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

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

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  • 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.

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