Sri Lanka v England, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day April 7, 2012

Short-leg problems, and Strauss' nemesis

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the fifth day of the second Test in Colombo

Third time lucky of the day
England created plenty of chances during the first half an hour of play but Alastair Cook grassed two chances at short leg offered by Angelo Mathews off Graeme Swann. Neither was easy, short leg catches rarely are, but it is what all the practice is for. However, at the third attempt Cook held onto one when a delivery from Swann spat at Mahela Jayawardene and he gloved it in the air. Cook had to dive forward and pouched it safely, although Matt Prior did watch it go into his hands.

Haul of the day
Swann produced another fantastic display on the final morning and when he bowled Prasanna Jayawardene round his legs it secured his second ten-wicket haul following the one he claimed against Bangladesh in Chittagong. However, he was denied a career-best innings tally of seven when Samit Patel and Steven Finn claimed the last two wickets.

Duck of the day
Tillakaratne Dilshan is turning into a bit of nemesis for Andrew Strauss. He caused him no end of problems in the World Cup quarter-final last year and removed him again in the first innings here. Then, handed the new ball in the second innings, it took him just six deliveries to work over the England captain and bowl him with a lovely ball that turned and knocked back off stump.

Statement of the day
England were criticised for the way they went about the chase in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan and could have gone into their shells again here after Strauss' early loss. Cook, though, ensured they didn't. The first boundary of the innings came in the seventh over when Cook clumped Dilshan through mid-on. Another four followed two balls later and England had the early momentum they wanted.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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