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

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

  • Dummy4 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 will change hands very easily..India, England struggling away and SA struggling at home..If you take australia case they are struggling in india last 2 series they played 6..lost win for them

  • Suss 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.

  • Dru 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.

  • Manesh 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 is like that.:)

  • Shafraz 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.

  • Andrew 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.

  • Dummy4 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

  • Ranil 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

  • Johnathon 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

  • Dummy4 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

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