India. This is proven.

  • priceless1 on March 18, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    SL players are the only once who just cannot score runs in their own grounds . i hope England include both Swann and Panesar coz they will make life miserable for the lazy SL batsmen's in the middle

  • YorkshirePudding on March 18, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay_TestCricketRules, as you mention last year, Cardiff was an example of england being on form, at Lords, the bowlers were rubbish, in the SL first innings, especially the quicks with finn totally losing his line such that he had a deep leg slip to stop the byes. also in the last 2 tests each one suffered from the weather, losing 5-7 sessions in both games. SL arnt much of a threat, what is it 1 win since murali retired, hardly including home games, so they're hardly in form, once you get past Dilshan and Sanga the other batsmen are pretty average.

  • VillageBlacksmith on March 18, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    @rohan... I certainly agree ''test cricket rules'' but from there I have to differ.. Eng don't claim anything mate, they are ranked No 1 in the world by the ICC, not by themselves. And it's strange that you think ''Eng are only good in their own conditions'' and that oz are better than Eng... as they have not played eachother since Eng inflicted a massive 3inns defeat on the aussies only 12 months ago, and that was away from home. There appears to be a fair bit of daylight between the ball and your bat.

  • RohanMarkJay on March 18, 2012, 2:59 GMT

    You can't read anything into this. None of Sri Lanka's top test cricketers were playing. I have said it before and I will say it again Engand are only good in their own conditions. Which assists their style of bowling. Don't forget except for Cardiff test Sri Lankan batsman handled the English bowlers very well. England don't have a team that can win in all conditions, which the Aussies and West Indies in their pomp could do. They were totally outplayed by the Pakistan spinners in the middle east. Because the current England batsman have serious problems in technique against spin bowling. Barring a major disaster with Sri Lanka. I predict Sri Lanka to win the Test series 2-0 or 1-0. Herath will be key for Sri Lanka. This England side is very beatable away from England. They are not as good as they claim to be. Sri Lanka should go in fully confident of Victory. I doubt Sri Lanka will repeat the disastrous loss against Oz last year.In fact I would say that Aussies are a better than Eng.

  • VillageBlacksmith on March 18, 2012, 2:14 GMT

    @randyoz... I will happily take ''a house of cards'' every time eng get an innings win... a bit like the results last time eng were thrashing oz in oz with 3 inns wins... speaking of house of cards... how is ponting going at the mo? : )

  • johnathonjosephs on March 18, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    I'll be honest. This should be the first tour that Swann is dropped. I see a very competitive bowling lineup with Finn, Anderson, Broad, and Panesar. And yes, England should go with 3 quicks. It is their strength.

  • yorkshirematt on March 18, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Randy the convicts didn't MAKE the WI batting look bad, it just is. Why are you so concerned about a warm up game involving England and Sri Lanka anyway?

  • jmcilhinney on March 18, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    Thanks to those reminding us that this was only a warmup game. Despite having said it several times myself. I had forgotten. I guess we just shouldn't bother commenting on warmup games. In fact, why do they even bother playing these games? Of course winning warmup games doesn't guarantee anything. But then, winning a Test match doesn't guarantee anything for the next Test match either. England bowled well and that's a fact. If all that we're allowed to take from this game is that England barely passed 300 as anuradha_d suggests then I pity your own team for the lack of support they must get.

  • RandyOZ on March 18, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    The house of cards falls again. The batting lineup looks as bad as Australia made the WI look.

  • UKHothead on March 17, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    Winning side matches is no sure indicator of how England will do in the Test matches. However it was disappointing to hear of the lack of discipline by the senior members of the England team after the not out verdict on the catch taken by Strauss. I am amazed that the press is not all over this story and even Cricinfo seems to have underplayed the significance of this behaviour. If this has been any other team, the whole issue would have been blown up and action taken....but I forgot this was England !

  • OhhhMattyMatty on March 17, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    No Broad, no Bresnan, no Tremlett, no Patel, no Morgan and no Onions and we still won by an innings! LOL! World's best bowling attack! Philander, Morkel, Tahir and Steyn would have to make do with Lions duty for us or even just being honest county pros! Oh wait, Tahir already is! LOL!

  • drdani on March 17, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    i would like to back-up the srilankansl that dont worry by this defeat..remember that eng won the side matches before going into the test with pak..n the rest u know !!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on March 17, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    Jimmy Anderson once again proves why he is by far the best bowler in the world right now, and also and all time great bowler. A true legend of the game.

  • anuradha_d on March 17, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    these English wins in side games in sub-continent count for little. they won the two tour games before the Pak tests....to lose the real tests 3-0 and they won the 2 practise 50 over games in India....to lose the ODis 5-0 because the difference in the quality of these practise opponents and international sides is HUGE.....

    the only thing England must take away from this game...that they barely crossed 300 run when none of the top-4 Lankan bowlers were bowling

  • on March 17, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    dont forget the played with a school team

  • Maestro_of_Cricket on March 17, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Did someone tell you the track was flat and lifeless? Did you see a single ball being bowled? How come most of the English batsmen failed on these so call lifeless track? Talking about being lifeless, you seem to be in line, get one.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on March 17, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Is only warm up game. England won warm up games in UAE and still got done in the Tests. Got to worry about Bell. In fact, got to worry a bit about the batting full stop. Last year there were times when England made Herath look like a god, and that was on pitches that didn't spin. There is an argument for playing 5 bowlers. In UAE we might as well have played 5 bowlers since Morgan contributed nothing - had we played another bowler (Finn) we might have bowled Pakistan out for less. It might have made the difference. Also - here SL batsmen are better than Pak batsmen. It will be harder to get them out. Also - conditions much hotter here than in UAE. One thing for sure - India fans will be all over us like flies no matter what the results are, also our good friends from Aus who suddenly think they are good again.

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Cook and the bowlers look in great form, its everyone else I'm worried about! I'd like to see Broad, Bresnan and Patel get a run out next match. Leaving Cook out is an option but I'd fear breaking his rhythm.

  • JG2704 on March 17, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - You say about some improvement in the batting. Well I suppose Strauss scored 40 and KP 39 but apart from Cook who ( along with Trott) was the least of our worries I see liitle improvement there. KP was already showing signs of improvement. Bell certainly hasn't and Bopara Personally I see Bopara and Bell as liabilities if they are under too much pressure. But well done to our bowlers. It seems criminal that the likes of Bopara and Bell (possibly both) will get extended runs in the team no matter how they perform and we have the likes of Finn and Bresnan , neither of who will probably get a look in. Also you mention Swann again. This is another reason why I'd like to see them start trying a 5 man bowling line up because we'll def want 3 pacers when we play SA in the summer and wouldn't it be good not to have to drop Monty or Swann?

  • Prema1948 on March 17, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Selectors have purposely made things difficult for the youngsters by dumping them on a slow bouncy track conducive for bowlers. Facing a tall bowler of Finn's height 6'8"and accuracy was difficult even for a player of Samaraweera's Class. The 2 batsmen that the selectors have been trying for the last 10 years should have been tried on this wicket without disturbing confidence these prospective youngsters (Bhanuka, Roshen, Sachithra & Ashen) The most o/s left arm leggie Malinda Pushpakumara( 207, 1st Class Wickets with an Ave of 20+) & Right-arm leggie Dulanjana Mendis( 150, 1st Class Wickets with an Ave of 17+) should have been included in this match instead of Dilruwan very inconsistent performer.

  • SDHM on March 17, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    JMC- Chandimal should, and probably will, get the nod over Jayawardene I'd expect; he batted excellently in South Africa against Steyn and co in tough conditions. I'm concerned about Bell and Bopara; I expect to see Patel turn out in the second warm up in a straight shoot out with Ravi for the number six spot and Gooch has to get to work on Bell fast, he's too classy a player to be struggling like this. Otherwise, the other area I'm slightly worried about is the slip catching; with the exception of Strauss and Swann (and he drops a few) we don't have any natural slip fielders, and we've struggled slightly ever since Trescothick and Flintoff departed the scene in that regard. Collingwood did a great job, but I preferred to see him at backward point. We need to take every chance we get and if Anderson's dropping them, get him out. Maybe shove Bell in there - not a natural I know, but maybe standing at slip to Swann and Monty could help him read the spin a bit better when batting?

  • jmcilhinney on March 17, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    It's good to see the England bowlers still firing as they did in UAE and some improvement from the batsmen too. It's good to see Swann picking up some wickets and it sounds like he could have had at least two more for the match with at least two catches going down. It's not ideal to see tempers flaring so early in the tour (or at all for that matter) but the heat can make you irritable if you're not used to it. I'd like to see Swann hold his temper a little better. I'm thinking that Cook will be left out of the next game in an effort to give as many batsmen as much time in the middle as possible, opening with Trott and playing Bell at #3. Maybe Broad and Bresnan, if they're fit, for Anderson and Finn too. Given that P Jayawardene should play the Test matches and he failed with the bat here, I wonder whether SL will include him in the team for the second warmup.

  • landl47 on March 17, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    There's not too much wrong with the bowling for England. Hopefully in the next warm-up game a couple more of the batsmen will make runs. I'd also like to see Patel being given a chance- I think he'd be more than useful in these conditions. In the meantime, excellent performances by Anderson, Finn, Swann and Panesar. It should be a great tussle between them and the top Sri Lankan batsmen.

  • VillageBlacksmith on March 17, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The magnificent Mickey Skinner used to refer to the three quarter line as the 'girls at the back'... No doubt the eng bowlers will be thinking the same about their batsmen... (cook excepted funnily enough)... its time for the batsmen to get off the potty and start delivering, toughing it out in foreign conditions and showing some gumption... Bell can't fight his way out of a paper bag (unless it's B'desh) or ever score a solus ton and we have all seen what Bopara can offer, which is not much, and it's time for Gooch to earn his expensive corn. Get the combative Patel in, and get Morgan back in the nets with goochie, at least Eoin has some fight & matchwinning potential, which is more than the consistently meek Bell & Bopara have.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 17, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Anderson once again bowls superbly on Flat, lifeless Pitches. He's looking in top form.

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  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 17, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    Anderson once again bowls superbly on Flat, lifeless Pitches. He's looking in top form.

  • VillageBlacksmith on March 17, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The magnificent Mickey Skinner used to refer to the three quarter line as the 'girls at the back'... No doubt the eng bowlers will be thinking the same about their batsmen... (cook excepted funnily enough)... its time for the batsmen to get off the potty and start delivering, toughing it out in foreign conditions and showing some gumption... Bell can't fight his way out of a paper bag (unless it's B'desh) or ever score a solus ton and we have all seen what Bopara can offer, which is not much, and it's time for Gooch to earn his expensive corn. Get the combative Patel in, and get Morgan back in the nets with goochie, at least Eoin has some fight & matchwinning potential, which is more than the consistently meek Bell & Bopara have.

  • landl47 on March 17, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    There's not too much wrong with the bowling for England. Hopefully in the next warm-up game a couple more of the batsmen will make runs. I'd also like to see Patel being given a chance- I think he'd be more than useful in these conditions. In the meantime, excellent performances by Anderson, Finn, Swann and Panesar. It should be a great tussle between them and the top Sri Lankan batsmen.

  • jmcilhinney on March 17, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    It's good to see the England bowlers still firing as they did in UAE and some improvement from the batsmen too. It's good to see Swann picking up some wickets and it sounds like he could have had at least two more for the match with at least two catches going down. It's not ideal to see tempers flaring so early in the tour (or at all for that matter) but the heat can make you irritable if you're not used to it. I'd like to see Swann hold his temper a little better. I'm thinking that Cook will be left out of the next game in an effort to give as many batsmen as much time in the middle as possible, opening with Trott and playing Bell at #3. Maybe Broad and Bresnan, if they're fit, for Anderson and Finn too. Given that P Jayawardene should play the Test matches and he failed with the bat here, I wonder whether SL will include him in the team for the second warmup.

  • SDHM on March 17, 2012, 15:20 GMT

    JMC- Chandimal should, and probably will, get the nod over Jayawardene I'd expect; he batted excellently in South Africa against Steyn and co in tough conditions. I'm concerned about Bell and Bopara; I expect to see Patel turn out in the second warm up in a straight shoot out with Ravi for the number six spot and Gooch has to get to work on Bell fast, he's too classy a player to be struggling like this. Otherwise, the other area I'm slightly worried about is the slip catching; with the exception of Strauss and Swann (and he drops a few) we don't have any natural slip fielders, and we've struggled slightly ever since Trescothick and Flintoff departed the scene in that regard. Collingwood did a great job, but I preferred to see him at backward point. We need to take every chance we get and if Anderson's dropping them, get him out. Maybe shove Bell in there - not a natural I know, but maybe standing at slip to Swann and Monty could help him read the spin a bit better when batting?

  • Prema1948 on March 17, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Selectors have purposely made things difficult for the youngsters by dumping them on a slow bouncy track conducive for bowlers. Facing a tall bowler of Finn's height 6'8"and accuracy was difficult even for a player of Samaraweera's Class. The 2 batsmen that the selectors have been trying for the last 10 years should have been tried on this wicket without disturbing confidence these prospective youngsters (Bhanuka, Roshen, Sachithra & Ashen) The most o/s left arm leggie Malinda Pushpakumara( 207, 1st Class Wickets with an Ave of 20+) & Right-arm leggie Dulanjana Mendis( 150, 1st Class Wickets with an Ave of 17+) should have been included in this match instead of Dilruwan very inconsistent performer.

  • JG2704 on March 17, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - You say about some improvement in the batting. Well I suppose Strauss scored 40 and KP 39 but apart from Cook who ( along with Trott) was the least of our worries I see liitle improvement there. KP was already showing signs of improvement. Bell certainly hasn't and Bopara Personally I see Bopara and Bell as liabilities if they are under too much pressure. But well done to our bowlers. It seems criminal that the likes of Bopara and Bell (possibly both) will get extended runs in the team no matter how they perform and we have the likes of Finn and Bresnan , neither of who will probably get a look in. Also you mention Swann again. This is another reason why I'd like to see them start trying a 5 man bowling line up because we'll def want 3 pacers when we play SA in the summer and wouldn't it be good not to have to drop Monty or Swann?

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Cook and the bowlers look in great form, its everyone else I'm worried about! I'd like to see Broad, Bresnan and Patel get a run out next match. Leaving Cook out is an option but I'd fear breaking his rhythm.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on March 17, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Is only warm up game. England won warm up games in UAE and still got done in the Tests. Got to worry about Bell. In fact, got to worry a bit about the batting full stop. Last year there were times when England made Herath look like a god, and that was on pitches that didn't spin. There is an argument for playing 5 bowlers. In UAE we might as well have played 5 bowlers since Morgan contributed nothing - had we played another bowler (Finn) we might have bowled Pakistan out for less. It might have made the difference. Also - here SL batsmen are better than Pak batsmen. It will be harder to get them out. Also - conditions much hotter here than in UAE. One thing for sure - India fans will be all over us like flies no matter what the results are, also our good friends from Aus who suddenly think they are good again.

  • Maestro_of_Cricket on March 17, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Did someone tell you the track was flat and lifeless? Did you see a single ball being bowled? How come most of the English batsmen failed on these so call lifeless track? Talking about being lifeless, you seem to be in line, get one.