Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day March 27, 2012

Sri Lanka use their heads to press for victory

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from day two of the first Test in Galle
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Header of the day
Chanaka Welegedera was involved in an action-packed opening over to the second day as Sri Lanka added 16 runs. It included two boundaries off the bat - a flayed edge over the keeper and a crunching pull - and two sets of four leg-byes. The second of those came when a bouncer from James Anderson took Welegedera flush on the helmet and Graeme Swann couldn't gather it at second slip. It was a glancing header that would not have looked out of place in the Premier League, not that Anderson was impressed.

Non-wicket of the day
Suraj Randiv, the tall offspinner, was not called on until the 32nd over by Mahela Jayawardene but briefly thought he had struck with his third ball to remove Ian Bell. The batsman played a sweep (not a rare shot for England players) which rebounded off short leg for the keeper to take the catch. However, the appeal was cut short as the ball had come off Dinesh Chandimal's helmet and the Laws say: "It is not a fair catch if the ball has previously touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder."

Collision of the day
Although Alastair Cook fell early, the real start of England's problems came when Jonathan Trott was stumped off Rangana Herath. That simple description does not do the moment justice. Trott tried to use his feet, which is unusual for him against spin, and played over a full toss which presented Prasanna Jayawardene with a stumping opportunity. Then, in running around in celebration, Jayawardene collided with Trott which sent the batsman sprawling in a heap. He lay there for a moment, and concern grew that he was injured, but he slowly rose to his feet a little dazed and embarrassed.

Ripper of the day
England handed most of Rangana Herath's wickets to him on a plate, but Ian Bell was done by a lovely delivery that gripped off the surface and turned past the edge to bowl him: the perfect left-arm spinner's dismissal. As ever, it was possible to pick holes in a batsman's method - and Bell hadn't offered his pad as a second line of protection - but sometimes a bowler deserves the credit.

Confidence-booster of the day
Graeme Swann was not at his best in the first innings and pressure was growing for him to make an impact. Andrew Strauss threw him the ball in the seventh over and he seized his chance with two left handers to bowl at, spinning one past the edge of Lahriu Thirimanne which allowed him to release some pent-up frustrations in the celebrations. Suddenly there was a spring in his step and a bound to the crease. By the close he had four wickets to his name.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SAboucher on March 29, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    clearly shown England where they do rightly belong above all the hues and cries about andy flower being super coach and english batsmen being the best to have played cricket at all!!!! Where is that wombat man...hiding in the darkest corners of the world..Dont think he will pop up until the poms leave SL!!!

  • JG2704 on March 28, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay_TestCricketRules - ICC is not an English based organisation. It is them who rate us at number 1 and their ratings are transparent so everyone can work out the gist of it all. You say about this excellent SA side that will demolish England. This is the same SA side which have (pre NZ) drawn 3 of their last 6 series and only beaten WI and Bang (which Eng also did in their last 10 tests) 2-0. Admittedly SA are better away vs SC teams if we're going by both teams form vs Pak. If SL beat us then we will lose our ranking and rightly so. BTW there are many more comms from folk like you who begrudge our ranking then there are from Eng fans who by and large have only mentioned our ranking in response to the hissy fits we get. Please publish ESPN

  • JG2704 on March 28, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    @Penny71 on (March 27 2012, 23:56 PM GMT) Please name who does deserve the number 1 ranking and I'll tell you why Eng currently deserve it despite their recent poor showings. I eagerly await your response.

  • IanJF on March 28, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Biase article which takes away the credit from a wondeful Rangana Herath spell !

  • jmcilhinney on March 28, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    It's a bit dispiriting that even SL haven't managed to chase more then 253 on this ground but, in England's favour, most run chases wouldn't have taken place on day 3. If England can bowl SL out by the first drinks break then the game would still be in the balance and we should have a result one way or the other today or early tomorrow. Even then it will obviously take an improved batting performance from England to win it though. I genuinely believe that they are capable but I'm still not overly confident of seeing it. If SL make it to lunch then they would have to be very firm favourites and anything beyond that would all but guarantee victory.

  • taniap on March 28, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    "It is not a fair catch if the ball has previously touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder." --- That's a stupid rule that is. What if the player wears a pair of sunglasses and the ball is bouced off the sunglasses and a second player takes the catch? Would that be not out too?

  • Lord.emsworth on March 28, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Despite Mr.Mcglashans headline I think England have the deeper batting to pull off a win here. SL dont have anyone apart from keeper Prassana left to bat & their tail is not as strong as Englands. Its hard to score over 250 + on this pitch now but ......? Good luck to SL if they pull off a win but England have an equal if not better chance no thanks to Sangakarra, Thirimanne & Dilshans poor batting.

  • PrasadGunawardane on March 28, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    When it comes to Herath and his variety; he is way to below compared to what Murali was. However Herath has been the main weapon of SL in last year or so under slow pitches and he produced the historical Test victory in Durban to register Sri Lanka's first Test victory in Post-Murali era. Small left arm off-spinner (leg spins for right-handers) has a nice flight in the air along with his mystery carom ball; make him as a compact spinner in International Cricket. I do say; Herath has been producing many wickets in recent past with his carom ball which sometimes turns the other way or keeps on straight by misleading many International batsmen with his slow nature in bowling. Hopefully he will do the best in 2nd inning of Eng and coming games for SL..

  • lankaHelp.com on March 28, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    @popped - My 50 cents to popped opinion. Peeps who are born with a silver spoon in the mouth do not understand the word "NO". I think it is same with Board

  • CricketLover1984 on March 28, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    @ WC96QF : Well ....you got that wrong buddy...should have done more research before saying things...The lion in the sri lankan flag resembles the sri lankan citizens..

  • SAboucher on March 29, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    clearly shown England where they do rightly belong above all the hues and cries about andy flower being super coach and english batsmen being the best to have played cricket at all!!!! Where is that wombat man...hiding in the darkest corners of the world..Dont think he will pop up until the poms leave SL!!!

  • JG2704 on March 28, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    @RohanMarkJay_TestCricketRules - ICC is not an English based organisation. It is them who rate us at number 1 and their ratings are transparent so everyone can work out the gist of it all. You say about this excellent SA side that will demolish England. This is the same SA side which have (pre NZ) drawn 3 of their last 6 series and only beaten WI and Bang (which Eng also did in their last 10 tests) 2-0. Admittedly SA are better away vs SC teams if we're going by both teams form vs Pak. If SL beat us then we will lose our ranking and rightly so. BTW there are many more comms from folk like you who begrudge our ranking then there are from Eng fans who by and large have only mentioned our ranking in response to the hissy fits we get. Please publish ESPN

  • JG2704 on March 28, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    @Penny71 on (March 27 2012, 23:56 PM GMT) Please name who does deserve the number 1 ranking and I'll tell you why Eng currently deserve it despite their recent poor showings. I eagerly await your response.

  • IanJF on March 28, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Biase article which takes away the credit from a wondeful Rangana Herath spell !

  • jmcilhinney on March 28, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    It's a bit dispiriting that even SL haven't managed to chase more then 253 on this ground but, in England's favour, most run chases wouldn't have taken place on day 3. If England can bowl SL out by the first drinks break then the game would still be in the balance and we should have a result one way or the other today or early tomorrow. Even then it will obviously take an improved batting performance from England to win it though. I genuinely believe that they are capable but I'm still not overly confident of seeing it. If SL make it to lunch then they would have to be very firm favourites and anything beyond that would all but guarantee victory.

  • taniap on March 28, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    "It is not a fair catch if the ball has previously touched a protective helmet worn by a fielder." --- That's a stupid rule that is. What if the player wears a pair of sunglasses and the ball is bouced off the sunglasses and a second player takes the catch? Would that be not out too?

  • Lord.emsworth on March 28, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Despite Mr.Mcglashans headline I think England have the deeper batting to pull off a win here. SL dont have anyone apart from keeper Prassana left to bat & their tail is not as strong as Englands. Its hard to score over 250 + on this pitch now but ......? Good luck to SL if they pull off a win but England have an equal if not better chance no thanks to Sangakarra, Thirimanne & Dilshans poor batting.

  • PrasadGunawardane on March 28, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    When it comes to Herath and his variety; he is way to below compared to what Murali was. However Herath has been the main weapon of SL in last year or so under slow pitches and he produced the historical Test victory in Durban to register Sri Lanka's first Test victory in Post-Murali era. Small left arm off-spinner (leg spins for right-handers) has a nice flight in the air along with his mystery carom ball; make him as a compact spinner in International Cricket. I do say; Herath has been producing many wickets in recent past with his carom ball which sometimes turns the other way or keeps on straight by misleading many International batsmen with his slow nature in bowling. Hopefully he will do the best in 2nd inning of Eng and coming games for SL..

  • lankaHelp.com on March 28, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    @popped - My 50 cents to popped opinion. Peeps who are born with a silver spoon in the mouth do not understand the word "NO". I think it is same with Board

  • CricketLover1984 on March 28, 2012, 1:44 GMT

    @ WC96QF : Well ....you got that wrong buddy...should have done more research before saying things...The lion in the sri lankan flag resembles the sri lankan citizens..

  • Penny71 on March 27, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    If England is the no 1 team(which I believe is overating rather than genuine assessment), here is the chance to prove it. SL seems vulnerable in the second innigs than in the first and if England can break SL cheaply and then go ahead and chase it successfully, then itI will show it's fighting capability. If not, this will another proof (after UAE) of overating by both media and ignorant english fans disregarding the other dominent world class teams. I still think SA and Aus are better test sides than England. These two teams never give up.

  • WC96QF on March 27, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    Its funny, both the teams England and Sri Lanka have lions in their National flags / symbols. Both are proving to be lions only in their own back-yards. May the better lion win !! by the way, lions in natural wilderness are extinct in both countries.

  • JG2704 on March 27, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    PS on a brighter note , it was good to see Swann getting amongst the wickets. Hopefully this will be the start of the man rediscovering his form

  • JG2704 on March 27, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Well another day when England's batsmen proved their worth.I'm actually more disappointed than I was after day1.Bell , basically scored enough runs to justify his longevity in the side but not of such substance that it will likely make a difference to the match - a la Jayawardene.It now means that the remotest of my hopes of them trying a 5 man bowling attack will have probably gone by the wayside. Folk say that it is the batsmen that have been underperforming etcand not the bowlers so why add an extra bowler but as 5Wombats said recently we had SL on ropes at 15-3,67-4,128-5 and at 191-7 we'd have fancied bowling them all out for 75+ runs less than they managed.The problem is that now Bell has scored a massive 52 , Eng will be even more loathed to change formation - so I guess we'll never know.I wonder if they'd keep faith with the same bowlers if the batsmen were consistently setting big totals and the bowlers weren't able to defend those totals - we all know the answer don't we?

  • JG2704 on March 27, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    @Si Baker on (March 27 2012, 19:59 PM GMT) Please tell me who does deserve the number 1 mantle and actually look up their recent records? Many people say SA , but their results aren't all that great either. I'm about to post their results AGAIN to prove this. A number 1 side should not be losing 3-0 in a series but up until that series Eng's 2-3 year record was better than SA/Aus etc. I'm not saying England are great but they have been the best of a bad/underperforming bunch of teams

  • JG2704 on March 27, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    @popped on (March 27 2012, 18:48 PM GMT) Isn't showing your bat like that just a way of saying that you want to review a decision which is within any batsman's rights to do provided the team have review's left. Not sure if Broad thought/hoped he might have hit it as he obviously hit something (the ground) or whether he was just clutching at straws but with only Jimmy and Monty to come he felt (and rightly so IMO) it was worth a gamble. You can't at the stage cater for tail enders who in all probability were not likely to get into double figures - even if both did exceed expectations unlike our batsmen.

  • RohanMarkJay on March 27, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Current England team are over rated. This is hard for England supporters and some media to acknowledge. England are good however in England. That however is not garaunteed as an excellent South African side tours England this nothern summer. England will lose their number one ranking soon and rightly so their supporters can shut up and stop overhyping their over rated team. I am so tired of it. Current England team is way over rated. They are not a bad side they are just way over rated by their media and fans. Granted good in their own conditions thats about it. Now I wait for England supporters to have a go at me like last time I pointed out these home truths.

  • ranga_s on March 27, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    It would at their own peril Sri Lanka would take things lightly tomorrow...I thought it was a smart move to send Randiv ahead of PJ..Not simply because of the Night watchman scenario...on the turning wicket Randiv with his long reach can negate the spin effectively...Where as PJ a better batsmen with skill and technique could cope when the pitch become somewhat horrendous to bat..otherwise if and when PJ goes or Chandimal for that matter the rest could fall like a pack of cards on that a turning pitch..Sri Lanka need to score in excess of 280 to really scare the England...England may have a poor sub-continent record and about 90% this year they may have failed to cross 200 run mark...Forget them being the world number 1..but take in to account the English line up have several hard grinding batsmen and they are no bunnies...So play smart and get over the 300 mark...once SL exceed over 300 without losing much wickets England will lose focus..SL bat 40+ overs tomo they'lll win the game

  • on March 27, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    @Dilshaad Mubarak: even as an Englishman, I have to agree with you: like India before them, not only do England look comically inept when playing in alien conditions, they also quite clearly do *not* deserve to be the Number One-ranked Test team in the world. Strauss & Broad were both out to crass premeditated sweeps, Prior & Patel were both out pinned to the crease & KP decided to show his 'dominance' by driving the first ball he received after lunch sweetly through the covers for four. Except that he succeeded only in dragging the ball onto his stumps. So, what did our batsmen learn from their travails in the UAE? Answer: a big fat zero. *True* batting dominance isn't a matter of scoring a run-a-ball 70 or 80; it revolves around being master of the situation, of one's own limitations & of the opposition's attempts to psych you out. Only one batsman on either side in this match can possibly claim that kind of genuine dominance. Unfortunately, he happens to be a Sri Lankan.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on March 27, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    I have to agree with Balumekka that when England take wickets it is down to good bowling and when the opposition take wickets it is poor batting. I watched this morning before work (got up 2 hours early) and was mortified with some of the dismissals. On the other hand Bell looked good which is encouraging and as long as the target is not too immense a positive result is possible however improbable....'Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George' and so on .ps. SL fans seem to be as level headed and proper cricket fans like Pak counterparts so may the best team win.

  • popped on March 27, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    even though I admire broad's talent I cringe at the way he always tries to disagree with the umpires decision when he is given out!!when he showed his bat and asked for the review I felt embarrassed that review could have been used for panesar's wicket ,maybe he would have got the benefit if a review of that and a few more runs added , how utterly selfish either he is never out or he always have to have his appeals given out when he is bowling

  • on March 27, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    This winter, the bowlers have been carrying the England side. Not only have they been putting in strong performances consistently. They are also contributing more than their fair share of runs in the lower order. The batsman in the top six simply need to start doing what they are paid to do and get runs. It is likely that the bowling will set up a potential gettable run chase tommorrow. In current form, it will be tall order for the batsman to return the favour.

  • CricketFan2011WC on March 27, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    @inzaghiJ, isn't it nice...

  • GerrardLK on March 27, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @Dilshaad- Rightly said & definitely English looks minnow in turning tracks

  • Nutcutlet on March 27, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    There was an air of unreality about much of the England innings today. After the top order trying to bat 'properly' & proving themselves ineffectual (as we've come to expect in 2012) from the time Broad arrived, the idea of crease occupation went out of the window. The ball started to go to all parts as wickets continued to clatter; it was great to watch and I venture to suggest that the strategy proved effective, insofar as more runs were scored than would have been the case if they hadn't set about the bowling. England has an outside chance of pulling off a win so long as the target is not much more than 250. Surely Cook, Trott & KP can't self-destruct a second time for next to nothing? Now, where & when might I have heard that before? This match could well finish tomorrow or very early on day 4.

  • Herath-UK on March 27, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka is in the driving seat if their lower oreder batsmen add runs just as England did. Broady seems to ask for umpire review even if he is castled inside out. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • on March 27, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @inzaghiJ, similar things can be said about India playing Aus in Aus and Eng in Eng, as we have seen recently, but 5 days is still appropriate i would guess, lets not tinker with the purest form of the game!

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    What kind of a wicket is that.Looks like another minefield.The match doesn 't seemed to be surviving for 5 days .

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    While you might favour conditions now to England, Sri Lanka should bat well next morning otherwise when England sees a target around 250, they will try too hard to win and we know Sri Lankan spinners are not same as Pakistan spinners. It was huge mistake Sri Lankan batsman didnt take 2nd innings seriously otherwise they would have by now put England out of the game.

  • imrankhan76uk on March 27, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    I still think England Test (batting) is not as bad as it is looking since PAK v ENG series. but there confidence is shattered against spin and SL has decent spinners specially at home...so Eng will need something special (from Top 5 Bats) to avoid a pair of whitewash

  • jmcilhinney on March 27, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    There are some encouraging things to take from England's performance so far but the most discouraging thing is that several of the batsmen seem to have learned nothing from UAE. They kept getting out playing back to the spinners there and we're seeing more of the same here. They seem unable or unwilling to play the length of the ball, going back to length balls from Herath when they should be forward and trying to sweep balls that would be full tosses if they hit them. England had success during their innings when playing positively. The batsmen need to play that way instead of just the tail-enders.

  • bigwonder on March 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @Dilshaad Mubarak, There is a reason why no one can dominate test for a long time. Partly due to technology and in-depth analysis of players abilities. Also, Australia had the edge (during their time) of sledging which other teams have caught on to now.

  • Balumekka on March 27, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Typical Andrew McGlashan with utterly biased comments! "England handed most of Rangana Herath's wickets to him on a plate, but Ian Bell was done by a lovely delivery............but sometimes a bowler deserves the credit........". Of the 6 wickets claimed by Herath, 4 were LBW, one bowled and 1 stumped. Had it been Swann, Mr. McGlashan would come up with all the praises in this universe!!!

  • on March 27, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    England looks like a minnow in subcontinent despite the no.1 ranked test side. That concludes no team can dominate world cricket like the great Aussies did for more than a decade. If domination can happen again it can only be created by Aussies.

  • binojpeter on March 27, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Seems like England will have to chase at least 250 runs provided they bowl extremely well on 3rd day. Even then, I find it a hard proposition for England considering their performance in subcontinent wickets against spin. It is not impossible but seems improbable unless they play out of their skins.

  • inzaghiJ on March 27, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    I think the ICC should seriously think of playing only four-day test matches when a subcontinent team is playing against England in Asia. Of the last four tests, including the one underway at Galle, it is unlikely to go to the fifth day.

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  • inzaghiJ on March 27, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    I think the ICC should seriously think of playing only four-day test matches when a subcontinent team is playing against England in Asia. Of the last four tests, including the one underway at Galle, it is unlikely to go to the fifth day.

  • binojpeter on March 27, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Seems like England will have to chase at least 250 runs provided they bowl extremely well on 3rd day. Even then, I find it a hard proposition for England considering their performance in subcontinent wickets against spin. It is not impossible but seems improbable unless they play out of their skins.

  • on March 27, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    England looks like a minnow in subcontinent despite the no.1 ranked test side. That concludes no team can dominate world cricket like the great Aussies did for more than a decade. If domination can happen again it can only be created by Aussies.

  • Balumekka on March 27, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Typical Andrew McGlashan with utterly biased comments! "England handed most of Rangana Herath's wickets to him on a plate, but Ian Bell was done by a lovely delivery............but sometimes a bowler deserves the credit........". Of the 6 wickets claimed by Herath, 4 were LBW, one bowled and 1 stumped. Had it been Swann, Mr. McGlashan would come up with all the praises in this universe!!!

  • bigwonder on March 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @Dilshaad Mubarak, There is a reason why no one can dominate test for a long time. Partly due to technology and in-depth analysis of players abilities. Also, Australia had the edge (during their time) of sledging which other teams have caught on to now.

  • jmcilhinney on March 27, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    There are some encouraging things to take from England's performance so far but the most discouraging thing is that several of the batsmen seem to have learned nothing from UAE. They kept getting out playing back to the spinners there and we're seeing more of the same here. They seem unable or unwilling to play the length of the ball, going back to length balls from Herath when they should be forward and trying to sweep balls that would be full tosses if they hit them. England had success during their innings when playing positively. The batsmen need to play that way instead of just the tail-enders.

  • imrankhan76uk on March 27, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    I still think England Test (batting) is not as bad as it is looking since PAK v ENG series. but there confidence is shattered against spin and SL has decent spinners specially at home...so Eng will need something special (from Top 5 Bats) to avoid a pair of whitewash

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    While you might favour conditions now to England, Sri Lanka should bat well next morning otherwise when England sees a target around 250, they will try too hard to win and we know Sri Lankan spinners are not same as Pakistan spinners. It was huge mistake Sri Lankan batsman didnt take 2nd innings seriously otherwise they would have by now put England out of the game.

  • on March 27, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    What kind of a wicket is that.Looks like another minefield.The match doesn 't seemed to be surviving for 5 days .

  • on March 27, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @inzaghiJ, similar things can be said about India playing Aus in Aus and Eng in Eng, as we have seen recently, but 5 days is still appropriate i would guess, lets not tinker with the purest form of the game!