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
36

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..

  • No featured comments at the moment.