Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day April 5, 2012

Prasanna takes a clonking

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third day of the second Test in Colombo
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Clonk of the day
A wicketkeeper's job is tough enough without wild throws from your team-mates. Prasanna Jayawardene had a difficult day behind the stumps with low bounce not making his task easy and at the end of an over from Randiv was given a blow on the head for good measure. Randiv picked up the ball in his follow through and, as bowlers like to do, hurled it back towards the batsman who momentarily blinded Jayawardene and the ball struck his head. An inch or two lower and it would have been the eye.

Warning of the day
No, not Kevin Pietersen. In the fourth over of the day Alastair Cook was facing Dhammika Prasad and will have been grateful the delivery that scooted low was outside off stump rather than straight. The previous evening Angelo Mathews had said the bowlers needed to be more consistent to exploit the cracks and Prasad had clearly located the spot. It was a warning to England to score as many as they could during the day.

Bad review of the day
Sri Lanka were justified in reviewing the not-out decision when they thought Alastair Cook had gloved to leg slip. It was mighty close but only Hot Spot would have confirmed it one way or the other. Using up their second review an over later was less understandable. Suraj Randiv appealed for lbw against Jonathan Trott but replays showed a huge inside edge. Trott had even suggested as much to the fielders. Not that the batsmen can always be trusted but on this occasion Sri Lanka should have listened.

Periscope of the day
There was not much bounce in the surface for Sri Lanka's pace bowlers and it came close to costing Trott. Facing Prasad he ducked to avoid a bouncer but left his bat in the air behind him. The ball did not climb as much as Trott expected and clipped the back of his blade, deflecting wide of Jayawardene to fine leg.

Bowling change of the day
Tillakaratne Dilshan has shown he can be effective with the new ball in one-day cricket so it was not a surprise to see him handed it when just four overs old. He didn't let his captain down, producing a perfect offspinner first delivery which took the edge of Alastair Cook's bat low to first slip. It was the second time Cook had fallen for 94 this year, after the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, and meant his wait for a 20th Test hundred continued.

Shot of the day
Many in Pietersen's innings stood out, but watching him bring out the switch hit against Dilshan showed that he still retains that free-spirited approach he regularly unfurled in his earlier days. And it is not reckless batting. Far from it. Dilshan had a 7-2 leg-side field so Pietersen decided his best scoring option was the vacant off side.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on April 6, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @Nalin Pushpakumara on (April 05 2012, 14:26 PM GMT) you state; "One good inning from England after 4 test matches and England Fans started to Shout Loud ! England Doesn't deserved to be at No.1". What an odd comment. Most of the people praising KP here are Sri Lankan, not English. india lost 8 consecutive away Test matches - and still some of their fans are crowing that they still deserve to be number one. Amazing, but true. One or 2 are also crowing that South Africa are the true number one. How good are South Africa if they were unable to win series against these weak india and Australia teams in South Africa? And how good are South Africa when they have only just managed their first home series win in 3 years?

  • jmcilhinney on April 6, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    @NaniIndCri, I haven't seen one person say that Test matches require the batsmen to block everything but when the situation warrants it the fact that the scoring is slow does not make a Test match boring if you have a genuine appreciation for Test match cricket. KP's innings was fantastic and certainly was exciting but if that's the only type of innings you can appreciate then you shouldn't be watching Test cricket. That innings was unusual even for KP and can you seriously see Strauss, Cook and Trott playing that way? If they had tried they wouldn't have lasted for long and been criticised for that. The top three played sensible cricket under the circumstances and their solid platform is what gave KP the freedom to play the way he did. If you can't see that then, once again, Test cricket is not for you and you should leave it to those of us who appreciate its nuances. Isn't the IPL back on now? Maybe you should stick to that.

  • johnathonjosephs on April 6, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Really, the innings from Pieterson took the game away from Sri Lanka. Well played. Take away his 150 and Sri Lanka would have only conceded a 30 run deficit. Was very shocked at Randiv's bowling.. Seemed as if he was happy to contain the batsman then getting a wicket. Mahela is one of the best captains in the world (way better than the overrated Dhoni) but what Sri Lanka need is some fast bowler firepower (even India has Zak). Think time to recall Kulasekara. Those cracks would have been best exploited with a fast bowler... and England has 2 of the best (FInn and Anderson). Will be interesting watching Sri Lanka bat. Sangakkara is due for a big innings and we all know how much he loves 2nd innings. This tactic of putting a night watchman instead of Dilshan might pay if Prasad survives 10-15 overs. Take the new ball away from Dilly and Sanga

  • Lmaotsetung on April 5, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    All the nonsense from people who never follow England cricket about how the bowlers will find it hard to take 20 wickets in the sub continent or how Jimmy Anderson is overrated and would struggle in Asia can now be put to rest. Bottom line this is one of the best and deepest bowling lineup in the world, most complete bowling lineup IMO. It's always been the batting that's been the issue more the lack of batting depth. It took more than a year to find Michael Vaughan's replacement in Trott and likewise since Colly's retirement, we've had 3-4 different #6. It also shows the importance of Cook and Trott laying a foundation. It's always been these 2 grinding out the bowlers for the likes of Pietersen, Bell, Prior, and the tail to really pour it on in the latter stages. When both Cook and Trott fail, so goes the whole batting lineup. Match is in England's favor and we'll see how good this England bowling lineup is tomorrow. Draw is a real possibility if Sri Lanka can bat all day.

  • samincolumbia on April 5, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    On Day 1, Mahela was the current greatest batsmen (greater than Sachin), on Day 2, he was the greatest captain (greater than Dhoni/Strauss/Smith). It's been an unusually quiet day from the SL fans on Day 3!!

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @suko99 on (April 05 2012, 16:15 PM GMT) Dhoni probably realised how sad it was to get a cheap wicket that way with Bell. Any comments on the actual cricket. No point in commenting if England are playing well is there?

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @Nalin Pushpakumara on (April 05 2012, 14:26 PM GMT) Not seen one boasting post from any Eng fan so far. Either there is a hidden comments board or it's in your head.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 5, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    England play marvellous cricket. Anderson really swings it. Swann really spins it. Bresnen really runs in hard to hit the wicket hard.Pietersen scores at 40 runs an hour. But why does Finn operates at a reduced pace? But all in all every gives it a go even in the lost tests and that too in Asia. Marvellous. England deserve to be at least contenders for the number one spot. India never never never deserved it.

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (April 05 2012, 15:14 PM GMT) To be honest we didn't get or give any of those sort of excuses when Pak beat us in the tests and we won the ODI series.

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    @Spelele on (April 05 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) "Can't say I'm suprised really" Thought we were watching this space yesterday for a huge collapse.

  • 5wombats on April 6, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    @Nalin Pushpakumara on (April 05 2012, 14:26 PM GMT) you state; "One good inning from England after 4 test matches and England Fans started to Shout Loud ! England Doesn't deserved to be at No.1". What an odd comment. Most of the people praising KP here are Sri Lankan, not English. india lost 8 consecutive away Test matches - and still some of their fans are crowing that they still deserve to be number one. Amazing, but true. One or 2 are also crowing that South Africa are the true number one. How good are South Africa if they were unable to win series against these weak india and Australia teams in South Africa? And how good are South Africa when they have only just managed their first home series win in 3 years?

  • jmcilhinney on April 6, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    @NaniIndCri, I haven't seen one person say that Test matches require the batsmen to block everything but when the situation warrants it the fact that the scoring is slow does not make a Test match boring if you have a genuine appreciation for Test match cricket. KP's innings was fantastic and certainly was exciting but if that's the only type of innings you can appreciate then you shouldn't be watching Test cricket. That innings was unusual even for KP and can you seriously see Strauss, Cook and Trott playing that way? If they had tried they wouldn't have lasted for long and been criticised for that. The top three played sensible cricket under the circumstances and their solid platform is what gave KP the freedom to play the way he did. If you can't see that then, once again, Test cricket is not for you and you should leave it to those of us who appreciate its nuances. Isn't the IPL back on now? Maybe you should stick to that.

  • johnathonjosephs on April 6, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Really, the innings from Pieterson took the game away from Sri Lanka. Well played. Take away his 150 and Sri Lanka would have only conceded a 30 run deficit. Was very shocked at Randiv's bowling.. Seemed as if he was happy to contain the batsman then getting a wicket. Mahela is one of the best captains in the world (way better than the overrated Dhoni) but what Sri Lanka need is some fast bowler firepower (even India has Zak). Think time to recall Kulasekara. Those cracks would have been best exploited with a fast bowler... and England has 2 of the best (FInn and Anderson). Will be interesting watching Sri Lanka bat. Sangakkara is due for a big innings and we all know how much he loves 2nd innings. This tactic of putting a night watchman instead of Dilshan might pay if Prasad survives 10-15 overs. Take the new ball away from Dilly and Sanga

  • Lmaotsetung on April 5, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    All the nonsense from people who never follow England cricket about how the bowlers will find it hard to take 20 wickets in the sub continent or how Jimmy Anderson is overrated and would struggle in Asia can now be put to rest. Bottom line this is one of the best and deepest bowling lineup in the world, most complete bowling lineup IMO. It's always been the batting that's been the issue more the lack of batting depth. It took more than a year to find Michael Vaughan's replacement in Trott and likewise since Colly's retirement, we've had 3-4 different #6. It also shows the importance of Cook and Trott laying a foundation. It's always been these 2 grinding out the bowlers for the likes of Pietersen, Bell, Prior, and the tail to really pour it on in the latter stages. When both Cook and Trott fail, so goes the whole batting lineup. Match is in England's favor and we'll see how good this England bowling lineup is tomorrow. Draw is a real possibility if Sri Lanka can bat all day.

  • samincolumbia on April 5, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    On Day 1, Mahela was the current greatest batsmen (greater than Sachin), on Day 2, he was the greatest captain (greater than Dhoni/Strauss/Smith). It's been an unusually quiet day from the SL fans on Day 3!!

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @suko99 on (April 05 2012, 16:15 PM GMT) Dhoni probably realised how sad it was to get a cheap wicket that way with Bell. Any comments on the actual cricket. No point in commenting if England are playing well is there?

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @Nalin Pushpakumara on (April 05 2012, 14:26 PM GMT) Not seen one boasting post from any Eng fan so far. Either there is a hidden comments board or it's in your head.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 5, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    England play marvellous cricket. Anderson really swings it. Swann really spins it. Bresnen really runs in hard to hit the wicket hard.Pietersen scores at 40 runs an hour. But why does Finn operates at a reduced pace? But all in all every gives it a go even in the lost tests and that too in Asia. Marvellous. England deserve to be at least contenders for the number one spot. India never never never deserved it.

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (April 05 2012, 15:14 PM GMT) To be honest we didn't get or give any of those sort of excuses when Pak beat us in the tests and we won the ODI series.

  • JG2704 on April 5, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    @Spelele on (April 05 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) "Can't say I'm suprised really" Thought we were watching this space yesterday for a huge collapse.

  • Perera32 on April 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    I disagree with all those who are saying a Draw is most likely. England have a 65% Chance to win, Sri Lanka have a 20% and a draw is 15% likely. There's still nearly 200 overs of Cricket left. Just imagine if Sri lanka get a 100 run lead and England will find it very very difficult on a 5th day pitch. The reason I said a draw is unlikely is because even if England get set 100 runs to win in even a small amount of overs like 10 overs, they will try to get it. England have nothing to lose, if they lose or draw they will lose there NO 1 spot. Anyway England are most likely to win.

  • ZsZs on April 5, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    As per CI Hawkeye, the Draw is most likely at 65%, then England win with 30% and SL win with 5%. Does that take into consideration the pitch condition? I wonder. It's time Dilshan and Sanga step up to the pitch.

  • johnathonjosephs on April 5, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    High time to drop Lakmal. He probably has one good ball buried among 100 bad ones. Drop him and let him find himself. Its high time we bring back Kulasekera into the Test Arena temporarily. A bowling average of 33 is better than one of 50 (what both Welegedera and Lakmal have). In another 2-3 years maybe Sri Lanka will have a promising young fast bowler who they can train, but now they don't and should bring Kula back. Randiv is surprising too. Always thought he was the best spinner after Rangana, but this innings is making me wonder.

  • on April 5, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    @Spelele A slight change in prediction from yesterdays "I predict a collapse of Eiffel Toweresque proportions " so will england still get rolled out on the 4-5 days? I cann't think of many worse words to describe Pietersens innings than "laboured". Lets see what happens when you play the world #1 team in their own back yard, rather than making wild predictions!

  • suko99 on April 5, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Something really needs to be done about this Andy Flower's visits to the official's rooms. Who the hell he think he is ? ANDY ALMIGHTY ? It is high handed, disgusting, and beginning to get out of hand. He either needs to be fined or banned for a couple of games. Indian captain MSD should have dragged him out of the dressing room when he visited the indian dressing room to get a reprieve to Ian Bell the first time he did it. Now it has become an ugly habit.

  • jmcilhinney on April 5, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    I wonder if Pietersen read all the whining yesterday about the slow run rate. At first I thought that maybe Randiv had run over his cat or something, but then he took to everyone else as well. Pietersen sure can be dangerous when allowed to play his natural attacking game. After the trials and tribulations of this winter, well done to the earlier batsmen for putting England in a position where Pietersen could feel free to play that way. England can not afford to lose this game so not getting out was far more important than run rate, so common sense says that Strauss, Cook and Trott did the right thing. That said, Pietersen's upping of the run rate certainly didn't hurt. The innings went out with a bit of a whimper at the end, which is a shame, but for once the top order had done their job and a lower-order contribution was not required to get them out of trouble. This match is certainly not in the bag but England are definitely favourites this time.

  • maddy20 on April 5, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    What ever happened to Ajantha Mendis? THis Randiv guy is like Ravindra Jadeja for India. Can't bowl, can't bat! Anyways it is probably gonna be a draw unless the SL batsmen play some horrible shots like in the first innings!

  • limeykev2 on April 5, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Benign pitch? Labored batting? Someone has been watching too many ODIs and T20s. The Colombo pitch is slow paced, and cracked. Only one batsman has dominated the bowling, despite the fact that Jayawardene batted for 313 balls for his 105 against Pietersen's 165 for his 151.

    The fact is that KP showed his class by dominating an attack on a bowler friendly surface, and the 'labored' batting of the rest of the players on BOTH sides reflects the difficulty of scoring on a low, slow pitch.

    The fact that England have lost 4 of 4 tests in 2012 would suggest that they are not among the all-time greats, but I would be interested to see whether the 'great' team of yesteryear could flourish on the VERY limited preparation time allowed on modern touring schedules, especially when the pitches are unlike anything else in the world.

  • NaniIndCri on April 5, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    Awesome innings from KP, he showed how its done and made the match much more interesting. If not for him this match would have ended as a draw, there is good chance for result now. Some people will not find KP innings thrilling, all they want to see is batsman blocking all the balls - This comment is intended to people yesterday who criticized me for saying the 2nd day was very boring, test match does not mean batsman have to block everything.

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Spelele - your prediction for today after close of play yesterday was "a collapse of Eiffel Toweresque proportions". With predictive powers like those, you should definitely take up gambling. I'm happy to lay the draw at even money, for as much as you feel you can afford...

  • jmcilhinney on April 5, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Praveen Shavindra Muthuthanthri, you're not the first opposition fan to resort to that excuse when your team's being beaten by England. It's often the last bastion of the defeated to rationalise the loss by trying to convince yourself that the opposition doesn't deserve to have won. If that allows you to get on with your daily life with a minimum of tears then so be it. England are #1 because they have played overall better cricket than everyone else for some time. England lost in UAE and Galle because their opposition played better. If England win here, as it looks like they should, it will be because they played better than their opposition. It's that simple. If your team lose it's for no other reason than that they were not as good as the opposition.

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Flat pitch, can't play shots???? KP showed that all these claims are just excuses by lesser batsmen. Hope the SL batsmen take inspiration from this innings of KP. Looking forward to a hundred from Sanga.

  • oval77 on April 5, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    "World xi"... England is proud to be a modern multicultural country: we embrace people who have moved here, become part of the nation, and devote themselves to the life of our country -whether that was five generations ago or now. Devon Malcolm, Nasser Hussain, KP... we do not exclude them from the national team. Praveen, Spelele, get over it! :) Fantastic test match so far - although sneaky suspicion Dilshan and Sanga will fire this time round and it'll be a draw...

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Oh... ! One good inning from England after 4 test matches and England Fans started to Shout Loud ! England Doesn't deserved to be at No.1 , Thats it is. Period !

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka has one bowler Herath..and he is no Murali...

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Sri Lanka are playing against a world XI side, which English team is

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Awesome knock from Pietersen. He certainly looked a different player than the one we saw in the Pakistan series.

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    A draw you say Spelele? We will have to see what our bowlers have to say about that. England are a long way from winning this match but I would say that an English victory just looks more likely than the other two possibilities

  • doesitmatter on April 5, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Atleast there will be not be "witch hunt" by "not so white" Swann and others on KP for a while...Go SL :)

  • Spelele on April 5, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Oh wow, so it takes a South African to give some life to a rather boring and pedestrian English innings. Can't say I'm suprised really :) And now it is Srilanka's turn to take advantage of this benign pitch. English batsmen have singlehandedly ensured that what would otherwise have been a very interesting match, has been turned into a dull draw. What laboured batting! After this meaningless draw, there shall be no further comments from the Poms unilaterally declaring themselves to be up there with the great Aus and WI sides of the past! SA is looming :)

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  • Spelele on April 5, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Oh wow, so it takes a South African to give some life to a rather boring and pedestrian English innings. Can't say I'm suprised really :) And now it is Srilanka's turn to take advantage of this benign pitch. English batsmen have singlehandedly ensured that what would otherwise have been a very interesting match, has been turned into a dull draw. What laboured batting! After this meaningless draw, there shall be no further comments from the Poms unilaterally declaring themselves to be up there with the great Aus and WI sides of the past! SA is looming :)

  • doesitmatter on April 5, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Atleast there will be not be "witch hunt" by "not so white" Swann and others on KP for a while...Go SL :)

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    A draw you say Spelele? We will have to see what our bowlers have to say about that. England are a long way from winning this match but I would say that an English victory just looks more likely than the other two possibilities

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Awesome knock from Pietersen. He certainly looked a different player than the one we saw in the Pakistan series.

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Sri Lanka are playing against a world XI side, which English team is

  • on April 5, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka has one bowler Herath..and he is no Murali...

  • on April 5, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Oh... ! One good inning from England after 4 test matches and England Fans started to Shout Loud ! England Doesn't deserved to be at No.1 , Thats it is. Period !

  • oval77 on April 5, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    "World xi"... England is proud to be a modern multicultural country: we embrace people who have moved here, become part of the nation, and devote themselves to the life of our country -whether that was five generations ago or now. Devon Malcolm, Nasser Hussain, KP... we do not exclude them from the national team. Praveen, Spelele, get over it! :) Fantastic test match so far - although sneaky suspicion Dilshan and Sanga will fire this time round and it'll be a draw...

  • on April 5, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    Flat pitch, can't play shots???? KP showed that all these claims are just excuses by lesser batsmen. Hope the SL batsmen take inspiration from this innings of KP. Looking forward to a hundred from Sanga.

  • jmcilhinney on April 5, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Praveen Shavindra Muthuthanthri, you're not the first opposition fan to resort to that excuse when your team's being beaten by England. It's often the last bastion of the defeated to rationalise the loss by trying to convince yourself that the opposition doesn't deserve to have won. If that allows you to get on with your daily life with a minimum of tears then so be it. England are #1 because they have played overall better cricket than everyone else for some time. England lost in UAE and Galle because their opposition played better. If England win here, as it looks like they should, it will be because they played better than their opposition. It's that simple. If your team lose it's for no other reason than that they were not as good as the opposition.