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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the second Test in Colombo
April 3, 2012
Report : Jayawardene century keeps England at bay
Preview : Captains experience conflicting fortunes
Opinion : Ditch the plans, England
Players/Officials: Steven Finn | Mahela Jayawardene | Thilan Samaraweera | Andrew Strauss | Graeme Swann
Matches: Sri Lanka v England at Colombo (PSS)
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Sri Lanka
Milestone (or not) of the day
When Sri Lanka moved to 38, with a square cut by Mahela Jayawardene, it brought up the two millionth run in Test cricket. Not everyone, though, will agree. All Test statistics, and this was a problem when the 2000th Test was celebrated at Lord's last year, included the Australia verses World XI match at Sydney in 2005. Many feel that it should not be included in records because it wasn't between two Full Member teams. They have a point, too.
Juggle of the day
When Kumar Sangakkara edged his first ball from James Anderson towards first slip it looked a fairly regulation catch for Andrew Strauss. But it burst out of his hands and was a fraction of a millisecond away from hitting the turf to add to the pressure on Strauss' shoulders. This wasn't the day for the England captain to drop catches so Strauss clutched the ball at the second attempt and was mobbed by his team-mates. It was a second golden duck in three innings for Sangakkara.
Review of the day
With the partnership between Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera building England were desperate for a breakthrough. Steven Finn made one climb towards Samaraweera's ribs, no mean feat on this pitch, and it ballooned out to Alastair Cook at short leg. England appeared confident and when umpire Asad Rauf said not out they asked for the DRS. It was a lengthy process by TV umpire Rod Tucker who could hear a noise but without Hot Spot it was impossible say if glove was involved. Andy Flower wasn't impressed and made a visit to the third umpire's room.
Blow of the day
Once the hardness had disappeared from the new ball this became a tough pitch for the fast bowlers. So it was a notable effort by Steven Finn to strike Samaraweera on the helmet with a short delivery. In truth, it was not very well played by Samaraweera who turned his head away from the ball which looped rather than leapt from the surface. He appeared a little dazed after the blow but following a few moments to compose himself was soon back behind the line.
Near-miss of the day
Anderson was in the midst of a superb post-tea spell of reverse swing when he found the edge of Jayawardene's bat with him on 79. The edge flew low to the left of Strauss who, by now, was stood at a lone wide first slip rather than the conventional position. Strauss flung his left hand out but didn't get anything on the ball as it raced to the boundary.
Double-edged sword of the day
You could understand England's celebrations at finally removing Jayawardene late in the day but closer inspection of the dismissal suggested it was not all good news for the visitors. The delivery from round the wicket by Graeme Swann spun sharply from off stump and would have hit leg. Swann is a big spinner of the ball but this was also the pitch helping. And it was only the first day.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?