Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day March 29, 2012

Trott ton trumped by Herath's ten

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and England at Galle
27

Moan of the day
England supporters have had a few grumbles during this match. On the opening day it was about being exploited by Sri Lanka Cricket, who charged between LKR 5,000 ($39) and LKR 7,500 ($59) for a ticket. In the end, the ground has been well populated throughout but plenty of fans have also taken to the ramparts of the Dutch Fort. On the fourth day they found that for one area of it they were being charged LKR 1,000 ($8) for the privilege. That might just seem good business sense - supply and demand - but one fan suggested that because the fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site it should be free for all.

Drop of the day
Jonathan Trott was settling England after the early loss of Kevin Pietersen when he pushed forward at Rangana Herath and looped a catching opportunity back down the pitch. Herath moved to his left and lunged with one hand but couldn't hold onto the chance. For a long while it appeared it could be a match-changing miss.

Landmark of the day I
When Trott swept Herath through deep square leg to reach his hundred from 240 balls it was England's first three-figure score in Test cricket this year. The previous best was Alastair Cook's 94 in the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and it just highlights what a struggle it has been for the batsmen recently. Last year (and the one before) England could not stop scoring hundreds - and double hundreds - for fun.

Landmark of the day II
With the wicket of Matt Prior - caught in fortunate fashion by Lahiru Thirimanne at short leg, but huge credit to the fielder for anticipation and not turning away - Herath collected his first 10-wicket haul in Test cricket. It was the 27th by a Sri Lanka bowler, but only the fifth by anyone other than Muttiah Muralitharan. It was also the first 10-wicket haul in by a left-arm spinner since 2007 when Monty Panesar starred against West Indies at Old Trafford.

Fumble of the day
Thirimanne's grab was not the only slightly lucky grab of the innings. Tillakaratne Dilshan, who showed what a fine fielder he is around the bat, almost gave Samit Patel a life. Patel drove inside-out against Herath and Dilshan palmed his first attempt to take the catch into his chest. However, he had the presence of mind to keep his eye on the ball and stuck out a hand to intercept before it hit the turf. As his team-mates rushed to celebrate him, Dilshan lay face down on the ground, soaking up his relief and joy.

Edited by Alan Gardner

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 30, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    SA have a different problem when compared to other teams..they never won a ome test series against Australia. if you see the last 3 series against India,England and Aus at home, SA drawn all the series at home not a single series win..Even with srilanka they won with 2-1 ,Infact its the first test win for SL in SA, so currently there is no dominating NO.1..it will change hands very easily..India, England struggling away and SA struggling at home..If you take australia case they are struggling in india ..in last 2 series they played 6..lost 4..drawn2..no win for them

  • Perera32 on March 30, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    @Meety: Well said mate. The difference between the Sri lankan team and the Best Test Teams is the Pace Bowlers. If Sri lanka can produce a couple of good Pace Bowlers, then Sri lanka can be a better team than they are now.

  • stormy16 on March 30, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    I think its important to note that in different conditions teams play differently. The point is one cant get all arrogant and cocky when you succeed in conditions that favor you. I think SL struggling in Eng is nothing new neither is Eng struggling in SL but this time its without Murali which will concern Eng no end. Its one thing unable to play Murali or Ajmal but a very different thing when you struggle against Hearth and Randiv. I recall the endless comments about SL being unabel to bat in Eng - well the much thought about Eng top order have been clueless against two 'reasonably' good spinners. In fact I would even say Swan is better than Herath but the SL batsman played Swan better.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 30, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    NO:1 team got a 3-0 whitewash earlier and now it will be a 2-0 whitewash...I am happy to give it back to English fans what they give when India lost...life is like that.:)

  • Shafi79 on March 30, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Well said Meety. In fact its even well documented that Murali requested Malinga to play in his last test, even though Malinga was not fully fit, this was because he needed Malinga's x factor to support him. In the post Murali era, SL do not have a decent new ball attack that can put pressure on the opposition. If SL can find a couple of bowlers with some pace who can do that, they can be a pretty decent team. Their performances in AUS and SA have been reasonable from a batting point of view, the youngsters in the team have shown they can handle bounce and pace so, i would expect this team to get a lot better.

  • Meety on March 29, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - Murali was great, but SL not performing post Murali does not have a direct guage on how great he is. For example, when Warne retired, we had MacGill, & Warne had not been playing ODIs for several years. Therefor the reason Oz kept on going well, was due to player talent. SLs fortunes in Tests have declined due to other reasons as well; 1. Vaas retiring (greatest SL seamer), 2. Malinga retiring from tests due to injuries (greatest SL pace talent ever). These have impacted on SL almost as severely, so their diminished Test performance is definately a direct guage of his greatness! If Malinga was still playing tests (injury free), he would make players like Herath & Randiv far more lethal, as Malinga would prise out plenty of top order batsmen & the spinners can start in a position of control.

  • on March 29, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs, australia didn't struggle without warne initially because he wasn't their ONLY bowler. hogg and macgill were also in reserve - when they left...well, australia's troubles with finding a spinner have already been documented well enough

  • Herath-UK on March 29, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    What about groan of the day ? Was it from Bell or Swan when given out? Ranil Herath - Kent

  • johnathonjosephs on March 29, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    The struggle Sri Lanka has against teams in their own playing conditions just illustrates how much they are missing Muralithiran. The perfect example of how Murali is truly the best bowler in the world. Australia didn't struggle when Warne retired, only after GilChrist and Hayden retired did they struggle

  • on March 29, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    how much would a match ticket cost in the uk ? just because it is played in sri lanka it must be given at pittance ? for the English tourist ? why

  • on March 30, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    SA have a different problem when compared to other teams..they never won a ome test series against Australia. if you see the last 3 series against India,England and Aus at home, SA drawn all the series at home not a single series win..Even with srilanka they won with 2-1 ,Infact its the first test win for SL in SA, so currently there is no dominating NO.1..it will change hands very easily..India, England struggling away and SA struggling at home..If you take australia case they are struggling in india ..in last 2 series they played 6..lost 4..drawn2..no win for them

  • Perera32 on March 30, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    @Meety: Well said mate. The difference between the Sri lankan team and the Best Test Teams is the Pace Bowlers. If Sri lanka can produce a couple of good Pace Bowlers, then Sri lanka can be a better team than they are now.

  • stormy16 on March 30, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    I think its important to note that in different conditions teams play differently. The point is one cant get all arrogant and cocky when you succeed in conditions that favor you. I think SL struggling in Eng is nothing new neither is Eng struggling in SL but this time its without Murali which will concern Eng no end. Its one thing unable to play Murali or Ajmal but a very different thing when you struggle against Hearth and Randiv. I recall the endless comments about SL being unabel to bat in Eng - well the much thought about Eng top order have been clueless against two 'reasonably' good spinners. In fact I would even say Swan is better than Herath but the SL batsman played Swan better.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 30, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    NO:1 team got a 3-0 whitewash earlier and now it will be a 2-0 whitewash...I am happy to give it back to English fans what they give when India lost...life is like that.:)

  • Shafi79 on March 30, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Well said Meety. In fact its even well documented that Murali requested Malinga to play in his last test, even though Malinga was not fully fit, this was because he needed Malinga's x factor to support him. In the post Murali era, SL do not have a decent new ball attack that can put pressure on the opposition. If SL can find a couple of bowlers with some pace who can do that, they can be a pretty decent team. Their performances in AUS and SA have been reasonable from a batting point of view, the youngsters in the team have shown they can handle bounce and pace so, i would expect this team to get a lot better.

  • Meety on March 29, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - Murali was great, but SL not performing post Murali does not have a direct guage on how great he is. For example, when Warne retired, we had MacGill, & Warne had not been playing ODIs for several years. Therefor the reason Oz kept on going well, was due to player talent. SLs fortunes in Tests have declined due to other reasons as well; 1. Vaas retiring (greatest SL seamer), 2. Malinga retiring from tests due to injuries (greatest SL pace talent ever). These have impacted on SL almost as severely, so their diminished Test performance is definately a direct guage of his greatness! If Malinga was still playing tests (injury free), he would make players like Herath & Randiv far more lethal, as Malinga would prise out plenty of top order batsmen & the spinners can start in a position of control.

  • on March 29, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs, australia didn't struggle without warne initially because he wasn't their ONLY bowler. hogg and macgill were also in reserve - when they left...well, australia's troubles with finding a spinner have already been documented well enough

  • Herath-UK on March 29, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    What about groan of the day ? Was it from Bell or Swan when given out? Ranil Herath - Kent

  • johnathonjosephs on March 29, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    The struggle Sri Lanka has against teams in their own playing conditions just illustrates how much they are missing Muralithiran. The perfect example of how Murali is truly the best bowler in the world. Australia didn't struggle when Warne retired, only after GilChrist and Hayden retired did they struggle

  • on March 29, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    how much would a match ticket cost in the uk ? just because it is played in sri lanka it must be given at pittance ? for the English tourist ? why

  • on March 29, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    against pakistan englands xcuse could be accepted that ajmal was unorthodox... but here there was no mystery about herath...he is a good bowler but there is no mystery about him....i think south africa are the best test side in the world who can perform every where including the subcontinent...if england win against south africa this summer and say that they are the number one side...it would be a big shame...

  • Damo_s on March 29, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    England are the first to admit we struggle on spinning tracks and have never claimed otherwise. The only reason SL won was because of MJs exceptional innings otherwise they would have lost. That hardly makes England rubbish. Australia being number 1 what a joke, this is the side utterly hammered on their own turf by England, and currently being roughed up by (much to my amusement) the WI. Get real! SA deserve to be number 1 and I look forward to the contest between SA and England, especially with SAs attack which is utterly awesome at the moment. I suspect England will also lose in India, unless they manage to cut out the stupid shot choice like sweeps to balls on the stumps.

  • degiant on March 29, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    @NeoTheSaviour, I agree with most of what you have said but WI were also worthy # i for over 15 years and never lost a series not even in India where Australia did. England is mostly only good at home and in NZ .

  • on March 29, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    @Vivek joshi: well said, very true.

  • on March 29, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    everyone say SA perform well on tours,bt they only beat subpar NZ team in similar conditions to home. if they play in subcontinent they will loose

  • r1m2 on March 29, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    I don't understand the rankings at all. England seemed to get to No. 1 fairly easily... but now that they are there, they are not losing their ranking even though they're losing every match they are playing and against some very lowly ranked opposition too!!! I thought a loss against a much lower ranked opposition counts more against?????

    This England has a pathetic batting unit. Bell is clueless outside his comfort zone. Peterson is not back to his best yet. The rest are hit or miss. If Peterson cannot find form England has no hope. The few T20Is and ODIs England won was really due to Peterson.

    It's really sad that the no. 1 team of the world cannot tackle this pathetic bowling line up. Regardless of the pitch!!!!! Herath lanka's best bowler averages 30+, whereas the others average 40+!!!!!! all have economy rate of 3+ with some hovering very close to 4! Geez never seen such pathetic bowling numbers for a test bowling team of course besides Bangladesh.

  • playitstraight on March 29, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    For me, South Africa well and truly deserve to be no.1 Test team. They have played consistent cricket and have the best pace attack and possibly the best batting line-up. England's pace attack is good, but not as good as SA's. But England have two good spinners while SA has an unexperienced, yet talented, spinner. SA have played well in the subcontinent as well, and they are experts at playing spin just as well as subcontinent teams are. Hope England are dethroned of their no.1 ranking!

  • SasiGladi on March 29, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Nodoubt once Srilankan top order rectifies the error they did in this test they are going to pile up huge runs...I am feeling so happy how this argont English team dancing in wrong rthym when our Subcontinent classy spinners on song...Atleast now they should realise now that becoming flat track bullies even requires skills which none of the English player reached such name. Our Subcontinent team have the records of winning the test series in England in this modern era but England never did...Ya Indian team did extremely bad in last eight test abroad agreed dont forget they have potential to bounce back strongly in coming years.

  • on March 29, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Huge contributions from Mahela and Rangana but do not forget the invaluable part played by Prasanna Jayawardena - a brilliant 61 not out on his come-back, coupled with not conceding a single bye in either English innings - on a track where the ball turned appreciably.

  • timtom on March 29, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Cannot imagine what wud have happened if Murali was bowling to this team !!!.. With poor batting and good bowling from just one spinner, SL has won this match against No 1. Guess what english media will have to write abt this team.. Just months back they were all over indian team for when they lost 0-4...

  • on March 29, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Keep mahela as captain till the world cup!!! This team can achieve more great things!!

  • on March 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Again green track bullies proved they are not good on flat and turning tracks. When 10-15 wickets falls on green tracks in a day then they says its a good wickets and good bowling, but when same number of wickets falls on sub continent or spining tracks then they say its a bad pitch ban this ground etc. They should improve their techniques first. Only with one Good bowler (Herath) SriLanka win easily.

  • shovwar on March 29, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Losing 4 tests in a row cannot be the character of no1 test side....Look at SA they travel and they win! SA played the least no of tests in the top 6 and yet so many points. SA are the most consistent test side..they truly deserve to be no1 not England.

  • Pragmatic on March 29, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Could it be so that if England lose this series 2-0 and Australia beat the West Indies 3-0, then both teams will be equal second? This just goes to show how messed up the rankings are. All that matters is series victories, especially away victories, and on that score there is really no dominant side since 2004.

  • NeoTheSaviour on March 29, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    No 1. Team in the world.. LOL.. Joke Big Joke.. Only Australians were worthy enough to hold that titles. Even though they lost to India (while they were on their Peak) in India, But not without a fight. It needed life time best from few of Indian players to beat them.. But Eng today, they lost to mediocre team. As if that was not enough that mediocre team and also under-performed in this test and still defeated the No 1. Time to go to new New No-1. SA its your turn to prove yourself. But I really doubt their mental aspect, somehow they don't know how to be win big matches. In all I guess 1 year down the line Aus will again be world No 1.

  • chuparustam on March 29, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    No 1.......... what a joke.

  • Perera32 on March 29, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Herath was brilliant and underrated, much better than swann. Swann is an overrated bowler who cannot keep his mouth shut- "ENGLAND ARE FAVOURITES TO WIN", what kind of person would say that when they were struggling. England were never favourites in this match not when SL were 15/3 or when Trott and Prior were going well,I had faith in MJ's captaincy and the whole team. Every player in the team made important contributions, the opers failed but made up in the field. Sanga may not have made runs but resisted when england had the upper hand in the 2nd innings. WELL DONE TO SRI LANKA, BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME ENGLAND.

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  • Perera32 on March 29, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Herath was brilliant and underrated, much better than swann. Swann is an overrated bowler who cannot keep his mouth shut- "ENGLAND ARE FAVOURITES TO WIN", what kind of person would say that when they were struggling. England were never favourites in this match not when SL were 15/3 or when Trott and Prior were going well,I had faith in MJ's captaincy and the whole team. Every player in the team made important contributions, the opers failed but made up in the field. Sanga may not have made runs but resisted when england had the upper hand in the 2nd innings. WELL DONE TO SRI LANKA, BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME ENGLAND.

  • chuparustam on March 29, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    No 1.......... what a joke.

  • NeoTheSaviour on March 29, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    No 1. Team in the world.. LOL.. Joke Big Joke.. Only Australians were worthy enough to hold that titles. Even though they lost to India (while they were on their Peak) in India, But not without a fight. It needed life time best from few of Indian players to beat them.. But Eng today, they lost to mediocre team. As if that was not enough that mediocre team and also under-performed in this test and still defeated the No 1. Time to go to new New No-1. SA its your turn to prove yourself. But I really doubt their mental aspect, somehow they don't know how to be win big matches. In all I guess 1 year down the line Aus will again be world No 1.

  • Pragmatic on March 29, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Could it be so that if England lose this series 2-0 and Australia beat the West Indies 3-0, then both teams will be equal second? This just goes to show how messed up the rankings are. All that matters is series victories, especially away victories, and on that score there is really no dominant side since 2004.

  • shovwar on March 29, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Losing 4 tests in a row cannot be the character of no1 test side....Look at SA they travel and they win! SA played the least no of tests in the top 6 and yet so many points. SA are the most consistent test side..they truly deserve to be no1 not England.

  • on March 29, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Again green track bullies proved they are not good on flat and turning tracks. When 10-15 wickets falls on green tracks in a day then they says its a good wickets and good bowling, but when same number of wickets falls on sub continent or spining tracks then they say its a bad pitch ban this ground etc. They should improve their techniques first. Only with one Good bowler (Herath) SriLanka win easily.

  • on March 29, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Keep mahela as captain till the world cup!!! This team can achieve more great things!!

  • timtom on March 29, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Cannot imagine what wud have happened if Murali was bowling to this team !!!.. With poor batting and good bowling from just one spinner, SL has won this match against No 1. Guess what english media will have to write abt this team.. Just months back they were all over indian team for when they lost 0-4...

  • on March 29, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Huge contributions from Mahela and Rangana but do not forget the invaluable part played by Prasanna Jayawardena - a brilliant 61 not out on his come-back, coupled with not conceding a single bye in either English innings - on a track where the ball turned appreciably.

  • SasiGladi on March 29, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Nodoubt once Srilankan top order rectifies the error they did in this test they are going to pile up huge runs...I am feeling so happy how this argont English team dancing in wrong rthym when our Subcontinent classy spinners on song...Atleast now they should realise now that becoming flat track bullies even requires skills which none of the English player reached such name. Our Subcontinent team have the records of winning the test series in England in this modern era but England never did...Ya Indian team did extremely bad in last eight test abroad agreed dont forget they have potential to bounce back strongly in coming years.